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Understanding the Costs of Surrogacy: Surrogacy Prices Explained

Having a child via surrogate is a very involved process, and the price reflects it. If you’re an intended parent considering using a surrogate, we’ll walk you through what kind of costs you can expect to encounter during your surrogacy.

How Much Does it Cost to Have a Child Via Surrogate?

Intended parents can generally anticipate that the cost of surrogacy will be significant, often exceeding $100,000 and potentially rising above $200,000.

However, the answer to exactly how much it costs to have a child through a surrogate is, it depends. Until you’ve decided exactly what you need on your own surrogacy journey, you won’t know just how everything will add up. Below, we’ll review some of the factors that may play into the final price tag.

Factors that Influence the Cost of Surrogacy

Different intended parents will have different needs and desires in their surrogacies, and these can impact the cost significantly.

Whether You Require Sperm or Egg Donors

Many intended parents will want or need to use donor sperm, donor eggs, or both. While donor sperm is relatively low-cost (ranging from about $200 to $3,000), egg donation may add an additional cost of up to $20,000 per IVF cycle.

If you have health insurance, your plan may cover some or all the costs of egg or sperm donation.

Whether You Already Have Eggs or Embryos Frozen

Egg and embryo freezing represent a hefty portion of surrogacy costs. Egg freezing for one cycle of IVF tends to range between about $5,000 and $10,000. There will also be additional fees such as those associated with egg storage and fertility medications required for egg retrieval.

Embryo freezing (where retrieved eggs are fertilized to create embryos that are then frozen) can set intended parents back another $10,000 or so for one IVF cycle.

If you’ve already gone through the egg and/or embryo freezing process, this may lower the price of your surrogacy by a fair amount.

Agency Fees 

While it is certainly possible to manage surrogacy on your own, there’s a good reason so many intended parents choose surrogacy agencies. These agencies provide a great deal of support—both logistical and emotional—throughout the surrogacy process. 

Some agencies will provide a full spectrum of services, from help finding egg or sperm donors to surrogacy screening and matching to legal assistance and even counseling.

Agency fees typically range from about $20,000 to $50,000, depending on the services provided.

Legal Fees with Surrogacy

Legal fees for surrogacy may run upwards of $10,000 or more. These fees may be folded into the overall surrogacy agency fees if the agency provides in-house legal services. However, not every agency includes the legal costs in their fee estimates. Be sure to ask any agency you intend to use if their fees cover the legal expenses.

Surrogacy is a legally complicated process, and the laws are not the same for every state. Intended parents will need to ensure they’re using an experienced surrogacy attorney who understands the varied and nuanced laws of an industry that is rapidly evolving. The legal process includes the creation of a surrogacy contract, the establishment of legal parental rights, and more. Typically, the intended parents cover the cost not only of their attorney but the surrogate’s attorney as well.

Surrogate Compensation

Your surrogate will have the extremely important job of bringing your child into the world. It only makes sense that surrogate costs will represent a large portion of the overall expenses.

Surrogate compensation ranges from about $35,000 to $60,000 and may include various costs such as:

  • Miscellaneous expenses incurred by the surrogate, such as maternity clothing, housekeeping, prenatal vitamins, etc.
  • Travel expenses for medical procedures/doctor visits.
  • Lost wages (for taking time off work to attend appointments).
  • Childcare during surrogacy appointments and related travel.
  • Insurance co-pays.
  • Postpartum care/expenses.

Understanding Additional Costs Associated with Surrogacy

As you go through surrogacy, prepare for some unexpected costs that will inevitably arise once you think you’ve accounted for everything.

Some of the expenses that intended parents don’t necessarily expect include things like escrow fees for payments made throughout the surrogacy or the costs of medical complications such as bedrest for the surrogate, a C-section, or twins/multiples.

Apart from the financial costs, there are also the emotional ones. Surrogacy can be exciting and emotionally challenging at once. You’ll be faced with heavy decisions such as who to choose as your surrogate, whether to genetically test embryos prior to implantation, or whether to try again if the surrogate loses the pregnancy. These questions, paired with all the emotions that arise during any pregnancy (anticipation, fear, joy, etc.) can make for many months of emotional turmoil. This is why many agencies employ counselors and psychologists to support everyone involved through the process.

How to Pay for Surrogacy

While your health insurance plan may cover a portion of your costs, insurance generally does not cover most surrogacy expenses. This means that a hefty portion of the costs will likely fall on you. Many people don’t have the kind of savings that will immediately cover a surrogacy; however, this doesn’t mean surrogacy is out of reach. We can meet with you to walk you through your options, such as financing or grants, and help you make a realistic plan to start your journey to parenthood.