(Closed) Total surrogacy cost? Agency vs using a friend/family member.

posted 5 years ago in Adoption & Surrogacy
Post # 2
Member
365 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Hello!  I am also technically fertile, but unable to carry a pregnancy, so I can understand a bit of what you’re going through.  We are in the middle of our surrogacy journey, so while I can’t speak to the final cost yet, I’m very familiar with the process!

The main difference in cost for a friend/family member and an agency surro will be the difference in compensation and agency fees. I’m not sure about average costs in California, but the agencies that I’ve seen usually run around $15,000, and surro compensation starts at $25,000 (experienced surros often ask for over $30,000).  Most of the other costs will probably be the same, but depends on what your RE requires.  Things such as your IVF costs (mine were around $15,000), legal costs for a contract (about $5,000), medical costs for transferring the embryo to the surro, and any other medical expenses incurred throughout the pregnancy.   Also keep in mind that many insurance plans do not cover surrogacies, and you would end up paying all medical costs out of pocket in that case.  So it’s very important to know what type of insurance the surro has up-front, so that you can purchase a supplementary plan if necessary.  Most REs also require a psych consult just to be sure that all parties are entering the agreement on the same page, etc, and this could be from $500-$2000 based on what tests they require for you or the surro  

In our case, our surro just had a chemical pregnancy with the first transfer, so now we’ll transfer again in June…but that’s another $2,500 out the door just for another transfer!  The money can go fast!  If there is a pregnancy with multiples, or surro needs a c-section, there will likely be additional compensation due as well (around $5,000 for each scenario).  

Realistically, if all goes well with this next transfer, I think we’ll end up spending around $75,000 on the whole process.  If we end up with twins, surro needs a c-section, other medical issues come up, our costs will go up. So while I would say that $100,000 is not likely, it technically could happen.

Personally, I couldn’t find much for financial assistance.  We took out a home equity line of credit just in case (hopefully we don’t have to touch it, but we feel better knowing that we have that line of credit available in case something unexpected would happen).

Apologies for the long answer!  Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions!  

Post # 3
Member
385 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

I know a woman who was a 3x surrogate. The first time was for a family member and the second and third time was for a couple she met online. She didn’t work with an agency because her BMI wasn’t in the ideal range. I know some REs won’t work with some surrogates over a specific BMI range and that was the only struggle they had from our in depth talks. Once they found an RE then everything was fine. She asked for significantly less than other surrogates and used her own insurance. Just some food for thought if you are considering not using an agency. good luck! Surrogacy is wonderful and im hoping to be one after my family is complete.

 

Post # 4
Member
3360 posts
Sugar bee

We went with an international surrogate, and it cost approximately 65 K. We also had an egg donorincluded in the overall cost. I am also a Canadian where you cannot pay someone explicitly for surrogacy.

when we researched costs here (there are ways around the legal issues) it was starting at around 120 k.

Post # 8
Member
365 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

You are very smart to get started early. Research, research, research!  We started the process almost a year ago, and I talked to our local agency first to get an idea of costs and the general process. I also did tons of Google research and read surrogacy forums online, and joined a closed Facebook group for intended parents and surrogates where I met some great people and had really educational conversations. 

One thing that you could do now is to make an appointment with an RE in your area. Again, do your research, and select someone with good IVF rates.  These success rates should be available online.  If you want to split the cost up a bit, so you’re not doing everything at once, you could look at starting your IVF cycle sometime soon and freeze your embryos.  That way you’ve got embies on ice, and as soon as you have a surro, you can get all the logistics lined up without having to go through IVF at the same time.  Even if you’re going to wait on IVF for a while, having an RE selected now will save you more work later.  

While this is not recommended for the very good reasons you cited earlier, we ended up finding an independent surro (no agency).  We actually had it narrowed down to two surros, one with an agency and one without (but who was a 2x surro that previously worked with an agency).  The independent surro lived closer to us and we met her and her husband in person several times before committing.  She was also willing to work with her agency again, so that made us more comfortable.  She has been fantastic, and we have no concerns with her.  However, this is a rare case and you should always be careful with an independent arrangement (as you already know!).  

The surrogacy process is very exciting, but also emotionally and financially taxing.  So just go into it mentally prepared, knowing that it will be tough but worth it.  Since January, my life has been comprised of working, sleeping, and making surrogacy arrangements (going through IVF, getting the contract written up/negotiated/signed, scheduling procedures with the surro, psych consult, etc).  It really has been like a second job!  

 

Post # 9
Member
276 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
bellanotte11:  someone I know was able to do it for under $25k. She saved money in a variety of ways, such as using international pharmacies for the meds, and she also received various grants from organizations. 

Post # 12
Member
365 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Yes, the whole process can seem so daunting and overwhelming!  What helped me was to start a notebook with my research and next steps.  I love checklists!  Once you get more familiar with the process, you’ll be able to break it down into more attainable steps and it will all seem so much more clear.  You’re already doing a great job by getting out there and asking questions to get started.

I actually found our surrogate through a surrogacy Facebook group!  I will say, a lot of the independent surros that I met that way did not seem like a good fit (and some just plain scared me, to be honest), and I had to talk with lots of them before I found our surro who we absolutely love.  Be very, very cautious if you proceed this way.  It is risky, as you know.  If you can find a family member or friend, that would be wonderful!

It’s definitely hard work to get through the whole process, but I think you’ll alleviate a lot of the potential stress by planning early like you are.  Good luck! 🙂

Post # 13
Member
276 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
bellanotte11:  I know the cade foundation was one. I’ll ask  there were others. They also had a mutual friend carry, so im not sure how much they saved by doing that.

Post # 16
Member
1 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: October 2016

Thank you girls for so many useful tips! I’ll consider all this info in my search. I’m only in the beginning of it and I’m confused. You helped me to clear this procedure a little. I’m fertile, but due to my health condition I can’t carry a baby. I have a heart disease and there is a great risk for my life if I get pregnant and give birth. I’m afraid to look for sm in the internet. There are too many stories about scams. So my dh and I decided to find sm through agency. Another option is to find clinic which will control the whole process. So it will also help with search. The only thing is I think it will take more time for a clinic to find sm.

Another problem is price for surrogacy. We are not rich people. We can’t afford surrogacy in States. $100 000 is too high price for our abilities. Speaking about India, it turned out, that they canceled surrogacy for foreigners. So now I think about Greece. The price is a little bit lower than in USA. But still it may cost even more in the end. I know that some clinics may just give you list of services (which were not discussed previously) after delivery to pull more money.

Girls, maybe you know some reliable agencies/clinics with reasonable prices? I’d be grateful for any info. I’m lost in all those reviews. They are so controversial! I’m so scared to face fraud. We had to abandon fancy wedding to save money for surrogacy. I dream to become a mother. I’m so scared of failure. Reading all those stories about scammers and failures made me so sad. I wish this procedure was easier.

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