Why Gestational Surrogacy?
Gestational surrogacy in which an embryo is carried to term for the intended parents by a third party. This woman often carries an embryo that is genetically related to the intended parents, but not always; sometimes, the gestational surrogate also acts as an egg donor, or there may be another egg donor and/or a sperm donor involved.
If you’re choosing to use assisted reproductive technology, make sure you’re choosing it because you really want it, not to please someone else or to fit an imagined ideal. No one else can make the choice for you; it’s your body, and you’re in charge of it. After you do your research and understand the procedure, if you believe that gestational surrogacy is right for you, then proceed. You can learn more about the gestational surrogacy procedure, its risks and benefits, in our Education Wiki.
Gestational surrogates are usually found through a surrogate agency. Some IVF clinics may refer you to an agency, but the clinic will rarely provide you with the surrogate directly.
The cost for gestational surrogacy varies, but is usually at least $60,000 and may be $100,000 or even higher. This includes all of the expenses of the IVF, the surrogate’s medical expenses, psychological screening for the surrogate and the intended parents, a fee paid to the surrogate, a fee paid to the agency, and all legal expenses involved with drawing up the contracts. When you are discussing the expenses with the agency, you should verify which of these expenses are included in your payments to the agency; you may need to pay some expenses directly, such as paying the clinic for the IVF costs and possibly paying some of other expenses directly.
Keep in mind that this is only an average; it varies by region and by individual agency, so you should check with the agency you’re considering to determine their exact fee for the surrogacy. Ask what’s included in that fee, to make sure you aren’t surprised by extra costs when you get the bill later.
Some parents want to compare the costs of gestational surrogacy to the costs of adoption. Adoption costs around $20,000 to $50,000. While this is significantly lower than the cost of surrogacy, surrogacy may allow intended parents the chance to be genetically related to their offspring, which is very important to some couples. However, if donor eggs and donor sperm are being used, then adoption would be a far cheaper option than surrogacy and would end with a similar result.
Will Insurance Cover It?
Some insurance policies cover the cost of assisted reproductive technology, while others specifically exclude this type of treatment. In many cases, there will be only partial coverage of your treatment, or coverage will be limited to a certain number of cycles or certain types of treatment. Even if IVF is covered by your insurance, the extra cost of assisted hatching might not be covered. You should check with your insurance company to determine your coverage before you begin infertility treatment.
What Are the Financing Options?
To many people, paying thousands of dollars up front seems impossible. However, if you don’t already have the money saved, you have many options available for financing. Many infertility clinics offer financing plans for their patients. You can also get a medical credit card or other credit card, often with an attractive introductory interest rate; a medical loan, personal loan, or home equity loan from your bank; a loan from your 401(k); or loans or gifts from family and friends. Even if your credit isn’t great, you’d be surprised how many options you have. For more details about the financing options for your procedure, check out our Assisted Reproductive Technology Financing page.