Why Are Surrogacy Costs so High?

Why Are Surrogacy Costs so High?

Victoria Ferrara


There is no question that having a child through surrogacy is expensive. Financing options exist to make surrogacy an option for those with limited finances. It is helpful to take a look at some of the individual costs that contribute to the overall fees in order to best understand the expenses associated with surrogacy.


Taking time to research in-vitro fertilization and assisted reproductive technologies and what they involve and can achieve is extraordinary. While these services are becoming increasingly popular and accessible, their costs remain high. Consider all the processes involved: hormone injections to optimize ovulation, egg retrieval, fertilizing the egg, monitoring the fertilized egg to ensure it develops into an embryo, hormone injections for the gestational surrogate to sync her menstrual cycle, transferring the embryo, frequent visits to the clinic to monitor hormone levels, whether or not the transplant was successful, etc. One doctor may be directly assigned to a couple, but several technicians, nurses and/or specialists are needed to monitor the various methods. Additionally, egg and sperm donors are often used. Preserving the eggs and sperm is another involved procedure that clinics need to fund.

Working with an Agency

There are plenty of babies born via surrogacy without the help of an agency; working without an agency will reduce the overall costs. However, there are many benefits of working with an agency, such as their legal and professional experience in the surrogacy field, for example. Some additional benefits of working with a surrogacy agency may include: a surrogate screening process to select quality candidates, access to available gestational surrogates, experience and guidance writing a surrogacy contract to legally bind all parties and stipulate agreed to terms and costs, access to a social worker for all involved parties, access to a surrogate case manager for the gestational carrier, an attorney to write necessary legal documents and to represent the intended parents throughout the process (including drafting the contract, filing for the pre-birth order, or in the event that any problems arise).

Expenses for the Gestational Surrogate

The intended parents will cover the surrogate's legal, travel and medical fees once matched, in addition to her base compensation and various fees. Additional costs may include (but are not limited to): maternity clothing allowance; food allowance (if the intended parents have specific requests that the surrogate agrees to), lost wages, bed-rest fees, invasive procedure fees, etc.  

Each endeavor to grow a family through surrogacy is a unique experience. The needs and specific requests of the intended parents and gestational surrogate will determine the total costs. Some IPs may have available finances to begin the process while others may need to explore financing portions of the cost. It is best to discuss these costs with a lawyer and surrogacy agency to determine the best path to creating your family.

*Please note: This is a general synopsis. You should speak with your healthcare provider for more information and details about your individual process.  


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