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Surrogacy and Egg Donation Q and A

Surrogate Mothers Online Q & A
  • Q & A: Financial Issues - Surrogacy

    Topics may include compensation, covered expenses, overall costs, etc.

    19. My husband and I are looking to become parents together. I have a 13 year old from a previous marriage. I am unable to give that same joy to my husband. We have looked into adoption, but the cost is out of our reach. We have read your web site. It is wonderful. Could you tell us what the expected costs would be? We are not rich, except with love to give a child. Our 3rd anniversary is today, and we are still without a child together. - James & Lisa Velten in Maine - Top

    Lisa and James,

    It really depends on what type of surrogacy you're looking to do. GS surrogacy is a lot more expensive then AI surrogacy because of the huge medical bills.

    I will talk about the cost of AI surrogacy. You can keep the bills low if you draft your own contract, make sure the surrogates fee is low, and do home inseminations. If you are fortunate enough to have a friend or family member to be your surrogate, your surrogates fee may be free. I have heard of people who paid 0.00 for an AI surrogacy and others who have paid 100,000. It all just depends. If you need anymore help please let me know.

    Jennifer S.
    AI SM 2X

    Lisa and James,

    Surrogacy is also an expensive proposition and will usually cost more than adoption unless you are using a friend or family member as your surrogate. Even then, all pregnancy related costs are paid by the intended parents (doctor's visits, time off work, testing, lawyer's fees, childcare and housekeeping in case of medically necessary bedrest, etc.).

    The average surrogacy fee for a first time surrogate is $10-$15,000 above and beyond any expenses. Second time surrogates usually get a couple thousand more because they have "proven" themselves.

    The plus side of choosing surrogacy as your family building option is that the child will be genetically connected to one or both of you. Also, surrogacy has a drastically lower "failure" rate than adoption: less than 1% as opposed to 20% adoption failure rate or more.

    The less expensive option is to use a Traditional surrogate (where the surrogate is artificially inseminated with the intended father's sperm)
    because you bypass the very expensive process of in-vitro fertilization and possibly using donor eggs to create embryos to transfer to your Gestational surrogate (this was a $15,000 procedure for us using donor eggs).

    The rest of the expenses are the same for Traditional or Gestational surrogacy. SMO has a sample contract in the Articles section that gives a good idea of what types of expenses might be incurred.

    To give you an example:

    • Medical and psychological screening: 2,000

    • Legal fees (contract and parentage action): 3,500

    • Surrogate's legal fees (contract review): 500

    • Travel expenses (mileage to doc, airfare, etc.): 400 or more depending on distance

    • Maternity clothing allowance: 400 or more

    • Medical insurance premiums and/or co-pays (Make sure her insurance will pay for her pregnancy!)

    • Life insurance for surrogate: 200

    • Childcare for procedures and bedrest: Average childcare costs for area

    • Lost wages for procedures and bedrest: Depends on wages

    • House cleaning/cooking for bedrest: 200/week

    • Surrogate's fee: 10-15,000

    • Bonus for each multiple if twins or more: 2-3,000

    • Any medical procedures necessary

    By the way, we are not rich either. We decided to give surrogacy a try since we felt the costs were comparable to adoption. We unfortunately did not have all the funds up-front and sold our truck, borrowed against 401K's, and cashed in a retirement account to pay for it. We have also run into unexpected expenses and have taken out a home equity loan to pay for these.

    I wish you luck in your decision!

    Linda P
    ( - Updated: February 13, 2000

  • Unless stated otherwise, all responses in the SMO Q&A are courtesy of one or more of the following hosts:
    • Sherry - Experienced gestational surrogate currently working on her 2nd surrogacy arrangement
    • Linda - New Mommy to twins born via gestational surrogacy and egg donation
    • Jennifer S. - Experienced AI surrogate
    • Lynn - New Mommy to a daughter born via traditional surrogacy
    • Tracie - 5 time egg donor (triplets, 2 sets of twins and 2 singletons) and 3 time surrogate (2-AI, 1-IVF).
    • Lisa - Experienced egg donor and previous gestational surrogate currently working on her 2nd surrogacy arrangement (Lisa was our former ED host, prior to July 1999.)
    Disclaimer: Responses from SMO Q&A Hosts do not necessarily represent the opinions and ideas of SMO. Neither the Q&A hosts nor SMO guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the responses given here. As such, neither SMO nor the Q&A hosts are responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. Neither SMO nor the Q&A hosts shall be liable or responsible to any person or entity for any loss or damage caused, or alleged to have been caused, directly or indirectly by the information or ideas contained, suggested, or referenced in these responses.

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