For couples who are infertile, the decision to use as surrogate is not to be taken lightly. It comes along with a lot of emotional distress, processing and research to know that surrogacy is the right choice for you. But come on, look at that baby face. You have to have one! It is a scary commitment to make to a complete stranger. Knowing that will carry your baby, but having no control over their actions, is a huge leap of faith (and contractual agreement). You have to trust that they are going to take care of themselves and remain healthy, and all the while foot the bill. Believe me, its not cheap!
A surrogate mother will cost anywhere from $15,000-$30,000, and that is just their personal fee. Then there’s the medical expenses, and the agency fees, and the usual baby preparation. As the family using a surrogate, you are also responsible for financing any maternity clothing, non-prescription medication and any mileage incurred by traveling to and from appointments and other baby needs. By the time all is said and done, the whole process can range from $25,000 (if the surrogate does not require a fee) to $90,000 (if she is collecting a fee and does not have insurance). If you are one of the lucky ones, there is a change your insurance will cover some of this process. Some companies, such as the Surrogate Mothers, Inc., makes the guarantee that legal fees, advertising costs, and psychological expenses will not increase once the contract is signed. They also do accept some forms of insurance that can help cut down on agency fees.
Other fees include any invasive procedures the surrogate may undergo, monthly support groups, and cesarean section. If you choose a surrogate who has previously been a surrogate, their fee is higher because of the wear on the body, but some couples prefer this because they are reassured that they have successfully delivered more than one child and are familiar with what is to come.
After you have selected your surrogate and undergone the extensive interview process, it is important to draw up a contract that details the expectations each parties has in the arrangement, as well as payment amounts and schedules. Many ‘parents’ deposit the money into an escrow account and is managed by a third party and then the funds are released as bills come up.
It is important to note that if, for some reason, you stop payments to your surrogate, it is within their rights to terminate the pregnancy. Most of the time, couples do not enter into a surrogate relationship lightly and it is unusual for payment to stop, but it has happened in the past. Usually in unfortunate circumstances such as a couple putting their money into the hands of a third party who scammed them or lost it. This is an issue to consider when setting up your payment plans. Make sure that you place your money into the hands of someone you trust so that you have nothing to worry about except which color to paint the room for the baby!
This is an expensive journey to take, but for a lifetime of joy and happiness that you were unfortunately unable to give yourselves, it is absolutely worth it.