surrogacy resources – growing your family with the help of another
Info for intended parents and Gestational Carriers
Financial Expectations for your journey
Presented by circle surrogacy & Egg Donation
Before answering the question of how much surrogacy will cost you, it’s important to outline what goes into making up surrogacy costs. Plus, understanding how agencies present their surrogacy costs – and what they include – will also help you make an informed decision.
Surrogacy costs can range anywhere from around $100,000 to $200,000 or more (not including IVF costs). If you are experiencing sticker shock, you are not alone! You may wonder why there is such a big range in costs, or why the costs are so high. Both of these topics are addressed below.
Surrogacy is a financial undertaking because it is a complex process, involving many individuals, including lawyers, financial experts, doctors and surrogacy professionals.
Although surrogacy costs can seem high, it is not a process reserved for just celebrities. Many intended parents who are just like you embark on surrogacy journeys every day. We’ll also share information below on how to help you afford surrogacy, including grants and financing options.
What is included in surrogacy costs?
With a surrogacy agency, what is included in your surrogacy costs can vary. This is why it’s important to read agency surrogacy cost sheets carefully, take note of specific inclusions (or exclusions) and to ask questions. Not all agencies list their costs the same way, which can make it difficult to compare different agency costs.
First, understanding the different types of surrogacy costs will provide a better understanding of the process and what’s involved.
Surrogacy costs can be broken down into the following categories:
- Professional Fees. These are your agency fees. What is covered in an agency fee varies by agency.
- Carrier (and Donor) Expenses. This includes your carrier/donor base fees, and can include additional surrogate or egg donor costs (varies by agency).
- Medical & Insurance Expenses. These costs include health insurance for your surrogate (and donor, if needed), as well as a Life Insurance policy.
- IVF Expenses. IVF expenses vary, and are paid to your clinic, not your surrogacy agency. Some intended parents may have health insurance that covers their IVF costs.
Within these four categories, your surrogacy expenses can still vary (and be different between agencies).
In an effort to help control costs for Intended Parents – and eliminate surprise costs during a surrogacy journey – Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation offers fixed costs for all Professional Fees, Gestational Carrier and Egg Donor Expenses, and Medical & Insurance Expenses. This means that intended parents who work with Circle, will understand upfront exactly what their costs will be in these three categories of expenses.
IVF expenses are paid to your clinic, and will vary depending on services needed. Intended parents travel costs (to the clinic and the birth, and any other travel) is scheduled and covered by intended parents.
What is a surrogacy agency fee and what does it cover?
The “agency fee” covers many aspects of your surrogacy journey; however, what exactly is covered will vary by agency. Asking an agency for a line list of what their agency fee covers will help intended parents make an educated decision on the programs and costs that work best for them.
At Circle Surrogacy, the agency fee covers:
- Management of the entire surrogacy journey, from start to finish
- Screening & Matching with your Carrier and Egg Donor
- Journey Support
- Trust Account management
- Legal work
Some agency fees will be lower than others. That is not always an indicator of the experience of the agency, it could be reflective of what is considered covered under that fee.
How much does surrogacy actually cost?
As you research surrogacy and surrogacy agencies, you can ask specific cost-related questions, and ask to see their cost sheets. Agencies should be transparent about their costs, and what is – and isn’t – included.
Some agencies offer comprehensive “all inclusive” programs, which is a great way for intended parents to fully understand the costs they are committing to at the beginning of their journeys. It’s still a good idea to ask what is included in the “all inclusive” programs, just to make sure there are no expenses missing.
As an example, Circle Surrogacy offers one all-inclusive program: The Journey Protection Guarantee Program. This program includes ALL costs related to the surrogacy journey, with the exception of IVF and any costs for the intended parents’ travel.
The 2021 program cost is as follows:
Surrogacy only: $137,250
Surrogacy plus egg donation: $158,250
(both prices exclude IVF)
The Journey Protection Guarantee offers Intended Parents unlimited transfers for a fixed price, plus the Circle Promise: we’ll refund 100% of our agency fee plus unused third party funds if you do not bring home a baby.
How to compare surrogacy agency costs
Getting an “apples to apples” comparison of agency costs may require a bit of leg work for intended parents. Some intended parents find it helpful to create a document in which they can list surrogacy items, and input the costs for each agency in a different column, so they can review them side by side.
Even then, intended parents may see that some agencies include costs that others don’t mention. This can mean that those expenses may not be covered in the surrogacy costs, and will be additional fees paid by intended parents during the process.
The best way for intended parents to understand everything that is covered in an agency’s surrogacy costs is to just ask. Here are specific questions to ask an agency regarding their costs:
- For the agency and professional fees, is legal included? Is it estimated? Or is it an additional cost on top of the agency fee?
- For accounting services, are they included in the agency fee? Some agencies may work with outside escrow agencies that have annual fees (which can be around $2,000/year)
- For surrogate fees and expenses, is local monitoring included? Is the surrogate’s travel for local monitoring included?
- Are c-sections included? For birth-related expenses, vaginal births are usually assumed for costs. However, c-sections are more expensive, and require post-birth recovery in addition to the fee the surrogate receives. Oftentimes, bedrest is not anticipated or included.
- Is insurance included? For surrogate insurance, be sure to inquire about the cost difference in matching with a surrogate with her own surrogacy-friendly insurance, vs a surrogate without her own insurance. If your surrogate will be using her own surrogacy-friendly insurance, Intended Parents will be responsible for copayments and deductibles; however, depending on when you begin your journey or how long it lasts, that could span 2 calendar years. Those costs could add up. Plus, surrogates who use their own insurance tend to be compensated more than surrogate who don’t have their own insurance. In many cases, even if a surrogate has surrogate-friendly insurance, it will be recommended to intended parents to purchase a back up plan, just in case there is an insurance change for her during the journey.
Circle Surrogacy’s Journey Protection Guarantee Program includes all of the expenses listed above. The price you see is the price you pay: no surprises, no hidden fees.
Making Surrogacy More Affordable
Reducing journey costs. One way intended parents can make surrogacy more affordable is in the decisions they make about their journey. Working with a clinic that is close to where they live will help reduce travel costs. Working with a first-time surrogate vs an experienced surrogate (who is usually compensated more) can help lower costs as well.
Grants. connecting rainbows offers a whole list of Grants and Loans that you can find HERE.
Financing. There are a few options for intended parents looking to finance part of their surrogacy journey.
The first is through Origin Finance. Origin Finance offers loans of up to $100,000 for IVF, egg freezing, embryo preservations, gestational surrogacy, egg donations and more. Based on conversations with over 70,000 intended parents over the past 25 years, Origin offers fertility loans for all types of families, created by fertility experts.
A second option is through Prosper Healthcare Lending. Prosper Healthcare Lending offers low-interest, unsecured loans up to $100,000 for couples and individuals who qualify; loans can be used for all assisted reproduction needs, including surrogacy, IVF and medications.
Other options to help make surrogacy more affordable include home equity loans, borrowing from your 401k (there may be penalties, please check with your financial provider) and loans from family and friends.
About Circle Surrogacy
Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation was founded on the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to be a parent. To this day, that belief is at the core of everything we do. For 25 years, we’ve helped straight and LGBTQ+ couples and singles fulfill their dreams of parenthood by helping bring more than 2,400 babies into this world…and counting! We are the most successful surrogacy agency with a 99.3% success rate for parents bringing home a baby. Circle Surrogacy is the only agency that offers two truly fixed price options designed to help as many Intended Parents as possible while reducing variable costs. Circle is an agency comprised of social workers and lawyers, accountants and intake associates, and program managers and coordinators; but, more importantly, we’re an agency made up of parents, surrogates and egg donors, who are passionate about helping people build their families. Together, we make parenthood possible.®
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