For many people, three is a crowd. However, for those seeking to have a baby, there is no doubt that three is a magic number. Many couples who wish to conceive and have run out of options turn to surrogacy in order to expand their family.
Even though surrogacy is the most viable option in most cases, it is not a simple process. It comes with a wide array of legal implications and could cost you a fortune, depending on the country where you choose to have your baby.
Even though surrogacy comes with some financial complexities, in some countries it is not as expensive as you think.
To get a glimpse of how much you are likely to spend until you finally hold a child of your own, sit back and read on!
What is the total surrogacy costs?
Factually, there is no standard cost of surrogacy across the board. This is because the cost of surrogacy varies from one country to another and is dependent on a host of factors. In the United States, for example, expect to pay around $95,000-$150,000.
In Eastern European and South American countries, the process might cost as much as $50,000. In western countries where surrogacy is legal, such as in Greece, expect to spend about $60,000- $80,000 on average.
Who benefits from surrogacy payments?
In almost all countries where commercial surrogacy is allowed, the surrogate mother takes a huge chunk of the total surrogacy budget. The rest of the money is used for medical procedures, and distributed among a host of professionals involved in the process.
The payment process differs from country to country. In some countries, you will make monthly payments as the process is being carried out. In others, such as the United States, you are expected to make a one-time payment in an escrow account.
The fact that you shouldn't be charged for a consultation doesn't mean that an agency will not charge you for other services. Typically, it costs $5,000-$15,000 to cover all services rendered from the time you sign an agreement with the agency to the day you come home with a baby.
The range of services you should pay for include:
Continuing education as an intended parent and what is required of you throughout the process
Finding an appropriate surrogate mother and arranging for her legal, psychological, and medical clearance
Connecting you to a service provider who will help make the process successful such as lawyers, doctors, and a good clinic
Developing workable solutions in case of a problem
Managing the surrogate mother’s prenatal care, fertility treatments, and monitoring her during pregnancy
In some countries, the fees paid to the agency include a high degree of supervision of the surrogate mother during pregnancy. She will be consistently visited by a social worker who will keep track of her health and inform the intended parents about the progress of their baby.
Does agency costs include consultation fees?
Depending on the agency you choose to work with, you might incur some costs as consultation fees. However, as long as you work with a professional, reputable, and seasoned agency, expect to pay nothing for consultatio
In fact, if an agency tries to charge you before understanding your situation, you should consider it a charade and proceed with your search.
A professional agency must first offer expert advice on whether surrogacy is the best option based on your situation. Also, it should help you assess the risks of the various assisted reproduction methods. You should get all these services without paying a dime.
Once you settle on surrogacy, a good agency should then do everything to ensure the process is successful while keeping the costs to a bare minimum.
Depending on what you deem suitable, you may hire your own lawyer or allow your agency to choose one for you. This is who will help you draft a surrogacy contract.
Based on the services rendered, expect to pay $8,000-$10,000 in legal fees.
Depending on the surrogacy destination you choose, you can either pay this amount up front or in stages, depending on what you agree on with the attorney.
The Cost of Surrogate Matching
As a matter of fact, your agency will not find just any woman to be a surrogate mother. A host of criteria must be met before you and your partner get a perfect match. They include:
General medical check-up that includes STD screening and blood tests
Legal background check
If professional surrogate brokers are involved in the process, expect to pay around $10,000-$15,000.
As mentioned earlier, the surrogate takes a large chunk of the surrogacy budget. Therefore, you will most certainly pay your surrogate mother $50,000-$65,000. However, in Ukraine, the amount will be no more than $20,000.
In most programs, you will pay the surrogate monthly throughout the pregnancy period. In others such as the United States, you will make a one-time payment into an escrow account.
This cost covers several expenses including;
Supplemental payments for maternity clothes, invasive procedures, and lost wages
C-section if necessary
Bed rest compensation
Surrogate’s base salary
Childcare for overnight visits to the clinic
Medical insurance premiums and deductibles
Embryo transfer fee
A monthly allowance for the surrogate
The amount of money a surrogate is paid could increase depending on several factors, including her experience with surrogacy, the course of her pregnancy, and the type of insurance cover she holds (in the USA).
The cost of clinical procedures
Since surrogacy involves several medical procedures, these expenses make a significant portion of the total surrogacy costs.
For clinical procedures, expect to spend about $20,000-$25,000. This amount will cover a host of costs, including fertility medications, egg donation, IVF cycle, and one or more embryo transfers. This amount is paid upon the scheduling of the IVF cycle.
However, you need to remember that medical costs may vary depending on the insurance situation of the surrogate and whether special medications are needed throughout the pregnancy.
To get a glimpse of the amount of money you will pay for clinical procedures, consider asking your agency the following questions:
What is covered during the period of pregnancy, and does the package cover the baby’s medical care?
How can you help intended parents limit medical expenses?
What are the common medical procedures that intended parents could encounter in the surrogacy process, and how much do they cost?
In most cases, delivery costs and any complications that may arise are covered by the surrogate’s medical insurance policy (if she has one). Nonetheless, if insurance companies refuse to cover these charges, then the burden is placed on the intended parents.
You should include about $5,000 in your budget as a contingency fund to cover delivery costs rejected by the insurance company.
Bureaucracy and return home costs
If the process has been performed in your country, then you will not incur much return home and bureaucracy costs.
However, if your child has been born in a foreign nation, you need to include around $2,000-$5,000 in your surrogacy budget for bureaucracy and return home costs.
You should consider working with a reputable agency since it will do much of the paperwork and make this final but vital process smoother and cheaper.
As long as you find a professional agent from the beggining, you can rest assured that the process will be smooth, and you might save costs as well.
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