How Much Does Surrogacy Cost? (2023)

The decision to become a parent can come with many different financial considerations, and that is particularly true for people looking to have a child via surrogacy. Before choosing this path, there are plenty of factors to evaluate, including the various fees that might creep up along the way. It's natural to have a lot of questions about the process, especially when no two experiences are necessarily the same.

Ahead, we'll break down some of the common costs of surrogacy, along with some unseen emotional costs, with the help of experts and people who have been through the process themselves.

Gestational Surrogacy Is Now Legal in New York. Here's What That Means.

What Is Surrogacy?

Surrogacy, or third-party reproduction, is a means to getting pregnant if you or your partner is unable to carry a child. There are different types of surrogacy carriers, usually broken down into two categories: gestational and traditional carriers.

A traditional carrier is also an egg donor and the biological parent of the baby they are carrying, while a gestational carrier does not provide the egg.

How Much Does Surrogacy Cost?

Intended parents can expect to spend around $120,000 on surrogacy says Jarret Zafran, founder and executive director of Brownstone Surrogacy, a full-service surrogacy agency based in New York.This does not include the cost of embryo creation, which can add significant additional costs. Though numbers may vary, leading clinics including OC Fertility say those extra numbers could be as much as $50,000 to $65,000.

“The first financial hurdle is creating embryos," Zafran says. There are four different possible ways to create an embryo with gestational surrogacy, including donor embryos, donor sperm and/or eggs, using an egg and sperm from the intended parents, or using either the egg or sperm from the intended parents and the other from a donor. "Depending on the egg/sperm sources and any medical diagnoses received, insurance or employer benefits may cover a portion of fertility treatments," he explains. Zafran says that hopeful parents should think about the process in chunks.

The road to the birth of a healthy baby can also be full of detours and delays. Even though couples generally enter the process with a well-laid financial plan, things happen. “Unforeseen events can blow up a carefully crafted budget, such as multiple embryo transfers, another round of embryo creation, pregnancy complications leading to months of bed rest for your surrogate, or a long NICU stay,” Zafran says. Although it is impossible to prepare 100% for the unexpected, it's always good to overestimate potential costs.

The Emotional Costs of Surrogacy

However, it's not only financial costs that parents must consider. Pamela and Jean, a same-sex couple in Massachusetts, knew they wanted to have kids as soon as they got married. And while they'd put aside money for IVF (the women were able to carry their own children, so didn't use a surrogate), there was no preparing for the emotional toll the process would take.

Pamela’s job didn’t lend itself to much flexibility, so Jean was on the hook for months of scheduling appointments and calling doctors, which she says felt like a part-time job. Then, once they had embryos, there were more emotionally fraught decisions to make. “At every corner, it seemed that we had to make a decision using data about some aspect of the process that seemed really consequential: How long we should wait before discarding sperm/embryos? How many eggs should we genetically test? How many vials of sperm should we buy at once?" Pamela reflects.

(Video) HOW MUCH DOES SURROGACY COST? | Answering your Questions (Q&A)

When you need to work with a surrogate, that adds another layer of emotional vulnerability. Do you like this person? Do you trust them with your pregnancy? What if they get sick? Or hurt? You have to consider a whole host of questions that you might not think about in any other situation.

When emotions get involved, it's understandable that your rational decision-making takes a back seat. This is why it can be helpful for parents to work with a financial planner or counselor in advance to set boundaries. The added external accountability can help slow the process down and introduce a more methodical approach. If egg retrieval isn't as robust as you'd expect, or there is pregnancy loss, the parents’ first inclination might be to try again, even if they can’t yet afford it. Setting up financial boundaries before you're in an emotionally fraught place can help you control these expenses.

The entire process of trying to conceive and deliver with a surrogate can be a whirlwind of emotions over a very long period. Zafran advises intended parents to take time during the journey to look beyond the road to getting pregnant. “Allow yourself to think about the joys and responsibilities ofbeinga parent," he says. This process is long, but it's in service of becoming a parent! Stepping back and allowing yourself to enjoy that perspective can be a balm for feelings of defeat or dejection.

Breakdown of Costs

It can be helpful to break down the common costs when budgeting for surrogacy, including legal and agency fees, compensation, and medical care.

Agency Fees

According to Sensible, a surrogacy agency that aims to offer lower-cost alternatives to traditional surrogacy agencies, most agency fees range between $20,000 to $30,000, although they can vary as much as $10,000 to $50,000. Price aside, it is important to pick the right agency for you. Investigate them and talk to previous clients to get a sense of how they work and if they are the right fit.

Many intended parents find that there are expenses beyond the formal costs associated with legal forms, emotional counseling, and prenatal medical care. This can happen with either a U.S.-based agency or an agency abroad. Intended parents are deeply invested in the birth process and often shoulder responsibility for funding communication, travel to visit the surrogate, occasional gifts, and more. These acts of generosity can help break down language barriers, build trust, and share solidarity when unexpected events occur. But, they do add to the total cost.

Surrogate Compensation

This can range from $55,000 to $75,000 for total compensation according to Sensible. Some intended parents may try to mitigate this cost by finding a family member or friend who is willing and able to carry a pregnancy for them. Most agencies require payment upfront and in escrow (more on that ahead). "This is the biggest expense," says Zarfan. "Intended parents need to deposit the surrogate's entire compensation into escrow prior to an embryo transfer.”

The surrogate gets paid in monthly installments, starting from the first month after a fetal heartbeat is detected. Surrogate compensation may differ based on their country of residence and the agency. Also, a surrogate’s health coverage may differ based on pre-existing medical coverage (more on health coverage ahead).

Screening Costs for Surrogate

Reputable agencies will vet surrogates by having them undergo psychological testing, criminal background checks, and health reviews. Sensible refers to this as surrogate matching and it can add up to around $12,000 to $20,000.

Legal Fees

The surrogacy contract is essential to establishing the terms of the relationship between the surrogate and the intended parents. In addition to covering legal advice, attorney’s fees might include the preparation of documents like birth certificates, wills and trusts with guardianship provisions for the baby, and immigration and adoption processes. Sensible says these fees can add up to $10,000 or more.


An escrow agent ensures that the proper compensation and reimbursements are paid throughout the course of the surrogacy journey. According to Brownstone Surrogacy's cost analysis, their fees can amount to around $1,500 or slightly more.


Although laws vary by state, surrogacy is generally not tax-deductible, but some medical expenses can be. Tax-deductible medical care for a covered patient could include tests needed for the intended parents. Medically proven infertility may be considered a covered condition, so procedures like egg/sperm freezing, IVF, and hormone therapy may be deductible. However, the surrogate is considered a third party who is not being treated for infertility, so their expenses would not be covered by the intended parents’ medical insurance or any tax deductions in their favor.

(Video) Cost of Surrogacy - In-Depth Breakdown | Dads to Twins

Although it is not law, the 2021 IRS private letter ruling 202114001 sets a precedent in a ruling on the deductibility of IVF, gestational surrogacy, and more.

How to Pay for Surrogacy

How you pay for a surrogate will largely depend on your financial situation and your insurance benefits. Some families rely on savings, while others may take out a loan or take advantage of employer-provided benefits, Zafran says.

He adds that some people finance this through dedicated fertility loan companies, like CapexMD and FutureFamily, or home equity lines of credit. “Some intended parents have been known to take a part-time job to access their surrogacy benefits," he says.

There are also ways to get financial assistance, including lesser-known resources like grants and scholarships., a national infertility association that offers general information about surrogacy options, has a comprehensive list of funding opportunities, as does FertilityIQ.

"People get creative, but the first step is to take stock of all of your assets and figure out what you can rely on at the different surrogacy milestones," Zarfan says.

A Word From Verywell

While the large price tag of surrogacy may seem overwhelming, there are many ways to make the process more cost-efficient and less stressful. If you have a family member or friend willing to be your surrogate or donor, the costs associated with those aspects of the process could be reduced.

Review the fine print of your insurance policies to see if there are health care benefits that apply. And, search the web for surrogacy and fertility grants and scholarships that can lower the cost of growing your family.

Best Surrogacy Agencies of 2023

1 Source

(Video) QUICK LOOK: Surrogacy Costs in the United States

Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Internal Revenue Service. Ruling 202114001.

How Much Does Surrogacy Cost? (1)

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Dr. Nafeesah Allen is a migration scholar and multicultural communications expert, who transformed trauma from pregnancy discrimination into a new relationship with parenting, wealth, and serial entrepreneurship. Leveraging over 15 years of editorial experience, she has a passion for crafting diverse stories that challenge what we think we know about identity, money, and cultural iconoclasts. Sheis an expat wife and the proud mom of third-culture kids.

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What is the overall cost of surrogacy? ›

The Bottom Line

The average cost of surrogacy in the U.S. is about $100,000, a total that includes the cost of fertility treatments, embryo creation, surrogate compensation, as well as legal and delivery fees.

Is surrogacy 100%? ›

Fertility centers in the US have a surrogacy success rate of about 75% and that number can increase as high as 95% for a birth once the gestational carrier is pregnant. Success is seen in the growth rate of surrogacy.

Can normal people afford surrogacy? ›

Due to the number of individuals, procedures, and service providers involved in a surrogacy, the process is expensive, often in the six-figure range. While most families do not have that kind of money readily available, there are many options that exist to help make this path to parenthood more financially attainable.

How much should I get paid to be a surrogate? ›

On average, surrogate mothers in CA receive between $45,000 to $60,000 in compensation for their role in helping build a family. However, the base pay doesn't seem to vary significantly between surrogacy agencies in California and cities such as San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Do surrogates get paid if they miscarry? ›

The short answer is yes. Surrogates get paid if they have a miscarriage. A surrogate mother is entitled to compensation when she loses the child. The surrogacy contracts consider this factor and usually compensate until that point to cover any front expenses the surrogate has.

Is surrogacy paid by insurance? ›

But no insurance will cover the cost of your surrogate's fertility treatments or compensation. Once pregnant, the surrogate's prenatal care is paid from a separate health insurance policy that parents will buy for the surrogate.

Why is surrogacy so expensive? ›

Why surrogacy is an expensive procedure? Gestational surrogacy is an expensive procedure because it requires various steps to complete a surrogacy cycle and involve many parties. Each party and each step in the surrogacy process demand compensation for the service provided.

What is the highest paid surrogate? ›

As a first-time surrogate, you can make up to $72,000 with ConceiveAbilities depending on where you live and your current salary. This includes our $10,000 limited time bonus and more. ConceiveAbilities is the highest paying surrogacy agency and offers the highest compensation package for surrogates.

Does a surrogate baby have the mother's DNA? ›

Does a surrogate mother transfer DNA to the baby? Some women worry that, even with an intended mother's or donor's egg, there could be a transfer of DNA. This is a totally natural assumption to make. However, the truth is that there is no transfer of DNA during pregnancy in a gestational surrogacy.

Which is cheaper IVF or surrogacy? ›

Costs: On average, the cost of gestational surrogacy tends to be higher than for traditional surrogacy. This is primarily due to differences in the medical process; IUI is less expensive than IVF and tends to involve fewer medical procedures and fertility treatments.

Which state is cheapest for surrogacy? ›

Surrogacy in Georgia

Georgia is one of the cheapest countries for surrogacy in the world for hetero couples surrogacy. The Republic of Georgia offers the cheapest medical procedure along with legal protection to the commission parents.

Do surrogates get paid monthly? ›

The average base pay for surrogacy is $45,000 for first-time surrogates, and the money is paid in monthly installments throughout the surrogacy process (usually after a pregnancy is confirmed by a physician).

How much do Kardashian surrogates make? ›

How Much Do Celebrity Surrogates Get Paid? According to TMZ, Kardashian's surrogate will receive $45,000 in monthly installments of $4,500 during her pregnancy. This is a standard fee for an experienced surrogate, said Caballero, who regularly draws up surrogacy agreements.

What happens if a surrogate dies in childbirth? ›

Typically, contracts require that the surrogate and her husband, if she has one, accept the risk of her death, and agree to release the Intended Parents (IPs) from liability if she dies. The IPs may have to purchase life insurance for the surrogate, to provide financial protection to her family.

What disqualifies you from being a surrogate? ›

Possible conditions that could affect your surrogacy are preterm labor, miscarriage, placenta previa and other issues that need medical intervention. You should talk to your doctor about whether your previous pregnancy conditions could disqualify you from surrogacy.

What happens if a couple divorces while a surrogate is pregnant? ›

If, though, you two divorce before or during your surrogate's pregnancy and you do have the court-approved surrogacy contract, you can still step forward and claim the child as yours. You may have to legally contend against the surrogate for custody, to assert your claim as the intended parents.

Do surrogates pay their own medical bills? ›

In surrogacy, the intended parents will be responsible for all medical bills related to the surrogacy process, including any complications that may arise. As a result, it's essential the surrogacy agreement includes provisions for surrogacy medical coverage.

How long is a surrogate pregnant for? ›

Once finalized, your clinic can begin scheduling the embryo transfer cycle. Once your surrogate starts her medications, transfer should happen within 4-5 weeks. If your first embryo transfer is successful, then you will be holding your baby in about nine months!

Is surrogacy out of pocket? ›

The cost of surrogacy can run you anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000 in the United States — depending on where you live, who your gestational carrier is, and just exactly what fertility services you need along the way.

Does Obama care cover surrogacy? ›

Insurance available through ObamaCare (The Affordable Care Act) is required by law to include maternity care, which generally includes surrogacy. These policies cost $600 to $700 a month, depending on the terms.

Why is surrogacy risky? ›

The primary health risks of surrogacy can be common pregnancy side effects, such as morning sickness, general discomfort, swelling and soreness. Additionally, there can be similar side effects to some of the required surrogacy medications. More serious health risks of surrogacy could include: Gestational diabetes.

How many times can you be a surrogate? ›

How many times can you be a surrogate? A: You can be a surrogate as many times as you wish, pending approval from the medical team (although it's rare to see someone do it more than 5 times).

Who has had the most babies as a surrogate mother? ›

Carole Horlock is the world's most prolific surrogate after having 13 babies for other people. But there is one child she is desperate to see again, the boy who turned out to be her own son by her husband Paul.

What are the parents of a surrogate baby called? ›

The person who carries the fetus is called a "surrogate" or "gestational carrier." The person or couple who are seeking to parent the baby or babies are called the "intended parent(s)."

Is surrogacy allowed in Christianity? ›

Almost all Christian bioethicists agree that most forms of surrogacy are theologically and morally problematic. The moral qualms generally concern the exploitation of women (e.g., “womb-renting”), the selling of children, the violation of the marital covenant, and the use of embryo-destructive reproductive technology.

How many embryos are needed for surrogacy? ›

Although the ASRM recommends against purposely attempting a multiple birth pregnancy because of the health risks to the surrogate and the babies, many clinics will transfer multiple embryos if the parents insist. But the general recommendation is to transfer just one embryo with an objective a singleton delivery.

Is surrogacy a full time job? ›

Surrogacy for stay at home moms

As a ConceiveAbilities surrogate, you join a community of women who are there to encourage and support one another, often sharing tips for working full time during surrogacy. To be clear, surrogacy is not a job.

Why do the Kardashians only have surrogates? ›

Well, according to a source, the use of a surrogate is down to “medical reasons: "There were medical reasons that factored into her decision to use a surrogate, but not putting such a strain on her body was a huge motivation", they told Heat Magazine.

Why do the Kardashians keep using surrogates? ›

Kim had previously delivered her first two children, North, 5, and Saint, 3, but her pregnancies had some serious health complications, which led to her decision to turn to surrogacy to keep growing her family.

Do nannies raise the Kardashian kids? ›

The eldest Kardashian, Kourtney, 42, currently has three kids with her ex-husband, Scott Disick, named Mason, Penelope, and Reign. Sources say she has a team of nannies who help her raise the kids, but her relationship with the caregivers is apparently much different than her sisters'.

What is the disadvantages of surrogate mother? ›

The potential disadvantages of surrogacy to be considered are: Surrogacy can be physically and emotionally challenging. Surrogacy takes time. Surrogacy involves the normal risks of pregnancy.

Can parents meet surrogate mother? ›

They can meet in person, or they can communicate over the phone or via email, etc.). Throughout the surrogacy, the surrogate and share information on the child's development. If everyone is comfortable, the intended parents can be present for the ultrasound screenings and for the child's birth.

What is the monthly payment for a surrogate? ›

A typical surrogate in the United States makes from $50,000 to $60,000 paid in monthly installments. She also gets paid another $5,000 to $10,000 USD in various benefits. Surrogates with unique qualifications (such as living in California or having previous experience) often receive an additional $10,000 or more.

What is the cheapest state for surrogacy? ›

Surrogacy in Georgia

Georgia is one of the cheapest countries for surrogacy in the world for hetero couples surrogacy. The Republic of Georgia offers the cheapest medical procedure along with legal protection to the commission parents.

What is full surrogacy now about? ›

In Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family, Sophie Lewis offers a new radical engagement with surrogacy, highlighting the systematic inconsistences in prevailing understandings of the family and birthing and advocating for a communal approach to reproductive labour that enables the proliferation of relationships of ...

Who pays for a surrogate mother? ›

As a surrogate, all of your expenses will be covered by the intended parents — everything from your screening costs to your medical procedures to your legal expenses. In addition, you'll likely receive a monthly payment that covers your pregnancy-related costs.

What states are not surrogacy friendly? ›

There are 3 US states that do not recognize gestational surrogacy, and surrogacy contracts are "illegal" in those states (women who live in Nebraska, Michigan and Louisiana are not able to apply to become surrogates at this time). If you're an intended parent, you can become a parent no matter where you live.

Is it cheaper to find your own surrogate? ›

Many surrogates choose the Independent route because they believe they can charge the parents more than what they would be paid by an agency. The total budget may be lower than an agency, but it's not cheap. Parents most often find surrogates through online communities.

Whose DNA is the baby with a surrogate mother? ›

Does a surrogate mother share her DNA with the baby? This is a fairly common question and the answer is no. In a compensated surrogacy arrangement with a gestational carrier, the baby's DNA comes from the intended mother's egg, or from an egg donor, and from the intended father's sperm, or from a sperm donor.

Who lost their baby in surrogacy? ›

They tried methods like surrogacy, IUI, IVF, homeopathy, and Ayurveda to conceive. Amrita and RJ Anmol also revealed that they lost a baby in the early days when they opted for surrogacy.

Whose DNA does a surrogate baby have? ›

In a traditional surrogacy, the surrogate and the child do share DNA, because the surrogate's own egg is used in creating the pregnancy. However, there are very few — if any — professional surrogacy programs that will provide services for a traditional surrogacy.


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