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Gay Surrogacy Costs for LGBTQ Parents

One of the first questions we hear from gay men and the LGBTQIA+ community is, "How much does surrogacy cost?" A surrogacy journey includes support from many professionals, and can seem expensive. Surrogacy costs can include your agency fee, surrogate compensation, and legal and insurance.

 What makes up the cost of surrogacy for gay and trans parents?

What makes up the cost of surrogacy for gay and trans parents?

Surrogacy costs fall under 5 categories:

  • Agency fees
  • Surrogate screening and support
  • Surrogate pay
  • Legal fees
  • Insurance

Each surrogacy case is unique, and the total cost depends on several factors. It’s important to note that these costs don’t include the price of IVF, which intended parents pay directly to their clinic. In general, you'll find that surrogacy costs can range from around $100,000 to upwards of $200,000.

An All-Inclusive Fixed Cost Program

Journey Protection Guarantee Program

Circle was the first agency to offer a truly all-inclusive fixed cost program for intended parents to ensure confidence and security throughout their journey. Our JPG program provides peace of mind should something come up during your journey.

Journey Protection Guarantee Program

Surrogacy only: $148,750
Surrogacy plus egg donation: $172,750
(both prices exclude IVF)

Our Journey Protection Guarantee offers Intended Parents:

  • An all-inclusive cost that covers unlimited retrievals and transfers and any complications that may arise during your journey
  • 100% refund of our agency fee if you have no embryos remaining and do not bring home a baby
  • No surprise costs or invoices

Here's How Surrogacy Costs Are Broken Down

How Much Does a Surrogate Cost

Your surrogate's compensation is the largest portion of your overall surrogacy costs. About 41% of the total costs will go to your surrogate. Your surrogate will be paid a base fee of around $30,000-$40,000 (more if she's an experienced surrogate). Added to that base fee will be monthly payments to support her needs during the pregnancy, compensation for maternity clothing and housekeeping, her travel and lost wages, childcare and more. In addition to monetary compensation, your surrogate will also receive benefits such as life insurance, and health and medical insurance for the pregnancy. All of these fees are paid for by intended parents.

Agency Fees

Working with an experienced surrogacy agency provides intended parents peace of mind, giving them the security and confidence of knowing that experienced professionals are managing their journey for them.

Fees paid to a full-service agency cover the cost of tasks such as:

  • Personal matching services that allow intended parents and surrogates to match with each other for the ideal surrogacy experience.
  • Coordination of information and communication between clinics, attorneys, accountants, social workers, and anyone else who may be involved in the various steps of your surrogacy process.
  • Support and counseling services to help you handle the emotional journey of becoming a parent.
  • Post-journey communication and guidance to ensure babies and surrogate mothers are healthy and doing well after delivery and returning home.
  • Post-birth return-to-home travel prep for parents. This involves ensuring intended parents’ travel plans are in order and providing information and support in obtaining their baby's passport if necessary. 

Take a deeper dive into what’s covered by a surrogacy agency fee in this blog post.

Legal, Screening and Support for Your Surrogate

Both intended parents and their surrogate will have legal representation during the surrogacy journey. Each party will have separate counsel advising them during the Carrier Agreement and throughout the journey. Intended parents are responsible for the costs of the surrogate's legal fees.

A large part of finding the right surrogate – and where Circle Surrogacy excels – is in surrogate screening. Screening potential surrogates is a vital step that helps ensure intended parents are matched with healthy and committed surrogate mothers who can successfully carry a baby to term. The screening process involves:

Pre-screening: This includes checking an applicant’s pregnancy history and medical records, performing criminal and financial background checks, and compiling information about health insurance.

Social work screening: Social workers discuss a wide range of topics with the applicant, including her motivation, her family and interpersonal relationships, who’s part of her support network, what her expectations are for the surrogacy journey, and her views on termination and selective reduction.

Psychological exam: Each surrogate applicant must complete psychological testing through the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI), which a licensed psychologist interprets.

Lastly, every surrogate has support from a social worker during her journey. A licensed social worker from the Circle team is assigned to each surrogate once she's matched. The social worker will meet monthly (or more!) with the surrogate, check in on the journey, and provide support at each milestone and should the journey encounter a bump in the road. Our surrogates' mental health is a top priority for us.

Surrogacy Insurance Costs

Intended parents are responsible for the surrogate’s medical expenses, so it’s important that a health insurance plan covers those expenses. Intended parents are responsible for all costs related to IVF for their gestational carrier or egg donor.

The types of insurance needed in a surrogacy journey include:

  • Complications insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Maternity insurance
  • Backup to maternity coverage

Life insurance limits the intended parents’ liability if a surrogate passes away and compensates her family for their loss.

With Circle's Journey Protection Program, intended parents will pay one cost of $20,000 to cover insurance needs.

Parental Legal Rights

Surrogacy law is complex and varies by state. But don’t let that get in your way of becoming a parent. It’s vital that you consult with a lawyer who specializes in surrogacy for LGBTQIA+ couples and singles.

Gay Rights and Surrogacy

Although surrogacy for heterosexual intended parents and same-sex intended parents is largely similar, there are a few factors that make it different.

It's important to understand your rights as parents, and what the surrogacy laws are in your state or country, and in the state in which your surrogate resides.

Circle Surrogacy is experienced providing legal guidance for gay and trans parents. Almost half of our intended parents identify as part of the LGBTQ community, and we have helped gay couples and singles obtain pre- and post-birth orders and with second parent adoptions.