Surrogacy Cost Breakdown – Agency & Gestational Carrier Fees

By (project manager) and (babygest staff).
Last Update: 10/11/2019

For many families, gestational surrogacy represents a significant cost. The different services, parties, and factors involved, along with the wide range of programs offered by different agencies, can be overwhelming for many hopeful intended parents. And what's more, the costs can vary depending on the US state where it is carried out.

The total cost of a surrogacy arrangement ranges between $90,000 and $130,000. It typically includes agency fees, surrogate compensation, expenses and fees, the costs of the medical procedure with a fertility clinic, and the legal fees. However, when preparing their budget plan, parents-to-be should include an extra amount for incidentals and additional expenses.

Provided below is an index with the 9 points we are going to expand on in this article.

Variations from state to state

The cost of surrogacy varies from case to case mainly because each intended parents needs different services and/or additional medical procedures that can increase or decrease the overall cost of their surrogacy journey.

Particularly in the United States, in addition to the fluctuations in the price depending on the case, another factor should be kept in mind: the US state chosen. Thus, for example, Californian surrogates are in high demand, and for this reason the cost can be slightly higher. More or less the same applies to surrogates from Nevada, Illinois, Colorado, and Maryland.

In spite of this, other popular states, including Illinois or Texas, apply similar fees for surrogacy arrangements. Of course, it varies on a case-by-case basis again. Some agencies offer individualized surrogacy packages with fixed fees.

As a consequence, the agency, legal, and fertility clinic can be higher as well. On average, working with a gestational surrogate from California can add up to $5,000 more to the surrogate compensation. In all other states, the average compensation given to surrogates is $35,000.

Recommended for you: Surrogate Mother Pay - How Much Does a Surrogate Get Paid?

Costs involved in a surrogacy arrangement

The total cost of a surrogacy arrangement includes agency fees, fertility clinic fees, legal costs, surrogate compensation and expenses incurred during pregnancy, among others. Additionally, and depending on the case, there are some factors that may affect the overall expenses paid by intended parents, like incidentals and other unforeseen events that will be mentioned hereunder.

Surrogate fees

The gestational carrier compensation varies depending on whether it is her first time as a GC or she is an experienced surrogate. Also, the total sum will be considerably higher in cases of multiple pregnancies.

On average, the base fee for first time surrogates in the United States is $35,000. It is typically paid in monthly installments of around $2,500-3,000 per month, starting on the first month after fetal heartbeat.

Gestational carriers from California, Nevada, Illinois, Colorado, and Maryland are in high demand. For this reason, the average compensation paid to them is often higher: $40,000 or over, paid in monthly installments of $4,000-$4,500/month.

It should be taken into consideration that choosing a surrogate for a second pregnancy means that she is considered to be an experienced surrogate and, as such, an additional fee of about $5,000 should be added to the base fee. If you chose her again for a 3rd pregnancy, this fee would increase to $7,000 or more depending on the US state.

Finally, as mentioned earlier, there exists a multiples fee. If the gestational carrier becomes pregnant with twins, an extra amount of $5,000 should be added. This rate rises to $10,000 for triplet pregnancies.

Medical procedures

The cost of IVF surrogacy is generally more expensive than traditional IVF: While gestational surrogacy IVF can cost up to $20,000, traditional procedures average around $12,500. Only the IVF embryo transfer fee adds up to $1,000 to this sum.

It is common to perform a mock cycle during the testing phase, which adds $300 to the overall medical costs. Should the cycle be cancelled, an extra amount of $300 would be added as well.

Additional techniques during pregnancy, especially invasive procedures such as amniocentesis, cerclage, Dilation & Curettage (D&C), fetal reduction or Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS), can add up to $500 to the overall medical fees.

The following are also considered medical costs, although they are not expected to be necessary unless an incidental or unexpected event occurred:

  • Termination of pregnancy: Avg. $1,500.
  • Ectopic pregnancy: Avg. $1,000
  • C-section: Avg. $2,500
  • Loss of uterus (hysterectomy): Avg. $5,000
  • Loss of Fallopian tube(s): Avg. $1,000
  • Selective reduction: Avg. $1,000

Additionally, intended parents should expect an extra amount of $2,500-$5,000 for medical expenses outside of the IVF clinic.

Screening costs

First of all, it should be clear that these costs derived from the screening procedures performed on the intended parents, surrogate, and her spouse (if any). In short, the screening costs include:

  • Psychological screening: Avg. $1,000
  • Criminal background investigation: Avg. $500
  • Medical screening of surrogate and spouse: Varies on a case-by-case basis

Some of the medical tests included in the medical screening of the surrogate and her spouse are a blood screening panel to test for the surrogate's suitability for pregnancy and the existence of STDs on her or her husband/partner. Also, she will have her uterus examined by a RE. Although it varies from clinic to clinic, you should expect to pay about $1,000-$4,000 for this part of the screening process.

Some agencies reimburse up to $3,000 from the total screening fees. In any case, our advice is that you ask your agency for detailed information on the options they offer.

The legal fees are those derived from the drafting of the gestational surrogacy contract for the intended parents above all, but they are not the unique fees related to the legal part of the process.

In fact, the cost of obtaining a draft of the gestational surrogacy contract for the IPs usually range between $2,000 and $2,800, while the establishment of parentage is the most expensive part of the legal process, averaging up to $7,000.

Also, once drafted, it will be necessary to review the gestational surrogacy agreement on behalf of the surrogate, a step that can add $1,000 to the above listed fees.

It is normal for each party to have a separate attorney, that is, intended parents and surrogate will work with a different attorney, which can add up to $2,400 to the overall legal fees.

Finally, intended parents should find an experienced company that they can fully trust to manage the financial aspects derived from the legal part or their surrogacy and/or egg donor relationship. To that end, they are strongly recommended to hire the services of a trusted or escrow account manager, which can cost up to $1,000.

Surrogacy insurance coverage

Many intended parents wonder whether insurance coverage companies cover surrogacy arrangements. The truth is, some do and others don't, but even those which do will cover only part of it. In short, the cost of insurance coverage ranges from $10,700 to $15,800.

Traditionally, insurers have covered the cost of natural pregnancies. If your insurance policy has a special clause that excludes it, then it is not covered at all. But if it is not stated specifically, then the insurer must cover surrogacy as it was a traditional pregnancy.

When undergoing surrogacy, intended parents and surrogates are strongly recommended to hire the services of surrogacy professionals, among other reasons, because they will look over each party's policies to determine which costs are covered, and which will be paid as out-of-pocket expenses.

Each insurance is different, and even the same insurer may provide different coverage on a case-by-case basis. For this reason, both IPs and the gestational carrier should obtain legal advice from an versed attorney. It is important also if your insurer decides to change its coverage mid-way through the process.

To understand the costs derived from a surrogacy arrangement in terms of health insurance plans, we should split the process into two parts: On the one hand, the medical costs of the infertility treatment; on the other, the costs of the surrogate pregnancy.

Infertility treatment

To date, 15 states have enacted laws that require insurance coverage companies to provide coverage for infertility treatments, including Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, and Texas.

It should be noted that, among those insurance companies that will cover fertility treatment, they will do it only to a certain amount, and they won't cover the surrogate's medical expenses, but only the costs incurred during the IVF process.

In US states where infertility coverage is not mandatory, receiving some type of insurance coverage for IVF and other procedures related to the treatment will vary from insurer to insurer. For instance, the majority of health insurance plans cover infertility testing.

Surrogate pregnancy

Traditionally, insurance companies have covered traditional pregnancies. However, with the growing trend of surrogacy, some have started writing policies that only cover natural pregnancy or pregnancies that occur between family members, that is, without involving a third party.

If your insurer does not cover surrogacy, either partially or totally, you may need to purchase supplemental coverage and/or pay them as out-of-pockets costs derived from the surrogate pregnancy.

Supplemental surrogacy insurance policies can be costly. While the cost of premiums can start at $10,000, deductibles can be as high as $15,000 or more for singleton pregnancies. Additionally, you may need to purchase an individual plan that covers the surrogate's maternity care, too. These plans include preventive health screenings.

Other expenses paid by intended parents

Intended parents should expect additional costs derived from the surrogate pregnancy process. These expenses will be paid out of pocket, and are required in any surrogacy process that takes place in the country:

  • Maternity clothing allowance: Avg. $750
  • Additional maternity clothing allowance for multiples: Avg. $250
  • Monthly miscellaneous allowance (e.g. meals, telephone charges, childcare for doctor/lab appointments, non-prescription vitamins/supplements, attending support groups...): Avg. $2,400 paid in installments of $200/month for 12 months approx.
  • Hotel and travel arrangements for surrogate and companion, if any, during embryo transfer and physician mandated bed rest: Avg. $100 per diem.
  • Pregnancy pamper package (from week 16 until week 8 post partum): Avg. $750
  • Medications for surrogate during IVF process and pregnancy: Costs vary on a case-by-case basis.
  • Surrogate’s compensation for lost wages (if physician orders bed rest and she's employed at that time): Costs vary on a case-by-case basis.
  • Monitoring for surrogate if she lives outside the area of your IVF physician: Costs vary on a case-by-case basis.

Attending support groups is considered to be expenses from psychological support and can be costly: about $2,500 on average. Support may be required pre & post embryo transfer, post pregnancy test, and post partum.

Getting cost estimates

When one tries to understand all the expenses and fees involved in surrogacy arrangements as we have just done here, it is normal to end up feeling a little bit overwhelmed. There are many aspects and fees to consider, plus extra fees and expenses that may arise at any point of the process.

For this reason, We are Surrogacy strongly recommends that you get in touch with different surrogacy professionals, including agencies, clinics and attorneys, before signing any contract or start looking for a surrogate.

Surrogacy is the most challenging of all fertility treatments. For this reason, it's crucial that you rely on well-versed professionals. Therefore, we recommend you to visit this article to read some tips before getting into this process.

FAQs from users

How much does surrogacy cost using a family member?

By Natalia Álvarez (project manager).

It varies on a case by case basis, but it is true that the total costs of surrogacy will be reduced, as intended parents do not have to pay for an agency's matching services. Additionally, they won't have to pay for the surrogate compensation, as normally family members do it altruistically.

How much does gestational surrogacy cost?

By Natalia Álvarez (project manager).

The surrogacy cost breakdown that has been explained above is the cost of gestational surrogacy. Traditional surrogacy arrangements are currently falling into disuse due to the number of disadvantages associated. So, the overall cost of GS is $35,000-$40,000.

What is the cheapest US state for surrogacy?

By Natalia Álvarez (project manager).

The truth is, we actually cannot mention one state, as the cost of surrogacy varies on a case-by-case basis. Different circumstances can affect the overall expenses incurred during a surrogacy process. Anyways, California is definitely not the cheapest state, as it is the most popular one and surrogates there are in high demand, which means that the average monetary sum they are compensated is above the average in all other states.

If you are considering surrogacy in a different state, our advice is that you ask for estimates in different agencies and get as much information as possible until you find an option that fits your budget plan.

How much does gay surrogacy cost?

By Natalia Álvarez (project manager).

Keeping in mind that gay male couples do need to use donor eggs for the embryo creation process, the average cost is substantially higher: about $120,000. This sum can be split into the following fees:

  • Egg donation: $10,000-$15,000
  • Agency fees: $25,000-$30,000
  • Gestational carrier costs: $40,000-$80,000
  • IVF procedure: $15,000-$25,000
  • Legal fees: $5,000-$10,000

How much does surrogacy cost if you have a surrogate?

By Natalia Álvarez (project manager).

The costs of surrogacy will decrease, as you do not have to pay for the surrogacy agency's matching services. It would work as if you use a family member as your surrogate.

Are the costs of surrogacy tax deductible?

By Natalia Álvarez (project manager).

The use of surrogates to have a baby is a controversial issue that has been contested by the IRS for years. In principle, tax analysis believe that all of the surrogate's medical expenses, insurance expenses, agency fees, legal expenses, any fee to the surrogate, etc. would all be tax deductible medical expenses. However, it may vary from case to case and, which means that surrogacy expenses are not deducted in all cases, both in cases of gay and straight intended parents.

How much does surrogacy abroad cost?

By Natalia Álvarez (project manager).

Actually, it depends on the country chosen. For instance, while Ukraine or Greece can be considered a cheap option for straight couples, Canada and the United States are the most costly destinations. So, the price range varies from $30,000 to $280,000. Get more info here: International Surrogacy Guide – Laws & Options for Surrogacy Abroad.

How much do surrogates earn?

By Natalia Álvarez (project manager).

The compensation to the surrogate mother will depend mainly on the legislation that regulates the surrogacy in the chosen country, since generally a maximum compensation is established. In general, we can be talking about between $11,000 and $33,000. In the US, surrogates may earn up to $80,000 according to the U.S. state in which the treatment takes place.

Suggested for you

To understand why so many professionals and fees are involved in surrogacy arrangements, perhaps you are interested in learning about surrogacy procedures in detail. Is that your case? Then click here: What Is Surrogacy?

Also, if you want to get a general overview of surrogacy by country, our advice is that you visit the following section: Surrogacy Laws by Country – Where Is It Legal?

We make a great effort to provide you with the highest quality information.

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 Natalia Álvarez
Natalia Álvarez
Project Manager
Graduated in Business Administration from the University of Alicante. She has more than 9 years of experience in the field of assisted reproduction and was the creator and director of the first assisted reproduction fair in Spain. She is the director of Wearesurrogacy and is an expert in the sector of surrogacy because during all these years has had the opportunity to know hundreds of real cases of couples who have carried out treatments for surrogacy and the best professionals, international clinics. More information about Natalia Álvarez
Adapted into english by:
 Sandra F.
Sandra F.
Babygest Staff

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