How Much Does Surrogacy Cost?
The overall cost of building your family through surrogacy will vary depending on various factors. Some factors influencing the overall cost of a surrogacy journey are in the control of future parents, and some are not. Below are the cost variables that prospective parents, through surrogacy, have some control over.
Surrogacy Agency or Independent Surrogacy: Which is Better?
One of the first decisions to be made when deciding to build your family through surrogacy is whether you will work with a surrogacy agency or find a surrogate on your own. If you do not work with a surrogacy agency, you choose an independent surrogacy journey. If you do an independent surrogacy journey, then you will not incur any surrogacy agency fees. In the end, these savings may reduce your total cost for your surrogacy journey, but there is a possibility that it may not. If the independent surrogate candidate(s) that you choose to work with does not work out at some point on your journey, then you may have spent thousands of dollars on a candidate who doesn’t end up being “the one” to help you realize your dream of becoming a parent.
A surrogacy agency’s screening process offers security to parents that surrogates are screened and vetted to pass medical and psychological screening and that they are educated and prepared for all steps in the surrogacy process. This makes it much less likely that a surrogate candidate you choose to work with will fall through, ultimately saving you time and money and getting you to baby quicker!
Another way an independent surrogate journey can end up costing as much as (or close to) working with a surrogacy agency is in surrogate compensation. Some women who desire to be independent surrogates and not work through a surrogacy agency are motivated by their desire to make a higher surrogate compensation than they can make through a surrogacy agency. Often, their thought process is that parents are saving money by not working with an agency, so it’s acceptable to ask for higher compensation than what a surrogacy agency surrogate would be compensated. Working with an independent surrogate may offer overall cost savings for future parents, but at what other costs? Consider that the type of surrogate candidate that is highly money-motivated may not end up being the best overall candidate for your surrogacy journey, which could cost you more money along the way.
Choosing the Best Surrogacy Agency to Work With
There are many surrogacy agencies, both domestic and international, that you could work with. Regardless, however, there are several important factors to consider when choosing which agency to partner with. For example, doing a cost comparison is critical when considering the overall cost of your surrogacy journey. Some surrogacy agencies charge as much as $100,000 (including surrogate compensation), but agency service fees generally fall between $20,000-$50,000+. Being budget-conscious can save you thousands of dollars in fees simply by choosing one agency over another. Even if you are not trying to stay within a specified budget for your surrogacy journey, it is important to understand why some surrogacy agency fees are double or triple what other surrogacy agencies charge for similar services.
Pathways To Parenthood Surrogacy Agency fees are not the lowest among surrogacy agencies, but our agency fees are very reasonable at $28,000.
Surrogate compensation is another agency-related factor that can influence your total surrogacy expense. Most clinics that have higher agency fees also have higher surrogate compensations. Some surrogacy agencies in the United States have surrogate compensation packages as high as $75,000 and proudly advertise that they are one of the highest surrogate compensating agencies.
Combining agency fees and surrogate compensation packages, the surrogacy agency you choose to work with can impact your overall cost by $20,000-$60,000, maybe more.
Choosing a Fertility Clinic
Your surrogacy journey may come after you have been through years of fertility challenges, and you may already be working with a fertility clinic that you love and plan to work with. Regardless of your path to family building through surrogacy, the fertility clinic you work with can impact your overall cost for the surrogacy process. There are several important considerations for choosing your fertility clinic, and cheaper should not be the only criterion for choosing your fertility clinic. However, it is worth comparing costs between clinics for your fertility treatments as there can be thousands of dollars of variance in what fertility clinics charge for their treatments and services.
This expense category is relatively set when choosing the surrogacy agency you work with. Each surrogacy agency has a base surrogate compensation with other payments/expenses added on for each individual surrogate. The additional payments/expenses will vary depending on variables such as being an experienced surrogate or a first-time surrogate, whether the surrogate carries one baby or more than one baby, where the surrogate lives, where the fertility clinic is located (travel expenses), and whether the surrogate’s insurance will cover her pregnancy as a surrogate or not. As a future parent, the only way to somewhat control your expense for surrogate compensation and expenses is through agency selection.
When working with a surrogacy agency, the surrogate compensation packages (including base compensation and other payments but not surrogate expenses) range between $40,000-$80,000.
Pathways To Parenthood Surrogacy Agency’s surrogate compensation packages range between $45,000-$65,000.
If you work with a surrogacy agency, you will know when matching with a surrogate whether her insurance will cover her pregnancy as a surrogate. If you work with an independent surrogate, that is an unknown variable until her insurance coverage for a surrogacy pregnancy has been verified. The verification process can be a bit tricky because sometimes surrogates and/or insurance company employees misinterpret sections in the insurance policy on reproduction, fertility treatments, and maternity benefits.
This misinterpretation can lead you to believe that your surrogate has insurance coverage through her private health insurance when she does not — or that your surrogate candidate does not have insurance coverage for her surrogacy pregnancy when she does! If you have been informed your surrogate has coverage when she does not, this can be a very costly mistake that is unquantifiable as pregnancy/delivery costs can be quite high if there are complications during the pregnancy or delivery. If coverage is denied after the baby is born, you will be stuck with self-pay for the outstanding medical bills.
The other scenario is that you believe your surrogate does not have coverage in her private insurance policy for her surrogacy pregnancy when the policy does cover it. If this happens, you will spend money on medical expenses and specialty insurance policies you do not need. Working with a surrogacy agency provides protection so that you will be well informed about the surrogate’s health insurance and maternity benefits for a surrogacy pregnancy.
If you want to reduce the overall cost of your surrogacy process, then you can opt out of matching with a surrogate who does not have coverage in her insurance policy for her surrogacy pregnancy. This will save you money; however, it can take longer to match with a surrogate.
Surrogate Insurance Expenses will range between $3,000 to $45,000. This estimate also includes the cost of a life insurance policy and loss of reproductive organ policy.
Additional Surrogate Expenses
Beyond base compensation and other compensation payments, you can expect to incur additional expenses throughout the surrogacy process. As already outlined, there are surrogate insurance expenses. There are also travel expenses, legal expenses, childcare, and lost wages. The “surrogate compensation” category covers a wide range of potential costs.
The minimum surrogate-related expense in this category will likely be $3,000-$5,000; the maximum is potentially as high as $50,000 plus.
Your surrogacy agency will be able to closely estimate what a specific surrogate’s expenses will be (above and beyond compensation) once you begin the matching process. You can always opt-out if a surrogate does not match your budget preferences/restrictions.
Some surrogacy costs are relatively fixed, such as legal expenses, life insurance, and loss of reproductive organ insurance, but some are unpredictable because of the unknown medical aspects of your specific surrogacy journey and are, therefore, difficult to quantify.
The medical costs to create embryos, have your surrogate candidate medically evaluated, and do one embryo transfer with all medications and appointments will range between $28,000-$40,000+. The cost of utilizing donated eggs/sperm/embryos is not included in this estimate.
As you can see, there is a range of potential costs for almost every expense category involved in your surrogacy process. The surrogacy agency you choose to work with is one factor that can significantly impact the overall cost of your surrogacy journey and one that you have complete control over!
Our Estimated Surrogacy Process cost is $87,000-$155,000 (This estimate does not include medical costs).
Working with Pathways To Parenthood Surrogacy Agency is an excellent option to help you realize your dream of becoming a parent through surrogacy and save money on your overall surrogacy process. With Pathways To Parenthood, in addition to saving money, you will get exceptional service, professional expertise and guidance, and outstanding surrogate candidates.
Additional Information for Future Parents