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Surrogacy 101 - What is the Cost of Surrogacy?

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a blog by Grey Fox, September 10, 2013

This is the next lecture in this Surrogacy 101 series. To read the first one click here: Surrogacy 101 - What is surrogacy?

Most people get sticker shock when they read that surrogacy can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 or more (although it can be done for less). Below is a breakdown of costs associated with surrogacy and when you look at it line by line you can see where you can perhaps save money and also where you may not have any control over the cost. (Note: costs are estimates for the U.S. and may differ from state to state as do laws regulating surrogacy)

Cost Range:

  • $20,000-35,000
    Compensated Surrogate Base Fee
    First time surrogates generally receive less than "proven surrogates"

Compensated Surrogate Extra Fees:

  • $500-2,500
    Invasive Procedure (such as amniocentesis or C section)

  • $5,000
    Twin pregnancy

  • $4,000
    Loss of reproductive capabilities as result of pregnancy

  • $3,000
    Surrogate Expenses
    Maternity clothing, co-pays, transportation to appointments, etc.

  • $10,000-20,000
    Agency Fees

  • $5,000
    Legal Fees

  • $300-1,500
    Psychological counseling/testing
    Costs rise if there is any donor sperm/egg as more counseling is required for those situations

  • $3,000-20,000
    Cost of FET/IVF
    Costs vary depending upon insurance coverage, drugs needed, ICSI, fresh IVF vs FET, etc.

  • $600
    Life insurance for surrogate

  • $6,000
    Health insurance for surrogate
    If she does not have her own or if it does not cover surrogate pregnancy

This list of fees is by no means exhaustive. There are hundreds of permutations of surrogacy costs which is why the range is so broad. It is impossible to predict exactly how much the medications will cost or whether the surrogate will need a C-section or if twins will be conceived. And not everyone will need an amniocentesis or IVF with ICSI. So the costs are highly variable to your specific situation.

But there a few places where significant cuts can be made:

  1. Don’t use an agency. This may be a controversial choice. It may also not be a viable choice for you and your specific situation. Agencies vet and match surrogates with intended parents (IPs). They also assist with the paperwork and handle exchanges of money so you don’t have to. If you find your own surrogate and are willing to do the paperwork on your own then you can save a lot of money. This is easier said than done. And, for the love of Kermit, if you don’t use an agency, please make sure you still dot all the Is and cross all the Ts so you don’t end up in a legal quagmire.

  2. Make sure your surrogate has health insurance that covers not just pregnancy but surrogate pregnancy. Some insurance companies are now specifically denying coverage for surrogate pregnancies even if they cover a regular pregnancy.

These two steps alone can reduce your surrogacy costs by as much as $26,000. If you are lucky enough to have found a woman who is willing to do a compassionate surrogacy then your costs are further reduced by an additional $20,000-35,000.

It’s really at this point that surrogacy becomes a viable option for those of us who are NOT Jimmy Fallon or Neil Patrick Harris or Nicole Kidman.

Stay tuned for the next post in Surrogacy 101 - How to choose a surrogate.

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