The Cost of Surrogacy

The cost of having a child via surrogacy varies from country to country depending on the degree of health care coverage available. While some countries may offer substantially lower fees, prospective parents would still have to factor in the cost of travel and accommodation which could become extensive depending upon the distance. Language and cultural barriers would also be salient factors.   In Canada the cost of surrogacy ranges from $50, 000 to $70, 000 and in the U.S. where health care costs are higher, the range is $90,000 to $150,000.There are much affordable Surrogacy Destinations such as Georgia, Greece , Russia, Mexico  and Ukraine were Surrogacy packages  varies from 28 000  USD to 35 000 USD.

The applicable fees which constitute this overall cost cover a number of areas are generally comprised of some of the following:

  • Donor Fees
  • Gestational Carrier Fees
  • Cost of IVF
  • Agency Fees
  • Legal Fees
  • Travel Expenses
  • Social Worker’s Fees
  • Medical Insurance

There may be additional costs involved, for example an HIV positive male donor would be subject to a process known as “sperm washing” which can range from $4500 to $10,000. Fees to cover out of work expenses for the surrogate may apply and travel expenses can vary widely depending on the location of the surrogate. A Traditional Surrogacy where the donor and carrier are the same person would result in a lower fee, but a Gestational Surrogacy where the donor is not the carrier will account for a large portion of the higher range.

Donor fees can include consultation, screening, genetic testing, psychological evaluations, drug screenings and blood work.

Gestational Carrier Fees can vary widely depending on the location of the surrogate and degree of travel required as well as the level of health insurance they carry. These fees would cover such services as consultation, uterine evaluation, cycle monitoring, monthly allowance, insurance and surrogate compensation.

Agency fees can be incurred in order to develop an overall surrogacy plan which would cover all necessary medical procedures, analysis and testing required as well as to maintain the role of mediator and facilitator throughout the process and to monitor any trust accounts set up to cover dispensation to the surrogate.

Legal fees would include contract reviews, insurance for the surrogate and fees for the overall procedure as well as potential costs for psychological evaluations and counselling.

Additional costs can, of course occur in the event of lost wages, travel, pregnancy expenses, and in countries such as the U.S. where health care may not be in place pre-natal testing alone can cost up to $10,000. It is important to consider all potential factors which could arise outside of the standard fee structure.

Agencies have been established to act as mediator in this process and offer a package of services that will meet the needs of most who are seeking surrogacy. They offer donor matching services, screening, counselling, medical referrals and screening of gestational carriers if required. Counselling is strongly recommended for all parties involved in a surrogacy arrangement and agencies can provide this as part of their service. They will also establish and manage any trust funds required to dispense ongoing fees and expenses. While some prospective parents may wish to conduct a private search for a donor or carrier, such an agency can streamline and focus the process into a more manageable format with a reduced level of stress and complexity. Such agencies quote a total fee of between 28 000 USD to 150 000 USD depending on the Surrogacy Destination. . It is recommended however, that a lawyer be retained who has experience in surrogacy issues and can ensure that all matters relating to custody have been addressed.

Surrogacy is a process that can offer the ultimate reward to those seeking to have a biological child, but there are many factors involved which all need to be carefully addressed. While private arrangements are possible, many safeguards are required in order to protect all parties involved. The cost is not minimal, but for the peace of mind of parents and the safety of the child, is a factor that must be weighed. Professional services may be the most expensive option but are perhaps the necessary one. While it is difficult to weigh cost against family, one must consider all potential difficulties and how to best alleviate them.