Embarking on the journey of surrogacy is a deeply personal and transformative experience, but it also comes with a significant financial commitment. Understanding the multifaceted costs involved and exploring the various avenues for funding can be overwhelming.
As we will discuss throughout the article, getting gestational surrogacy fully paid for is quite challenging due to the substantial costs involved, but there are avenues that can help mitigate the financial burden.
In this blog post, we’ll break down the financial aspects of gestational surrogacy, offering practical advice and insightful tips on how to manage and allocate funds effectively. From leveraging insurance benefits and exploring employer-sponsored programs to considering loans, grants, and innovative fundraising methods, we’re here to guide you through the options available to make your dream of parenthood a reality.
How much does surrogacy cost?
In the United States, the cost of gestational surrogacy for intended parents can vary widely based on numerous factors, but on average, they can expect to spend anywhere from $90,000 to $130,000. It’s crucial to note that this range is quite broad and can fluctuate based on specific circumstances, the state or local requirements for becoming a surrogate, and the various fees for the surrogacy clinic or agency.
The total cost includes several components:
- Fertility treatments. Before you even find and hire the right surrogate, a viable embryo must be created via fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF) and hormone therapy.
- Surrogate compensation. This includes the base salary for the surrogate mother (aka gestational carrier)..
- Surrogate benefits package. Also known as reimbursements, the surrogate has to be repaid for various expenses including travel, medical care, maternity clothes, health supplies, or lost wages. In some states, the surrogate is entitled to more reimbursements.
- Additional payments to the surrogate. Surrogates can be paid more if the pregnancy or delivery has complications or they become pregnant with twins.
- Embryo transfer. This is the medical procedure in which the fertilized egg (embryo) is transferred to the surrogate.
- Medical costs. This includes all medical appointments before, during, and after the pregnancy.
- Screening costs. This includes psychological screenings, criminal background checks, and medical screenings.
- Legal fees. This includes drafting the surrogacy contract, legal review, trust account management, and parentage orders (known as pre-birth orders in certain states).
- Counseling or support. In some cases, counseling can help during the surrogacy process.
Can you get surrogacy paid for?
No, there is no single way to get gestational surrogacy fully paid for. Therefore, intended parents will likely have to use a combination of strategies and options to account for the cumulative cost of the surrogacy journey.
Here are some of the common methods that intended parents will use:
- Savings. Many intended parents save money over time to afford the various costs of gestational surrogacy. Of course, this means that they will have known about their plans for a number of years and that they have above average incomes.
- Financing and Loans. Some financial institutions offer loans specifically for fertility treatments, including gestational surrogacy, that are sometimes known as third-party fertility financing. The lending organizations include New Life Fertility Finance, CapexMD, and Prosper Healthcare Lending and these loans can cover medical procedures, agency fees, legal fees, and other related costs.
- Grants and Scholarships. Certain organizations offer grants or scholarships, but these are usually need-based or merit-based and may cover a portion of the overall costs.
- Fundraising and Crowdfunding. Some intended parents turn to fundraising and crowdfunding platforms to raise money.
- Employer-Sponsored Benefits Plans. A growing number of employers are offering fertility benefits that include surrogacy-related expenses, either as part of a healthcare plan or a separate standalone benefit.
- Home Equity Loans. Some intended parents choose to take out a home equity loan to finance their surrogacy journey, using their home as collateral.
- Retirement Funds. Although it can have long-term consequences for retirement savings, some people choose to borrow from their retirement funds, like a 401(k) plan, to cover surrogacy costs.
It’s important to thoroughly research and consider the implications of each option. Professional advice and consultation with a financial advisor, surrogacy agency, or legal professional can provide valuable guidance tailored to an individual’s specific circumstances.
Can you use health insurance to pay for surrogacy?
Using health insurance to pay for gestational surrogacy can be complex and highly dependent on individual policies and regulations. Generally, health insurance plans traditionally do not cover the full scope of gestational surrogacy expenses, which include surrogate mother compensation, agency fees, legal costs, and various other expenses associated with the process. However, certain medical procedures involved in the surrogacy journey, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), may be partially covered by some insurance plans.
In the context of gestational surrogacy, the health insurance of the surrogate may cover her pregnancy-related medical expenses, but this is not always the case. Surrogates often need either a special type of policy known as surrogacy pregnancy insurance or a surrogacy-specific addendum to their existing policy.
It’s crucial to thoroughly review the insurance policy of the surrogate to understand what is covered and what is not. Some insurance policies have exclusions for surrogacy pregnancies, potentially leaving the intended parents responsible for all medical costs. Legal consultation is highly recommended to navigate these complexities
However, these are precisely the kinds of issues and potential complications that your surrogacy agency will handle. As experts in every aspect of the process and every step of the surrogacy journey, they will be able to quickly identify and address these insurance-related issues.
Six money-saving tips to pay for surrogacy
Saving money for gestational surrogacy requires careful planning and financial discipline. Here are some tips that can help intended parents manage and save money for this significant expense:
- Create a Dedicated Savings Plan: Establish a specific savings account for surrogacy-related expenses, automate your savings by setting up a direct deposit from your paycheck or a regular transfer from your checking account, and treat this savings as a non-negotiable expense, just like rent or mortgage payments.
- Review and Adjust Your Budget: Take a close look at your current spending and identify areas where you can cut back. This might mean reducing discretionary spending on things like dining out, entertainment, and vacations. Redirect these funds into your surrogacy savings account.
- Explore Employer Benefits: Some employers offer fertility benefits or special medical coverage that can help offset some of the costs associated with surrogacy. Speak with your HR department to understand what benefits are available and how you can make the most of them.
- Consider a Side Hustle or Part-Time Job: Earning extra income can significantly boost your savings. Look for opportunities that match your skills and schedule, such as freelancing, consulting, or part-time work.
- Reduce High-Interest Debt: High-interest debts, like credit card balances, can hinder your ability to save. Work towards paying down these debts, which will reduce your monthly interest payments and free up more money for your surrogacy savings.
- Seek Financial Advice: Consult with a financial advisor to create a strategic plan for saving for surrogacy. They can offer personalized advice on investment strategies, tax planning, and budgeting to help you reach your financial goal more efficiently.
By implementing these strategies, intended parents can better position themselves financially for the journey of gestational surrogacy.
Should I save money by not using an agency?
Using an agency if definitely the best approach. Choosing surrogacy with a friend to save money and bypassing the involvement of a professional surrogacy agency might seem like a cost-effective solution at first glance. However, this approach can entail significant risks and complexities that may not be immediately apparent.
Surrogacy agencies play a crucial role in managing the intricate legal, emotional, and medical aspects of the surrogacy process. They ensure that all parties’ rights and interests are protected through legally binding agreements, provide access to necessary medical professionals and resources, and offer counseling and support services throughout the journey. Bypassing these professional services can lead to legal ambiguities, misunderstandings, or even – in a worst case scenario – disputes over custody of the child. This will likely result in substantial legal costs and emotional distress.
In the end, the perceived savings may be overshadowed by the cost of unresolved conflicts and the absence of a structured, professionally supported surrogacy journey.
Will the surrogacy journey be less expensive in certain states?
Since surrogacy laws vary in the 50 states, some are considered to be more “surrogacy-friendly” than others. Because of this, these surrogacy-friendly states will generally have a more robust local market and demand for surrogacy.
Of course, this means that gestational carriers in these states will generally command higher pay. For instance, a surrogate mother in California will almost certainly make more than one in, say, Alabama.
Why choose Surrogacy by Faith?
Here at Surrogacy By Faith, we have extensive experience with every aspect of the surrogacy process. We work with intended parents and their potential surrogate mothers to find the best possible plan and to identify the most cost-effective methods without sacrificing safety or compromising the surrogate’s success rates.
We also set up a call with our broker and intended parents to review the options and make sure we always offer what works best for them.If you’re hoping to become a parent, please complete our initial Inquiry Form. If you’re looking to become a surrogate for a family member, please make sure you fill out our surrogate inquiry form