Why are surrogacy services expensive? How can I afford surrogacy?

Since surrogacy provides the highest success rates compared to other fertility treatments, the surrogacy cost increases as the programs involve multiple stages to ensure that intended parents fulfill their dreams of beginning a family through a medically and legally safe procedure.

However, one of the initial surrogacy questions that each intended parent asks us is how much does it cost for surrogacy? How expensice is surrogacy? Is surrogacy covered by insurance? And how can one afford the surrogacy? How to pay for surrogacy? We understand your concern, surrogacy can help you become parents but it can be quite expensive and not all intended parents have a big amount of money available beforehand.

Let us walk you through the different factors of surrogacy costs, a detailed breakdown of surrogacy, and different financing options for surrogacy that you consider to budget your surrogacy program.
How expensive is surrogacy?
How much does it cost for surrogacy?
A detailed breakdown of factors influencing surrogacy cost
Is surrogacy covered by insurance
Medical expenses that Insurance does not cover
Financing options for surrogacy
How to afford surrogacy?
Additional tips to manage your surrogacy journey

How expensive is surrogacy?

The success rate of gestational surrogacy is around 75-80% because it uses the qualitative gamete materials of donors and a qualified, fit, and fertile gestational carrier (surrogate mother). Since the carrier of the baby is experienced and gamete materials used in the process are fertile the chances of a successful embryo transfer increases.

In addition, surrogacy services include various professionals to make the journey successful for instance – a surrogacy agency, an experienced attorney, donor(s), a surrogate mother, an IVF specialist or embryologist, and an accounting manager to manage the entire surrogacy journey, and social workers.

The cost of surrogacy includes the compensation to be given to your surrogate, furthermore surrogate needs reimbursement for care and attention that she requires during pregnancy and childbirth, and the management of surrogacy from beginning to end. The cost of hiring a surrogate need to be known.

Intended parents would need the assistance of a commercial surrogacy agency that helps in hiring the right candidates and looks after each surrogacy step. Meanwhile, if intended parents consider undergoing independent surrogacy then they will have to manage each step by themselves which can be quite tedious.

How much does it cost for surrogacy?

The cost of surrogacy depends on many variables like the location that you choose for surrogacy (in the case of international surrogacy), the type of surrogacy program you select, donor’s fees, compensation of the surrogate, and other fertility services that you need for your surrogacy journey.

You must be wondering, how much does it cost for surrogacy (the exact figure)? Well, giving an exact amount is difficult as every intended parent would have a different surrogacy journey depending on their needs, condition, and expectation. However, the surrogacy cost can go up to $100,000 – $200,000 in the USA (though you cannot rely on this amount, it is better to consult a surrogacy professional to understand the exact cost personalized to your needs).

Why is surrogacy so expensive?

Becoming a surrogate is a time consuming and costly process. It involves various experts specialists with expertise in surrogacy regulations, IVF, egg donation, and surrogacy, which extends the duration and expenses associated with each stage.

Factors influencing surrogacy cost

Though the exact surrogacy cost is still one of your concerns, more importantly, you must understand where exactly your money is going to be spent. Whether you are considering choosing a donor or not you still have to pay for surrogacy services like IVF and its medical process to create embryos – which will determine a significant amount of your entire surrogacy budget.

Confused? Don’t worry we have mentioned a detailed breakdown of different factors that influence the surrogacy cost for your better understanding.

Agency fees

Many intended parents assume that the agency’s job is to help you connect with a suitable surrogate. Well, that’s true but a surrogacy agency does more than that, from understanding your preferences, needs, and conditions, performing screening tests of intended parents to finding donors, helping the intended protect their legal rights, and many more things.

A surrogacy agency is a link between all the parties involved in the surrogacy journey, for which your agency would charge a certain amount of fees so that you can experience a hassle-free surrogacy journey.

Egg Donor’s fees and medical costs

Depending on your fertility condition, you may need an egg or sperm donor. Once an agency shortlists a few candidates then a fertility expert would perform physical and psychological screening tests to determine whether a candidate is fit, fertile, and does not have any infectious disease that may be transmitted to the baby.

And psychological evaluation is conducted to understand whether he or she is emotionally ready to donate their gamete materials and to know their purpose for donation. The candidates would have to undergo a certain medical procedure to successfully retrieve sperm or eggs and since it is a tedious process costs is compensated in exchange for their time and efforts.

Embryo transfer

Intended parents who have qualitative embryos left from their previous fertility treatment can save a few dollars to create a new set of embryos. However, you will still have to pay for the IVF cost i.e. transferring those embryos to a surrogate mother.

And if you do not have leftover embryos then you will have to undergo the process of creating embryos which increases the cost.

Attorney fees

Forming a surrogacy contract is one of the most important steps in a surrogacy journey as it protects the legal rights of intended parents and surrogate mothers. Since an agreement is formed catered to the surrogacy laws of a particular country you need assistance and guidance from an experienced attorney who is well-versed in reproductive legalities.

Is surrogacy covered by insurance?

One of the major concerns of intended parents when consulting with us – is surrogacy covered by insurance. Yes, there are a few insurance policies that involve the cost of surrogacy or at least the medical cost that intended parents can take benefit from.

In addition, even your surrogate would need medical insurance, and insurance coverage often needs an expert to review to ensure it supports the budget of surrogacy.

While some surrogates would have health plans already that will cover the medical cost once she starts their treatment with an obstetrician. Intended parents need to evaluate all these factors beforehand and re-evaluate to make sure all the terms and conditions of the policy haven’t changed from one year to another.

To give you a short answer to your concern – is surrogacy covered by insurance? In most cases yes, but there are factors that you need to consider regarding insurance.

  • A few insurance companies have a lien policy wherein they can put a lien policy to recover their cost. Though this doesn’t mean that the surrogate will lose her compensation but intended parents need to set aside the maximum amount that the lien could be as an additional amount in escrow amount if and when the insurance company requests it.
  • Insurance for egg donors and situations like complications with in-vitro fertilization (IVF) may be recommended.
  • Some surrogacy contracts require a few more insurance for the surrogate mother like life insurance, and insurance that involves the loss of reproductive organs, both parties must understand and discuss these factors.

Surrogate’s compensation

In commercial surrogacy, a gestational surrogate receives compensation in exchange for the pain, struggle, sacrifice, time, and effort. The amount of compensation depends on the experience she has, whether she is from a developed country, and her overall health status. In addition, the surrogate would need reimbursement for the medical cost during the tenure of her pregnancy, maternity clothes costs, and related expenses.

Compensation for conceiving multiple babies

If intended parents decide to conceive multiple children using surrogacy services then they will have to pay extra money or pay compensation cost to the surrogate mother as the experience of carrying multiple is different, and there may be a few additional risks to her as well.

However, whether you are expecting twins or triplets, these factors must be mentioned in the surrogacy contract beforehand with the compensation rate to avoid unwanted complications in the future.

Having peace of mind

When you begin a surrogacy procedure with a surrogate, an agency ensures that there is a surrogacy agreement formed with both parties and has been signed with consent. The contract states the role and responsibilities of both parties during and after surrogacy pregnancy.

As the surrogate mother is experienced, she is aware of the transformation she would go through, and also she won’t have any problem with giving away the baby post-delivery. Hence, surrogacy is considered to be more favorable as intended parents have a space where they can be calm and relaxed. Among all the pros and cons of surrogacy, this is an element that attracts intended parents.

Every individual can begin a family

Usually, gay couples or hopeful individuals find it difficult to conceive a biologically connected child. Surrogacy allows every individual to commence a family who wishes to begin their journey of parenthood.

With options of varied surrogacy treatments, every individual can fulfill their dream of completing a family.

Surrogacy is supported worldwide

Surrogacy is available worldwide, hence international surrogacy is getting more attention via medical tourism. Though, there are a few countries that have banned surrogacy, while others have restrictions on who can apply for surrogacy.

However, the majority of countries permit surrogacy and have favorable surrogacy laws that fulfill the dreams of every intended parent.

Cons of global surrogacy

As they say, every coin has two sides, even surrogacy has its perks and disadvantages. It is essential to determine every aspect, pros, and cons of surrogacy to check if it's the right decision to make. Let’s go through the vivid cons of surrogacy.

Complicated surrogacy laws

Although, surrogacy is popular worldwide and there is increased medical or fertility tourism. You must consider surrogacy laws and regulations, before beginning the process. In terms of global surrogacy, there are limitations to who can apply for surrogacy.

Few countries only permit married heterosexuals while others to gay couples and few countries do not allow single fathers to undertake surrogacy. Also, there are other legal factors to be considered like having surrogacy contracts, applying for changing names on birth certificates, and many more. A couple or individual alone cannot go through the process and needs an experienced attorney.

Surrogacy is expensive

Surrogacy can be an effective and successful method but it is expensive too. Although, the cost varies from the type of treatment and the destination you choose, compared to other fertility treatments surrogacy is costlier.

As it includes the process of IVF and it requires specialists and multiple testing to create embryos, the cost majorly depends on your medical procedure, compensation given to the surrogate mother, and donors, and fees for attorneys for legal hurdles. The procedure might be favorable for intended parents but it has certain pros of cons of surrogacy.

Long-drawn medical procedure

As we discussed above, surrogacy uses the IVF procedure. Although, having qualitative gamete material your surrogate mother may face miscarriage and failed pregnancy. In such cases, you may have to repeat the procedure or prefer multiple embryo transfers. However, surrogacy has a time-consuming procedure, intended parents may lose patience.

Requires financial commitment

Surrogacy is a serious decision every intended parent takes, combining a lot of factors leads to a successful surrogacy journey. From surrogacy agencies, fertility clinics, doctors, donors, and surrogate mothers, to lawyers – everyone plays an important role.

All these factors make the treatment expensive and also there are hardly few grants, loans, or financial options for intended parents to balance or budget their surrogacy treatment.

National shortage of surrogate mothers

Most people are unaware there is a national shortage of surrogates in the United States. This shortage is due to both the extremely strict criteria that women must meet to qualify as a surrogate as well as the increasing numbers of intended parents, both from the U.S. and abroad, who are looking to hire a surrogate.

Needs trust

Intended parents must accept the uncertainties with the procedure and trust the surrogate mother and her prenatal care. Also, trusting the surrogacy agency is a must thing without which the surrogacy journey is incomplete.

Emotional complexities

As we discussed surrogacy is a tedious and long-drawn procedure and a rollercoaster of emotional complications. Intended parents may find it hard to trust and calm themselves with the journey, being patient isn't always easy. Whereas, a surrogate mother may find it extremely difficult with the physical and hormonal changes.

Health risk

As a surrogate mother carries a child for someone else, she will face certain health risks throughout pregnancy. Although, she will be enlightened for the same intended parents must understand her sacrifice and pain during a surrogate pregnancy.

Difficulty in finding a match

The process of finding the right match for donors as well as a surrogate mother takes time and is a bit difficult. They must meet certain criteria, and clear the screening test. Again this procedure may take more time than usual, and looking after medical history is also a must. To overcome this issue or understand the pros and cons of surrogacy in depth you can opt for a renowned surrogacy agency.

Intended parents need to let go of their control

Even if IPs are permitted to be involved in every phase of surrogacy yet you cannot have control over everything. You can't control your surrogate mother, or her pregnancy or expect her to act as per your expectations. You must trust your surrogate and be patient with the process.

Concluding words

Every process has two sides and even here there are pros and cons of surrogacy. Although worldwide surrogacy has success rates, every intended parent needs to determine all factors to check whether it is the right decision to make.

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