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  • Kristin Marsoli

How Much Does a Surrogate Cost?

Surrogacy is a life-changing journey made possible by the amazing women who choose to be surrogates and the support of many professionals, including doctors, lawyers, medical billing specialists, social workers, and program coordinators. Surrogacy costs, which can range between $100,000 and $200,000, reflect the experience and dedication necessary for a successful outcome. 

So, how much does a surrogate cost compared to the total price of surrogacy? Keep reading to learn the answer to that question and discover how total surrogacy costs break down.  

How Much Do Surrogates Cost?

Surrogate pay can vary, but they are generally compensated between $55,000 and $65,000 (or more) in total pay and benefits. Factors that can affect the cost of a surrogate include her state of residence, whether she has her own medical insurance, and if she’s an experienced surrogate.


Your surrogate will be paid a base compensation, plus additional benefits and expenses throughout the duration of your journey together. Intended parents are responsible for all expenses related to their surrogates and the pregnancy. Surrogate expenses include:


· Her base compensation

· Monthly stipend for personal needs during pregnancy

· Child care, travel, and lost wages (plus lost wages and travel expenses for her travel companion)

· Post-birth (fourth trimester) care, including a monthly stipend, lost wages, or child care


Your gestational carrier costs generally make up over 40% of your total surrogacy costs.


Total Surrogacy Cost Breakdown


In addition to the surrogate costs that you will pay for in your journey, intended parents can expect to have four additional cost verticals. These surrogacy costs include:

· Agency Fee. If you are using an agency, you will pay them a fee for their services. Not all agency fees are created equally, so be sure to ask what’s included in the fee you’re paying. At Circle, your agency fee covers our surrogate matching services and the coordination of your entire journey—including hospital and clinic communication, all support and counseling services, and your legal fees as intended parents.

· Legal, Screening, and Support for your Surrogate. These costs cover the legal counsel for your surrogate to handle the surrogacy agreement (a separate attorney than the one parents use), as well as all screening costs to ensure your surrogate is mentally and emotionally a great candidate for surrogacy.

· Insurance. Insurance costs include complications insurance, life insurance, maternity insurance, and backup to maternity coverage for your surrogate.

· Parent Legal Rights. These costs cover the legal work for parents to obtain necessary court orders to establish their parental rights and ensure the birth certificate reflects parentage.


To learn more about how these costs break down, read our related post Surrogacy Costs: A Breakdown for Intended Parents. It’s important to note that all the above fees do not include medical costs for in vitro fertilization IVF; you will pay IVF costs directly to your chosen clinic.

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Can I Save On Surrogacy Costs by Not Using an Agency?


If you choose not to utilize the support of a surrogacy agency for your journey, you could save between $20,000 and $40,000, depending on the specific agency’s fees. All other costs associated with a surrogacy journey mentioned above would still remain. 


Electing to do an independent journey—not using the support of an agency—means intended parents are responsible for all journey management, from start to finish. This can be a time-consuming process for parents, as they will be responsible for a variety of tasks, including:

· Coordinating and communicating with IVF clinics for their surrogate’s appointments

· Booking all their surrogate’s travel

· Finding and scheduling appointments with a local monitoring clinic for when their surrogate begins her medications until she is released to her OB around 10 weeks

· Hiring a lawyer to handle all legal matters involved with the surrogacy process

· Ensuring their surrogate is paid on schedule


Read more about what a surrogacy agency fee covers.


All-Inclusive Surrogacy Plans Reduce Uncertainty, Costs

Circle Surrogacy offers an all-inclusive fixed cost plan for intended parents. This plan provides a singular fixed cost for parents at the start of their journey that will not change, no matter what happens during the journey. Our Journey Protection Guarantee Program provides peace of mind and financial confidence for parents.


Agencies that offer variable cost plans provide an estimate of how much your surrogate journey could cost, should everything go according to plan. However, in our three decades of experience, we’ve seen firsthand the challenges that can arise not only in surrogacy but in pregnancy in general. With a variable plan, parents will be required to pay additional funds should they need a second embryo transfer, if they have to be rematched with a new surrogate, or if they have a miscarriage.


Our team is happy to walk you through the differences between a fixed cost and variable program and what that means for your total cost of surrogacy.


The cost of surrogacy can be high. However, those costs cover the entire process and all the professionals involved in getting you to the finish line and holding a baby in your arms. Your surrogate has the most important job of all: caring for your baby until she’s able to hand your baby back on delivery day.


At Circle, we're with you throughout your journey to parenthood. You can connect with us online by filling out our parent form and our team will be in touch shortly.


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