Each surrogacy process is different, so the surrogate mother cost can differ. Here are some factors that could impact the cost of surrogacy.
How to Estimate the Real Cost of Surrogacy?
Pursuing parenthood through surrogacy can be an overwhelming and expensive process for intended parents, and the surrogate mother cost can be a big concern. The number of professionals that need to be selected and coordinated can also be as dizzying as the total cost of surrogacy.
How much does surrogacy cost? This is probably one of the most decisive questions when considering surrogacy. There are many variables in the surrogacy process, and surrogacy costs vary from country to country, as does the success rate and legal requirements.
Here is a basic cost breakdown for the surrogacy process in the US and Canada.
Surrogacy Cost Breakdown
Before we dive in, it’s important to note that surrogacy laws may be different between states and provinces. Intended parents’ rights and obligations may vary, and the legal process will be different. So, before choosing a destination, research the following information for your region or the region in which you intend to pursue surrogacy:
- What legal securities do the regulations offer to intended parents and surrogate mothers?
- What are the eligibility criteria for pursuing a surrogacy process? Do you need to be a citizen of that country? Is it available to same-sex couples, single persons, or unmarried couples?
- Is the transfer of parental rights available in the jurisdiction in question?
- What is the post-birth process? How long does it take to complete all the paperwork after the birth?
- Are surrogacy agreements legally enforceable?
- Is commercial surrogacy allowed?
- Is public health insurance available for the surrogate mother (and the baby) during the pregnancy, birth, and post birth?
So where do you start? Before starting, you need to know that the surrogacy costs will largely depend on the type of surrogacy process you are pursuing, as well as the services you will need during the process.
Many factors influence the total cost of surrogacy. To gain an accurate understanding of overall surrogacy costs, prospective parents need to understand the various factors that can impact it.
Type of Surrogacy
There are two main types of surrogacy agreements: traditional surrogacy, where the surrogate mother is genetically connected to the baby because her eggs are used; and gestational surrogacy, where the gestational surrogate has no genetic link to the child because her eggs are not used—she acts as a carrier only. These two types of surrogacy journeys have different financial and legal implications that you should consider before making your decision.
When looking for your surrogate, you need to know that there are many different reasons why a woman may decide to become a surrogate: financial (more commercial surrogacy-oriented), gratification of pregnancy and childbirth, or getting a sense of self-worth and value for her community (altruistic surrogacy). These reasons can make a difference in the cost of your surrogacy process because the surrogate mother cost can vary significantly. Therefore, before starting your process, you need to choose between pursuing a commercial or altruistic surrogacy journey.
Additionally, there are many other factors you should consider. These include the surrogate’s and intended parents’ personalities, willingness to have an amniocentesis and other diagnostic tests to check for birth defects, willingness to abort if there is an important medical problem with the fetus, selectively reduce in the event of high order multiples—the list goes on and on.
Although prospective parents are eager to get started on their surrogacy journey, it´s important to go through all these topics to ensure a match is made based on both party’s desires and needs.
Finally, prospective parents may pay extra depending on the surrogacy provider they use.
A surrogacy agency can support you during the whole surrogacy process, from the psychological and medical screening of the surrogate to the birth of the child. As a prospective intended parent, it will be up to you to choose the surrogacy provider you feel most comfortable dealing with (think about what kind of specialists you will need for your process when estimating your surrogacy costs).
The team of surrogacy and fertility specialists supporting the intended parents during the process could include a surrogacy consultant, a fertility physician, and a surrogacy attorney from the state or city where the surrogate mother is going to have the baby. The cost of surrogacy will vary based on the fees of these professionals.
A surrogacy lawyer is a must in a surrogacy process.
Perhaps you are considering going independent to reduce your expenses. This choice will impact the rest of your surrogacy process, but regardless of whether you choose to work with or without an agency, you will need a surrogacy lawyer. A lawyer specializing in third-party reproduction is a key part of this process because you need to know the local regulations, and a legal agreement needs to be drafted.
When estimating the surrogate mother cost, you need to be aware that it can vary enormously. However, there are common things included in many surrogacy agreements, and that will help you to estimate your surrogate expenses.
The cost of surrogacy can be divided into agency costs, medical costs, legal costs, and egg-donation costs (if needed):
- Surrogacy agency fees
- Surrogate mother compensation
- Pre-pregnancy expenses (e.g., travel expenses to the fertility clinic chosen by the intended parents)
- During-pregnancy expenses
- Additional surrogate mother expenses (e.g., like C-sections, multiple births, bed rest)
- Psychological screenings
- Medical screenings
- Medication for the IVF cycle (depends on the number of cycles)
- Additional health insurance for the surrogate mother (if needed)
- Hospital delivery charges
- Legal representation for both parties
- Pre-birth or post-birth legal requirements depending on the country (e.g., DNA testing to ensure that the baby is genetically related to the intended parents)
If an egg donor is needed in the surrogacy journey, all the costs associated with the egg donation need to be considered.
- Agency fees (if you used a paid egg donor database)
- Egg retrieval procedure fees (e.g. clinic fees, medication)
- Medical and psychological evaluations
- Egg donor reimbursements
- Legal representation for both parties
How to Estimate the Surrogate Mother Cost
One of the most common questions about surrogacy is how much surrogate mothers get paid. Each surrogate can have a different arrangement with their IPs, but most of them fall under three categories.
- Basic monthly allowance
- Receipts submitted and reimbursed within 24 or 48 hours
- Monthly reimbursements given at the end of each month
Generally speaking, the surrogate mother cost that intended parents will have to reimburse to the gestational carrier are as follows:
- Medical, hospitalization, pharmaceutical and laboratory expenses incurred by the surrogate as a result of the transfer, pregnancy, or birth that are not covered by her health insurance plan
- One year of life insurance for the surrogate
- Money spent on the surrogate’s groceries, prepared food, and meals for her consumption that would supplement her diet, including some vitamins and supplements required to maintain a healthy pregnancy
- Reasonable expenses incurred for the surrogate’s travel at the request of the intended parents or made necessary for the performance of her obligations during the surrogacy journey, including reasonable transportation costs, hotel costs, and meal costs
- Clothing to be worn by the surrogate during or immediately after the pregnancy
- Reasonable costs of housekeeping for the surrogate if such tasks are typically performed by her and she is unable to perform such tasks as a result of the pregnancy
- A reasonable amount for massage and acupuncture for the surrogate during the pregnancy if so recommended by her physician
- Reasonable childcare costs for surrogate any time she must hire childcare in order to fulfill her duties, or if she requires rest during the pregnancy
- All related costs incurred by the surrogate during the period of recuperation after the birth of the child to ensure that she has the opportunity to rest and to provide her with all things necessary to ensure a full and complete recuperation (normally for a period of four and six weeks after the delivery)
You may believe that the surrogate mother cost is quite high. However, when you think about the surrogate’s commitment and all things that she has to do for as long as she has to do it—medical appointments, medication, her relationship with the intended parents, the impact on her life, and the effect on her job, her family and friends, and her marriage—you will understand that this act is priceless.
As you can see, it may be challenging to predict all the possible costs and get an average overall cost of surrogacy. For more information regarding surrogacy costs, check out the video linked below or click on this link and learn more about surrogate mother costs and the cost of surrogacy.