Additional Surrogacy Costs

May 6, 2024 by Frank Golden

As a director of a surrogacy agency, I’ve seen firsthand how the concept of additional surrogacy costs can catch many Intended Parents off guard. Even amidst the joy and excitement of moving closer to their dreams of parenthood, there is often a lack of understanding of all the financial responsibilities involved in a gestational surrogacy journey. Specifically, three critical cost categories that will significantly impact your surrogacy journey expenses.

Navigating Surrogacy Costs

It’s a scenario I encounter frequently. Couples and individuals eagerly anticipating the journey ahead, filled with hope and possibilities, only to realize later on that some of these possibilities come with unforeseen financial hurdles and roadblocks.

For anyone considering expanding their family with the help of a Gestational Surrogate, understanding the various cost categories before diving into the process is absolutely crucial. It is about being fully prepared for the financial responsibilities that come with embarking on a surrogacy journey.

Overlooked Expenses

While expenses like agency fees, Surrogate compensation, and legal costs might be obvious, there’s often a blind spot when it comes to other essential expenses that can easily be overlooked.

In this Surrogacy Talk, my goal is to walk you through these often-unnoticed surrogacy cost categories. Coming from my experience as a former Intended Parent, having a clear understanding of these aspects will not only give you peace of mind but also empower you to make informed decisions every step of the way.

Additional surrogacy costs.

Recap of the Numbers You Already Know

Let’s start by breaking down the primary numbers you may already know to gain a full picture view of the costs involved in a surrogacy journey.

Agency Fee: around $30,000

The average agency fee across the country is around $30,000, covering a range of services provided by the agency, from matching Intended Parents with Surrogates to offering support throughout the process.

Surrogate Compensation: around $70,000

Surrogate base compensation typically ranges from $40,000 to $50,000. Adding in various milestone payments and custom benefits packages can bring this total closer to $70,000 on average. Keep in mind Surrogate compensation can be higher depending on factors such as: experience, the agency’s monetary advertisements, and/or the specific request from the Surrogate.

Legal Fees: around $10,000

Legal fees, essential for drafting contracts and establishing parentage rights, add another $10,000 to the mix.

Baseline total: around $110,000-$120,000

This brings us to a baseline total of approximately $110,000 to $120,000 for these fundamental categories.

If you are an Intended Parent who has already researched different surrogacy agencies, this range of numbers will be familiar to you. Most surrogacy agencies in the nation will present a number that falls into this range.

However, as your surrogacy journey progresses, you may encounter additional expenses that were not initially accounted for. This is where things can get a bit tricky, as these extra costs can vary significantly depending on your unique circumstances and needs.

With the $110,000 to $120,000 in mind, let’s take a look at the first additional surrogacy costs category you will run into on your journey to parenthood: clinical costs.

Additional Surrogacy Cost Category #1: Clinical Costs

One often overlooked aspect of surrogacy expense is clinical costs. These encompass all the medical procedures and treatments necessary for a successful conception, pregnancy, and delivery of your child. For those using frozen embryos, clinical fees may include IVF coordination, embryo transfer, Surrogate medical screenings, and medication expenses, totaling around $15,000. However, if you’re starting from scratch with donor eggs or creating embryos yourself, costs could escalate significantly, potentially reaching up to $75,000 depending on the clinic and treatment plan.

With this first additional surrogacy cost category now accounted for, the low end of your range is now $125,000. But clinical costs aren’t the only additional surrogacy cost category. Let’s take a look at the second category: Surrogate insurance.

How much does surrogacy cost?

Additional Surrogacy Cost Category #2: Surrogate Insurance

Additionally, Surrogate insurance is the second critical financial consideration for a successful surrogacy journey. If your Surrogate does not have her own usable insurance policy, you may need to obtain surrogacy-friendly insurance coverage. These policies, which can range from $15,000 to $45,000, are essential to ensure that your Surrogate and your baby are adequately covered throughout the process. The cost will depend on your specific match and her insurance disposition.

Going back to the original range provided to you by your surrogacy agency, the low end has now grown to $140,000.

To learn more about Surrogate compensation, check out this Surrogacy Talk where I do a deep dive into dishonest marketing practices used by some agencies.

Now let’s dive into the last category: Newborn Medical Insurance.

Become a Surrogate and help create families!

Additional Surrogacy Cost Category #3: Newborn Medical Insurance

Furthermore, once your baby arrives, you’ll need to consider newborn medical expenses, the third and final additional cost category. These costs encompass a wide range of medical services and support required for the health and well-being of your newborn. Hospital fees, delivery-related medical procedures, postnatal care, and insurance coverage can vary significantly, ranging from $7,000 to $15,000 or more depending on your insurance plan and specific circumstances.

Adding the minimum amount this category will cost to our growing baseline total of now approximately $140,000, our new total is $147,000; which let’s round to $150,000 for simplicity.

Close-up of an infant’s ear in black and white.

Total Surrogacy Costs

Adding up all of these additional expenses, even on the conservative end—$15,000 for clinical fees, $15,000 for Surrogate insurance, and $7,000 for newborn medical expenses—adds an extra $37,000 to the total. When combined with the baseline costs, this places the minimum total at an average of $150,000. However, it’s essential to account for potential incidents such as lost wages, monthly stipends, embryo transfer fees, and medication costs while making your budget. While ideally these circumstances never occur, you need to be prepared financially if the situation arises. Preparing for these unforeseen circumstances and incidents will likely increase the previously mentioned budget by around $20,000 to $30,000.

After considering all factors, the initial estimate for the cost of your surrogacy journey, ranging from approximately $110,000 to $120,000, has now grown to approximately $150,000-$180,000.

Partner With the Best

Embarking on the surrogacy journey is a big step toward growing your family, and understanding the financial side of things is crucial for a smooth ride. By carefully planning and getting a handle on the costs involved, you can approach this adventure feeling confident and ready.

And remember, you’re not in this alone. Your surrogacy agency is there to hold your hand and provide guidance whenever you need it. Additionally, don’t hesitate to reach out to trustworthy financial advisors and support networks for help with managing all the ins and outs of surrogacy costs.

Here at Golden, we’re passionate about making sure all Intended Parents, whether they’re working with us or not, have the knowledge they need about the often-overlooked expenses in surrogacy. Our goal is to empower couples and individuals to make informed decisions and set off on their surrogacy journey with clarity and peace of mind.

In the end, the joy of bringing a new life into the world and expanding your family through surrogacy is priceless. The memories you make along the way will be treasured forever. So, take a moment to breathe, trust in the process, and embrace all the incredible possibilities that lie ahead.

Partner with the best surrogacy agency!