How Much Does a Surrogate Cost [All Costs Explained]

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The saying, “first comes love, then comes marriage, then a baby in a carriage” is not the happy scenario that all married couples experience. Some cannot get pregnant no matter how much they try. But there is a solution. Surrogacy allows couples to have a baby without physically going through the pregnancy. However, most intended parents tend to overlook this option because they believe only rich people can afford it.

So how much does a surrogate cost? Read on to find out about the expenses involved, ways to afford it, and the answers to some frequently asked questions.

How Does a Surrogate Work?

If you choose to grow your family through surrogacy then you need to know how it works. At first, surrogacy may seem daunting because it involves a lot of legal work, finding the right surrogate mother, and then finding a way to cover the surrogacy prices.

First, you need to choose what type of surrogacy you want. There is traditional and gestational surrogacy. If you go for traditional surrogacy, then the surrogate will be the biological mother of the child. In this process, the surrogate’s egg is fertilized using the sperm of the father-to-be. But, if you opt for gestational surrogacy, the child bears the genes of the intended parents and the gestational carrier is not related to the baby in any way. The embryo is created using an egg from the mother and the sperm from the father by in vitro fertilization. The fertilized egg is then transferred to the surrogate. Keep in mind that the gestational surrogacy cost is much higher.

The great struggle is whether to contact an agency or to do it independently. No one can make such a huge decision in your place. If you choose to contact full-service agencies, half of the work is done. They find you a surrogate mother, tell you how much it will cost, and calculate all the additional expenses. If you opt for independent surrogacy, then you can escape some of the costs, but you have to go through the entire process alone.

If you’re struggling with fertility but do not want to go with a surrogate mother, there are always other options to consider. The first and the simpler option is artificial insemination and the second one is in vitro fertilization or the IVF process. 

Did you know: IVF clinics in the US have a surrogacy success rate of around 75%. The moment the surrogate mother is pregnant the success rate of delivering a healthy child is 95%. 

Surrogacy Cost Breakdown

A great drawback of surrogacy is the costs that come with it. It is clear that surrogacy is an expensive process and not everyone has that much money. You need to know how much surrogacy will cost to decide what kind of loan to take. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Agency Fee

Agencies help the intended parents find their surrogates. If both parties agree, the agency helps them negotiate and sign legal papers stating that both parties agree to proceed further. Agency fees intended parents pay can vary from state to state but the cost is usually from $15,000 – $30,000. The price includes screenings, background checks, advertising, and many other services.

  • Education & Support

Surrogacy requires great emotional strength from both parties as well as an understanding of the whole procedure that’s ahead of them. Because of this, a surrogacy professional will provide all of the education and support needed during the whole process. Usually, the parents-to-be choose an unidentified surrogate mother and the agency employs licensed professionals to guide them through the process and give them the emotional support they need. This is covered by the agency fee and around $2,500 is used for psychological support.

  • Surrogate Mother

This is probably the most major expense because you need to cover a number of factors. This falls under the category of variable expenses because no one can know in advance how much they will amount to. The surrogate mother cost varies from $30,000 – $50,000. The intended parents need to cover the tests and the undergoing treatments, the delivery of the baby, and most importantly compensate for the emotional and physical struggle the surrogate will undergo.

  • Medical Costs

We know that surrogacy involves many medical procedures and they depend on the type of surrogacy – traditional or gestational, the number of tries in the Vitro fertilization process, etc. Also, the medical treatments included here increase the cost. The medical costs are variable expenses and they could cost from $12,000 – $30,000.

  • Legal Fees 

Surrogacy is a complex process and not every state allows surrogacy contracts. For this reason, both parents as well as the surrogate mother need to sign the legal paperwork. The intended parents cover their legal costs and the cost of a surrogate. The legal fee is around $10,000. 

Some parents tend to choose independent surrogacy just because they already have an identified donor (in some cases a friend) and a surrogacy cost with a friend acting as a surrogate mother is cheaper and lets you save money. Choosing independent surrogacy lets you dispense with the agency fees, but you will have to look for medical treatment professionals and legal help on your own which may end up costing more. Meanwhile, an agency is just a one-stop shop; you fill out the forms and the agency does the rest of the job for you.

Did you know: Due to COVID-19 many emotional support group sessions have become virtual therapy sessions. You can browse through some of the best online therapy sites, which can help parents-to-be and/or the surrogate mother overcome the setbacks and provide support.

Key Takeaways 

Surrogacy allows you to have a baby of your own, even if you are not the carrier.
It is an expensive process but you can always take a loan.
The surrogate mother fee, the medical expenses, and the legal fee are variable expenses.
There is always a chance to opt for independent surrogacy.

The Average Cost of Surrogacy

Expanding your family through a surrogate can cost a fortune. So, how much does a surrogate cost?

The average surrogacy cost in the USA varies from state to state but it is usually in the range of $125,000 to $150,000. The cost also depends on the variable expenses because no one can know beforehand what these will involve.

Are you wondering how prices vary from state to state? We will break it down for you.

California has one of the best surrogacy laws but the prices are high. The prices in California vary from $120,000- $170,000 and it is important to know that in most agencies the cost of IVF is excluded from the price so additional charges will apply. Georgia can also be listed as one of the expensive states for surrogacy services because the average cost of a surrogate here is around $110,000 – $200,000.

Texas has affordable prices for every person in need of a surrogate. The prices here vary from $100,000 and $125,000 but the IVF process is not included in the price. Moving from the south to the northeast, intended parents are wondering: how much does a surrogate cost in New York? New York is also one of the most affordable states for those who dream of starting a family through surrogacy. The cost here is the same as in Texas, ranging from $100,000 to $125,000, but the IVF process is also excluded from the price.

Did you know: The private surrogate cost is usually 30% less as compared to gestational surrogacy. 

How Can You Afford It?

Growing a family through a surrogate costs a fortune because the gestational surrogate cost is way higher than the traditional one. So, how can you afford one? It is rare for people to have that much money ready in cash for this process. Various options are available for the intended parents if they opt for surrogacy.

  • Taking Out a Loan

The first option is to take a fertility loan that offers funds and payment plans for couples that are struggling with infertility. Many of these loans can also be applied to surrogacy programs.

The second option is to take a personal loan but you will have to confirm with the bank that the money can be used for surrogacy. Personal loans offer low-interest rates for qualified borrowers and the minimum amount you can take is $5,000- $100,000. This may cover more than half of the surrogacy process.

Home equity loans are always an option. Intended parents may be able to borrow funds if they pledge their house as collateral.

  • Agency Itself

Many of the agencies understand that money is a big issue for intended parents opting for surrogacy because the surrogacy prices can be very high. Many of them offer parents-to-be the option to pay on a fee schedule rather than paying the whole amount immediately. Some agencies even partner with organizations that grant fertility loans.

  • Surrogacy Grants

Grants are another good idea to keep in mind. Grants are non-repayable funds that help ease the financial burden of surrogacy. It’s important to know that grants are awarded annually to those parents who meet certain qualifications. For instance, the BabyQuest Foundation offers to ease the burden for those who cannot afford expensive medical treatments.

Did you know: You usually have to pay for every single thing the surrogate does during the pregnancy. 

Conclusion

We’ve tried to help you and guide you through the process explaining how surrogacy works and what makes up the overall surrogate mother cost. It’s an expensive choice but there are many ways to help finance surrogacy that can make it affordable for everyone.

FAQ

Can you pay a friend or someone else to be your surrogate?

You can pay someone to be your surrogate. Still, you’ll need a legally binding contract stating that both parties agree to the procedure, no matter how much you love and care for each other.

Is surrogacy covered by insurance?

In most cases, it’s common for health insurance companies to cover only the cost of the pregnancy. The intended parents cover the medical treatments, i.e. the remaining cost of a surrogate.

Why is surrogacy so expensive?

One major factor is the state where your attorney practices and the state where the baby will be born. Also, surrogacy requires many undergoing procedures which cost a bunch of money, and the compensation package for your surrogate is another great expense. This can vary depending on the agency you work with, as well as the state your surrogate lives in.

How much does a surrogate cost if it’s a friend?

If you have a friend who is willing to carry the baby for you, you can save up on surrogate compensation. This can save you around $50,000 from the overall sum. The entire process would then cost around $60,000 – $100,000.

ABOUT AUTHOR

I learned a lot about finance after working for a digital marketing company specializing in investing and trading stocks, forex, etc. After that, I got exposed to other verticals such as wealth management and personal finance, which further improved my understanding of the financial world.

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