Pursuing gestational surrogacy as a family-building option can be very expensive. Costs range from $60,000 to $150,000 and typically include screening fees, surrogate compensation and expenses, attorneys’ fees, and fees for a surrogacy agency and fertility clinic. Of course, there are also the related medical costs and insurance payments. Take it all together, and the price tag might be high enough to make your heart sink. You may wonder how you and your spouse or partner will ever pay for surrogacy. Fortunately, there are some ways that you can reduce the cost of surrogacy.
Do Some Fundraising to Reduce the Cost of Surrogacy
Do you have close friends, family members, coworkers, and others in your community who might be willing to help you in your journey to parenthood? Start a fundraising campaign. There are several crowdfunding websites such as GoFundMe.com that make it easy to share your story with others and provide a place for them to offer financial support. Of course, going this route means that you may need to open up and be transparent about a private and perhaps painful part of your life. If you are willing to be open about your struggle to have children, you may gather enough donations to help alleviate some of the costs.
Use Your Own Genes
If at all possible, use the eggs and sperm from you and your partner. Obtaining donor eggs or sperm adds to the costs of the IVF (in vitro fertilization) process. You can also check with your IVF clinic to see if they have a refund program, in which you receive a portion of your money back if no pregnancy results from 3-4 IVF cycles.
Find a Grant to Reduce the Cost of Surrogacy
In some cases, intended parents may qualify for a grant that covers all or part of the surrogacy costs. Some grants are given depending on key personal factors such as sexual orientation, cultural background, or religious affiliation. The Tinina Q. Cade Foundation (www.cadefoundation.org) provides grants to intended parents. Devote some time and research to finding and applying for these grants, and you may discover a new source of funding for your family-building dream.
Skip the Agency
Choosing an independent surrogate rather than going through an agency may save you money up front, but keep in mind that your budget may suffer in the long run unless you handle matters very carefully. An agency offers a certain level of protection and support that you won’t get if you go through the process independently. If you have the help of an experienced reproductive lawyer and if you do plenty of research yourself, you may be able to succeed without the help of an agency. You’ll have to do some extra paperwork and investigation yourself, but you may save money by skipping the agency.
Select a Friend or Relative as a Surrogate
Instead of using an independent surrogate or going through a surrogacy agency, you could select a surrogate who is a friend or relative. In many cases, a relative or close friend would be willing to carry your baby for you without accepting any compensation. You would need to cover certain health expenses and other costs related to the pregnancy, but you would not need to offer any additional compensation to the surrogate. However, you would still need to have an assisted reproduction lawyer involved in order to draft a surrogacy agreement that protects everyone involved and clearly states the expectations and intent of each party involved. Of course, this type of arrangement isn’t possible for everyone— but some intended parents may find that it is the perfect solution.
Even if you cannot choose a relative or friend as a surrogate, you can try to find an independent surrogate who lives close to you. That way, you don’t have the extra travel expenses. For more ways to reduce the costs of surrogacy, contact a reproductive lawyer near you and set up a time to discuss efficient handling of every phase in the process.
About Attorney Nicole K. White
As a mother by gestational surrogacy and as a surrogacy lawyer, my goal is to help you experience the joy and fulfillment of starting or growing a family of your own through third party reproduction. Because I am a mother by gestational surrogacy, I know firsthand what you will need – answers to your questions, support and guidance – and what you will go through when starting your family. My experience as a surrogacy lawyer helps me guide you through the financial, emotional and legal aspects of surrogacy. I can say with confidence that few (if any) attorneys deliver the unique insight I can bring to your surrogacy journey.