Annually, a significant number of couples make the decision to use surrogacy services. The main reason is that establishing a family and receiving the desired happiness frequently requires surrogacy. Annually, a growing number of couples decide to undergo this challenging emotional and financial journey. This choice will necessitate careful cost management and budgeting for the majority of them. Such a journey calls for a unique strategy.
The cost of surrogacy
The likelihood of conceiving and carrying a child through surrogacy is several times higher than through traditional IVF, according to medical research, which justifies the expense of the entire process. Surrogacy is in high demand.
The clinic and the state jointly determine how much the procedure will cost. In comparison to other countries, surrogacy is substantially less expensive in Ukraine. The average cost of surrogate services is about $15,000 – 25,000, and the clinic’s/agency services cost about $25,000 the amount may vary, as it directly depends on the services you need.
The total amount of the program consists of costs of various types:
- tests, a comprehensive examination of the surrogate prior to fertilization;
- IVF protocol (with all the necessary drugs);
- Month stipends and fees for surrogate;
- Transportation and accommodation for the surrogacy mother;
- Medical care, pregnancy management;
- If necessary, in-patient or out-patient care to preserve the pregnancy;
- Delivery (natural);
- Services of lawyers and psychologists.
- Associated costs (travel, force majeure, deposits, etc.)
Additional costs may also be expected:
- Birth of twins;
- Cesarean section;
- Re-participation in the program.
Gestational surrogacy, which simply requires a gestational carrier, is the first available option. If you opt for this procedure, the surrogate mother will only act as the child’s carrier after the biological material of the intended parents or a donor has been used for fertilization. The cost of the program increases as a result of using an egg donor.
Although it is not the most expensive part of your journey, the legal component is important since it helps you remain out of legal trouble. You will have a contract that specifies and establishes the overall amount of compensation, costs, payment plan, etc. in order to properly plan your journey. The surrogacy mother, the couple, and the selected clinic are all parties to a contract that governs their relationships. The rights and obligations of the parties, extenuating circumstances, and liability for breach of the contract are all explicitly provided in such a document.
In fact, the legal scope of surrogacy consists of many services:
- Counseling to determine a customized step-by-step legal and organizational program;
- Negotiating, compiling, and signing contracts;
- Legal assistance for the journey;
- Comprehensive organizational support in the IVF process;
- Defense of parental authority for the children born via surrogate motherhood.
Any surrogacy matter requires the legal support of an expert lawyer. Such an expert is Anastasia Herman, who is a fertility and family law attorney. She is also a member of the National Bar Association of Ukraine, Member of the Ukrainian Bar Association, Member of the American Bar Association, and Member of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE). Since 2013, Anastasia has been a specialist in assisted reproductive technologies and reproductive law. She has a high level of professionalism and knows her job; after all, her mission is 10,000 happy families.
Anastasia provides quality services of niche reproductive consulting and leads the HermanFamily team. HermanFamily is a legal agency in Ukraine that has qualified staff and will accompany your journey. The process of surrogacy demands special attentiveness and counseling with legal precision. The agency will take care of protecting your interests and confidentiality.
Why is surrogacy so pricey?
The process of becoming a surrogate requires more than a year and is expensive. Each stage of the process depends on the participation of several specialists who have knowledge of surrogacy regulations and agreements as well as an experience involving IVF, egg donation, and surrogacy.
The medical center you select is one of the most expensive steps. It is crucial to the surrogacy procedure in particular. Exactly, it will accompany the biological parents and the surrogate mother. The medical facility determines whether the targeted result will be successfully achieved. Following that, the attending physician’s advice and monitoring will be based on how well the surrogate mothering process went overall. This will be the journey taken from the collecting of biological material through the delivery of the baby.
When it comes to medical care, the financial issue is of secondary importance, as unnecessary or superfluous manipulations not only can harm health but also lead to considerable financial costs. You should remember that after the preparatory stage, the surrogate mother is injected with a ready embryo, and after a certain period of time, a pregnancy occurs. Pregnancy may not start from the first time, sometimes, this procedure has to be done twice, so the costs increase.
A contract will set the terms and conditions for working with the clinic. The parties’ obligations and requirements will be outlined in the contract, together with information on the fees and steps involved in providing medical services. You will require legal advice in these situations.
The second costly step is hiring an agency. When dealing with an agency, one should consider the professionalism and qualifications of the personnel. The availability of the surrogacy mother registry demands special consideration. The right to select a surrogate mother should belong to the biological parents. For these reasons, the agency should have a surrogate registry. All clients of the agency should work only on the basis of a contract. In the absence of such a contract, such practice may lead to negative legal consequences.
Further, the costs include the care of the birth mother. Commonly, the surrogate mother’s expenses are paid monthly and separately from the fee. These may include outgoings for food,clothing, medications, and transportation. It may also be the rent of the apartment since women do not want their neighbors, relatives, and people around them to know about their condition. Besides, the costs include the IVF procedure itself, numerous examinations, maternity expenses (separate room, medicines, doctors’ services, etc.), and unpredictable circumstances (multiple pregnancies, cesarean section, etc.).
Solutions to help afford surrogacy
Couples who decide to create their families through surrogacy, understanding the future costs, prepare for those expenses over the years. The truth is that a surrogacy program requires a lot of work and costs faces spouses who have thought about doing it. As a result, many prospective parents should consider their financial capacity before starting.
Independent travel planning is one of the optional ways to minimize surrogacy costs. In this situation, the couple will be responsible for selecting a surrogate mother, working with IVF centers, overseeing the surrogacy procedure, as well as contacting lawyers for legal services, accountants, and psychologists.
It’s important to plan ahead for expenses. Keep in mind that no two parenting experiences are the same. Every family has a different experience, so what works for one family may not work for another. However, you can always consult a surrogacy service for advice on how to budget for surrogacy expenses.
There are several ways for expectant parents to pay for surrogacy, including the following:
- Save money. Even if you are in the discussion stage, you had better start saving already. You can set aside a certain amount each month. The earlier you start saving, the sooner you can accumulate a respectable money sum. Even small amounts, but regularly, will sooner or later lead to results. Preferably, create a special savings account specifically for your surrogacy.
- Keep a focus on your finances. If you are able to track your monthly income and expenses, saving money will be effortless for you. Use a straightforward spending chart or a financial tracking app that can import and analyze your expenses.
- Managing overall costs. Every choice you make while on your journey can affect the final amount. You can always select a less expensive IVF clinic or agency, or decide to insure a surrogate or not, etc. Remember to weigh all the advantages and disadvantages of your choices.
6 ideas to lower surrogacy costs
- Something today that seems impossible will become achievable if you implement several of the suggestions below. However, you will understand that this journey was worth the money when you are able to hold your child in your arms. To assist families with their budgeting, here are some recommendations:
- Searching for financial support. Banks and other lending organizations are constantly willing to provide loans for medical care. Medical fees take up a considerable amount of overall costs, especially for IVF sessions. As a result, many families are looking into secured or unsecured loans from medical financing organizations.
- Ask for assistance. Family and friends can help you not only financially but also psychologically. Sometimes, family members will compensate for some costs. But even if they cannot provide financial help, emotional support from loved ones is also valuable.
- Grants. A number of organizations make grants to help couples facing infertility. Some of these grants may be to cover the costs associated with surrogacy, while others are explicitly aimed at IVF treatment. IVF grants can range from $400 to $50,000 and, in many cases, provide invaluable assistance to expectant families who would not be able to afford the journey. Also, there are state programs for infertility treatment, even if not surrogacy, then IVF.
- Clinic choice. Most fertility clinics offer a variety of packages, so you can always choose the package that best fits your needs and fits your journey. You should inquire about a clinic’s reputation before calling it. Consider taking the embryos to a facility closer to your donor surrogate if she lives a long way from the clinic for a simpler transfer. Don’t forget to look at every aspect.
- Subtract taxes from the cost. Your medical costs for IVF and other aspects of surrogacy may be tax-deductible. Your tax bracket affects how much you can deduct from your income. Make sure to save all of your medical expense receipts. Speak with a tax expert for further details.
Ways to cut costs for surrogacy
Couples can find ways to pay for surrogacy, along with ways to reduce the overall expense of the procedure. Families have the option of selecting an individual journey rather than with an agency. In this event, the couple would have to deal with all the challenges that come with selecting a clinic, surrogate mother, and legal advisor. The coordination of all parties, prompt payments, and other actions are all the same. There are, however, a lot of risks connected to this procedure.
The intended parents are free to select the surrogate on their own. It could be a friend or family member who agrees to serve as your couple’s gestational carrier without payment. Such a step reduces the cost of the process due to the absence of agency interest, and you will not need to look for a candidate for this role. Plus, it’s much easier to go through this journey with a loved one. Even though your choice may fall on a friend or relative, it’s important to examine the surrogate before IVF in any case.
There are IVF rebate programs and risk-sharing programs. They reduce the financial risk of having to go through several IVF treatments. The fixed fee charged by medical facilities to patients covers a set number of treatment cycles. If the treatment is unsuccessful in that instance, clinics provide partial or full returns. Patients can participate in such a program and pay a certain price that will either help them to get pregnant or compensate them for unsuccessful IVF. The pair will then be able to spend the money for subsequent cycles.
Today, Ukraine is one of the countries that offer surrogacy programs, along with good medical care and legislation that benefits prospective parents. Surrogacy is also notable for the affordable cost of creating a family in the future. HermanFamily is a reputable companion for your affordable and high-quality surrogacy journey.