How Much Does Surrogacy Cost?
The cost of gestational surrogacy in North America starts at $80,000 all fees included. Overseas programs range from $40,000 in Asia or Africa, to $80,000 in Western countries like the UK or Canada.
Surrogacy costs will largely depend on two factors. The first is the cost of living in the selected country, which greatly influences the surrogate’s compensation. For example, while surrogates in the Ukraine receive less than half the net pay as American surrogates, their real compensation equals about the same as American surrogates when adjusted for cost of living.
The second factor is cost of medical care, which is exceptionally high in the United States but is relatively cheap for the same level of care in clinics overseas. American clinics are often touted as the best worldwide, but success rates at quality IVF clinics in Ukraine or Mexico are similar. Meanwhile the cost of an IVF procedure in the US is about $35,000 USD, while overseas the same procedure costs about $6,000 USD.
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- More on surrogate compensation & care.
- The Cost of Surrogacy Explained
- Financing the high cost of surrogacy
- Recent news and opinion on surrogacy costs worldwide
The tables below show an estimate of your out-of-pocket costs for surrogacy and associated services in various countries worldwide. These averages include the cost of clinical fees, surrogate compensation and legal fees. Intended Parents also should budget for egg donor compensation and fertility medication, as well as travel expenses.
Surrogacy Costs Worldwide
|Surrogacy Cost w/out IVF||Surrogacy Cost with IVF|
|United States (standard)||$98,000 USD||$146,500 USD|
|United States (negotiated)||$71,250 USD||$78,500 USD|
|Ukraine||$39,600 USD||$45,500 USD|
|United Kingdom||$55,000 USD||$85,000 USD|
|Canada||$50,000 USD||$75,000 USD|
|Kenya||$32,900 USD||$40,000 USD|
|India||$29,000 USD||$38,000 USD|
• Download the 2017 Surrogacy Cost Guide for the United States
• Download the 2017 Surrogacy Cost Guide for Kiev, Ukraine
What You Need to Know about Surrogacy Costs
Surrogacy costs are typically paid throughout the course of the 12-month long process. For surrogacy programs overseas, payments will be divided into relatively equal, manageable phases. By managing the pace of the program, future parents can also manage when payments come due.
Below is a detailed explanation of the typical payment schedule for a surrogacy procedure. (To see the actual surrogacy costs, you can download the price brochures for each procedure above.) Every program will be slightly different, but all programs will include each of these fees – either separate or bundled together.
All Intended parents should be familiar with these payments, when they are due, and how much they add the total surrogacy costs.
|USA (Negotiated)||USA (Standard)||S.E.Asia||Ukraine||Kenya||Georgia|
Any reputable agent should consult with future parents at no charge until they are confident to move forward. It’s the agent’s first task to help you decide if surrogacy is the best solution for you — and in some cases it may not be. If an agent attempts to sell you a program without first reviewing your situation in depth and reviewing all opportunities and inherent risks, that should be an immediate red flag. Your representative is not a salesman – and his primary role is to help you reduce your total surrogacy costs while improving your chance of success.
Make sure your agent represents you and is not paid by or is financially linked to the clinic. This may create conflicts in your agent’s priorities.
When you decide to start the procedure and want to make specific plans for your procedure, the Agency Fee is due. The agency fee is paid only once, and is generally the only payment made directly to the Agent. Agency Fee covers his service to you from the moment you contact him to when you arrive home with your new baby.
Typical services provided by your Agency Fee: liaising with the surrogate, the clinic, the egg door agency, and other service providers. The Agency Fee should also trigger special negotiated prices from the clinic or other service providers.
Administration Fees for the Donor and Surrogate:
This fee is typically paid when the parents are ready to choose an egg donor or surrogate. The payment covers the cost of evaluating and initially preparing your surrogate.
Although the surrogate’s agency typically has several potential candidates, they will not start full medical evaluation until an Intended Parent has made a request. At that time a series of fertility tests, medical evaluations, psychological test, legal background check, and more are performed. Surrogates must pass each step before she is assigned to a couple.
Initial Clinical Start-Up Fees
Most clinics will not provide any medical services without an upfront fee, and this payment serves that purpose. The payment covers the egg donation and sperm donation procedures. It also is a financial commitment to the clinic that you will follow through on the surrogacy procedure. The fee is not usually large. It is due when parents schedule their initial visit to the clinic to leave their sperm sample, or when they engage with the clinic to plan their egg donation.
In the United States the local laws often demand that entire surrogate compensation is paid up-front into an escrow account. Payments are then released to the surrogate each month during the pregnancy. In this case there is typically a very large initial payment once the surrogate has been selected and signed. But this is balanced by very small payments made during the pregnancy itself.
In overseas programs the surrogate compensation is typically paid month-by-month during the pregnancy. In this case the monthly payments for prenatal are larger because they include the surrogate’s compensation as well as clinic fees.
IVF Procedure and Embryo Transfer:
When the parents are ready to conceive their embryos and impregnate their surrogate, they will make these clinical payments. This fee pays for the Egg Donation, IVF procedure, and first embryo transfer. This could happen immediately after the initial clinical fees. Sometimes parents can decide to pace their finances by separating this process into multiple steps made weeks (or months) apart.
Different clinics and agencies will treat the cost of medication differently. A well-managed program will include the cost of the medication in the original budget. In other cases the cost of meds is added on as an extra expense (which is generally done to make the total cost of the program appear cheaper – which is another red flag).
Payment for prenatal care begins when the surrogate is confirmed pregnant. This pays for the surrogate’s housing and prenatal exams, ultrasounds, and personal oversight (including housekeeping, travel, clothing allowance, etc.). In most cases, the confirmation of pregnancy comes about 3 weeks after the IVF procedure.
Payments are not refundable, so the cost of prenatal care is generally separated into installments. If for some reason the pregnancy terminates, future installments are not needed, but the intended parents will lose any payments made to that point. Payment can be made every month, or every trimester of the pregnancy.
Delivery and Recovery:
This payment covers the cost of the delivery of the baby and the post-natal care of the surrogate. Because deliveries often happen prematurely and without warning, this payment is often required at Week 30, well before the estimated delivery date.
In some programs the surrogate’s final compensation is withheld until after the delivery to ensure she continues to be available during the bureaucratic process of apply for citizenship, passports and the return home of the baby.
Bureaucracy and the Return Home
Most agencies will include at least a portion of the paperwork needed to register the baby’s birth and start the process of establishing the baby’s citizenship. That often includes the birth certificate, copies of the surrogacy contract, and hospital records of the birth.
Programs overseas may include add-on fees to assist the baby’s return home with the parents. The largest is often a DNA test, which can be $700 USD or more. If the legalization process requires a court order, parents can expect to pay legal fees directly to a local lawyer.
Other minor payments may include having documents notarized, translated, or apostilled. These are generally quite small charges, but worth noting.
A well-managed IVF and Surrogacy package will budget for almost everything: surrogate compensation, egg and sperm donation, IVF procedures, prenatal care, and the delivery. Reputable programs also will include legal assistance for bringing your baby safely home.
Program fees typically do NOT include egg donors, hotel accommodations, airfare, country-specific legal processes, or extraordinary medical care for the baby or the surrogate mother. However, any reputable agent will work with you to develop a complete budget that includes all these non-standard surrogacy costs before signing any agreement.
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- Understanding surrogacy success rates
- Recent news and opinion on surrogacy costs worldwide
Surrogacy Costs Explained
Surrogacy costs vary from country to country, as does the success rate and legal requirements. Often there are non-standard expenses that can add thousands to your final price. Sometimes these costs are obvious. Other times the costs are more subtle.
The cost of surrogacy internationally has been increasing. Low cost surrogacy destinations typically attract large numbers of eager parents, and when that happens there is a sudden “boom” in IVF and surrogacy births. Of course with growth also comes the growth of malfeasance and profiteering. “Low cost” often comes hand-in-hand with corruption.
The knee-jerk reaction of some governments has been to prohibit surrogacy rather than expend energy to understand and legislate based on a long-term vision. Some excellent and affordable destinations have recently closed their borders to foreigners looking for surrogacy, including India, Thailand, and Mexico. The result is inflation in the cost of surrogacy worldwide.
The published cost of a surrogacy procedure is only part of the total expense. Future Parents will pay extras depending on the agency or clinic they use.
For couples bringing their new child to Europe, the clinic may not include legal fees in its published price, including the cost of paperwork to support the child’s application for citizenship and passport. Other minor (but overlooked) costs of surrogacy procedures include translations and legalization of official documents, accommodations, emergency medical care for the surrogate or the baby, etc. All of these vary depending on the cost of living in the chosen country.
For example, Future Parents should consider not just the cost of surrogacy procedures, but also additional medical expenses. In the United States the cost of one night in the NICU is about $5000 USD without insurance. More than 15% of surrogacy babies require some NICU care. As the graph to the right shows, just 1 week of care in the NICU can cost more than the entire surrogacy procedure performed in other countries.
Similarly, clinics with a low published price may seem like a good deal, but quality should be considered. The success rate of each embryo transfer has a substantial impact on the overall cost of the program. If you don’t get pregnant on your first embryo transfer, parents are prompted to make a second attempt. Each additional attempt can be up to $6,500 (as was the case in Mexico). If pregnancy rates are low, and multiple attempts are needed, the overall procedure could cost many thousands extra.
Some clinics site pregnancy rates including PGD analysis, which can add $4,000 to $5,000 USD to your program. The cost is often hidden from the published cost of surrogacy for those clinics. But PGD can be a worthwhile investment if the pregnancy rate increases from 65% to 85%. If the PGD means that less embryo transfer attempts are needed to become pregnant, the analysis can well pay for itself. As with all items, a complete budget should be developed and each option balanced for the value it brings to your overall success and your final costs.
Consider the graph above. Three hypothetical clinics charge the same price, but because the success rate is lower, clinics B and C require additional procedures to achieve the same rate of success as clinic A. This means the actual price for these clinics is much higher.
Note that success rate for surrogacy implantation always includes numbers for Fresh Embryo Transfer (the first attempt) and Frozen Embryo Transfer (the subsequent attempts).
When considering the cost of surrogacy procedures, Future Parents must consider all these elements. Otherwise they may find the published price of the process to be misleading.
Didn’t find what you need? Search our Surrogacy Guide for all the answers…