What Does The Cost of Surrogacy Look Like?

A woman putting a coin into a piggy bank with a title that reads, "Understanding the Overall Cost of Surrogacy" (model)

It’s understandable that one of the first questions intended parents have when exploring surrogacy is “How much does surrogacy cost?” Surrogacy is a rewarding experience for everyone involved, but it can be expensive. Read on to learn more about the cost of surrogacy in the US, surrogate costs, and how to afford surrogacy.

How Much Surrogacy Costs in the US

The United States is the safest and most secure country in which you can do surrogacy. The laws, advanced medical care, and reputable surrogacy agencies make the US a great place to grow your family through third-party reproduction. In general, surrogacy costs in the United States can range from $100,000-$200,000. 

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Surrogacy is an intricate process, and the surrogacy price reflects that. There are many professionals involved in a surrogacy journey – reproductive endocrinologists, lawyers, OB-GYNs, medical billing specialists, social workers and more – which contributes to the overall surrogacy fees.

Included in the costs of surrogacy can be an agency fee. This is a fee paid to a surrogacy agency that will manage your journey. Many intended parents choose to meet with a surrogacy agency when they start exploring surrogacy so they can have their questions answered and learn more about the surrogacy process. Agency fees vary, but larger, full-service agency fees usually cover:

  • All personal matching services with your surrogate (and your donor, if you use one)
  • Coordination of your entire journey with clinics, hospitals and professionals, so intended parents do not need to worry about what they need to do next and instead can focus on enjoying the journey, building a relationship with their surrogate and anticipating the arrival of their baby
  • Support and counseling throughout the journey (including licensed social workers on staff)
  • Guidance for parents preparing for baby’s delivery and coordination with the hospital
  • Post-birth return-to-home travel preparations with intended parents, and post-birth communications and check-ins

How Much Does a Surrogate Cost

The largest portion of your surrogacy costs (over 40% of the total) is the payments for your surrogate. A surrogate can cost anywhere from $50,000-$60,000 or more in total. Surrogates are paid an average base fee of $30,000-$45,000 for a first journey. In addition to a base fee, surrogate pay includes:

  • Monthly surrogate spending
  • Maternity clothing
  • Housekeeping
  • Childcare, travel and lost wages
  • 4th-trimester self-care
  • Life insurance
  • Payments for as-needed events such as bed rest, C-sections, or multiples

How To Afford Surrogacy

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Surrogacy is a complex process and can cost anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000 (or more), depending on the agency and program you choose, and what happens during your journey. Intended parents may need to plan and save in order to afford surrogacy. Intended parents have shared with us how they have paid for their surrogacy journeys.

  • Loans. This is probably the fastest way to secure the money necessary for a surrogacy journey. Intended parents have taken out home equity loans in order to afford surrogacy. Another option is borrowing against your 401K. There are also companies that specialize in fertility loans, such as Sunfish and Future Family. We recommend speaking with a financial advisor about all of these options.
  • Save, save, save. While it will take a long time to come up with the total amount of surrogacy costs by putting aside money each month, saving all you can – wherever you can – will make a difference. Some intended parents shared that they have sold one of their cars to become a single-car household, saving on insurance and car payments. Others have cut back on vacations and other extracurricular activities. But where to start? We suggest sitting down together and writing down your expenses and seeing where you can make cuts or adjustments.
  • Family. If you’re comfortable asking your family to help with the costs of surrogacy, they could be a great resource (especially future grandparents-to-be). 

This blog post provides more details on how to afford surrogacy.

When Are Surrogacy Payments Made?

The good news is, not all surrogacy costs are paid at the same time. At Circle Surrogacy, an initial payment is made when you sign on with the agency. The next payment isn’t made until you match with your surrogate. We believe in transparency, and our full surrogacy costs are explained in detail on our website.

Circle also offers a fixed-cost program called the Journey Protection Guarantee Program. This program has one fixed cost that intended parents will pay, and they can be confident that they will not pay additional costs for their surrogacy throughout their journey. Unlike other agencies, we can guarantee that we will cover unlimited retrievals and transfers and any complications. No surprises, and 100% security.

If you have questions about costs, sometimes the best thing to do is to just talk with someone and ask a ton of questions. That’s what our team is here for. You can schedule time with our experienced parent team by filling out this short form, and they will reach out and connect with you.