When making the choice to pursue surrogacy to have a child, you are making a major life commitment. Of course, you are making a commitment to a child and a commitment to your family. And surrogacy involves a major time commitment—you will have medical appointments, legal appointments, and many other appointments that you will have to be part of. You also have to consider the fact that surrogacy involves a serious financial commitment. It is well known that surrogacy is not cheap, but what you may not know is where all that money is going. There are many costs associated with surrogacy, and listed below are some of the most common.
- Surrogate Fees – Generally speaking, this is a fee that is agreed upon between the intended Parent(s) and the Surrogate. Usually, it is broken down into monthly payments that last through the duration of the pregnancy. This fee is essentially paid to the Surrogate to compensate her for the pain and suffering involved with being pregnant and reasonable consideration for carrying a child. While it is money that the surrogate may use for regular living expenses such as food and shelter, you have to remember that those expenses are necessary for her to care for your unborn child. In addition to the base fee paid to the surrogate, you will also need to provide a life insurance policy for the surrogate for the duration of the pregnancy (and for a few weeks after the child is born) in case she suffers a fatal complication or accident during the pregnancy or in childbirth. Furthermore, you will generally provide an allowance for maternity clothes. There will be other fees that will come up through the pregnancy (such as fees for transportation, certain medical expenses, and the event of multiple births). The majority of the money that you spend on this procedure will be in this area, so it helps to have an idea of what the money is being spent on.
- Surrogacy Agency Fees – While it is not required to use a surrogacy agency it is highly recommended. Agencies screen all of their potential surrogates very carefully and work to match you up with someone who will be compatible with you, your values, and your family. This involves a lot of medical and psychological screening of potential surrogates, and the agency will charge a fee for these services. While working with a surrogacy agency is one of the biggest financial commitments you will make in this process, it is also one of the best investments you can make as they will work to match you up with the best possible person for you. If you would like a referral to a trusted surrogacy agency in California, please call our office at 310-598-6428 or email Rose@PondelLaw.com
- Legal Fees – There will be a lot of legal paperwork that will come with surrogacy, and it is important to work with a surrogacy attorney who specializes in the field. The attorney will charge a fee for drafting the surrogacy agreement and to set up the funds for the process in a trust. The attorney will also make sure that the funds are allocated to the correct person or organization when the time comes (making sure fees are paid to the surrogate, surrogacy agency, medical fees, etc.). You will also need to make sure any paperwork that needs to be done prior to the birth of your child is taken care of (such as paperwork and proceedings to establish parentage). The Intended Parents are generally expected to provide funds for the surrogate’s legal fees in addition to their own.
- Medical/Psychological Fees – Psychological evaluations are essential for both the Intended Parents and for the Surrogate to ensure that everyone involved is ready to go through the surrogacy process. The Intended Parents and the Surrogate will also have several medical expenses to pay during this process. Of course, you will have to pay for the actual childbirth, but you will also have to pay for the embryo transfer procedure, monitoring, ObGYN visits, ongoing support groups and any health complications that may arise during pregnancy. Fees will also include any fees paid to the clinic as well as any medications needed by the surrogate. It is also important to know that the embryo transfer may not take on the first attempt and that the process may need to be repeated several times before a successful pregnancy is achieved. While many fertility clinics tout their success rates for implantation on the first try, you should be prepared to go through and pay for this process more than once.
There are many other fees that will come up as you go through the surrogacy process. For example, you may have several embryos that are not implanted in a surrogate and you may choose to cryopreseve them, for which you will have to pay a storage fee. It is also important to understand that many of these fees are variable and may change in the case of multiple births (twins, triplets, etc.). There are also fees involved if the doctor decides that a cesarean section is necessary for the surrogate to give birth. All of the fees and specifics should be discussed in detail with your attorney and carefully outlined in your surrogacy contract, but it is useful to have an idea of what your money will be used for before you even begin the surrogacy process.