How Much Does Surrogacy Cost?

Close-up of a pregnant woman's belly in the hospital bed - cost of surrogacy concept

The journey to parenthood can be a difficult one, and for many intended parents, that journey takes them to surrogacy. Intended parents choose surrogacy for a variety of reasons, but whatever led them to the decision, they are usually, and understandably, concerned about the cost of surrogacy. Surrogacy is a complex and costly process involving multiple parties as well as medical, legal, psychological, and social components. That said, it is also incredibly rewarding, not only for the parents who take home a child, but for the gestational carrier who makes it possible.

If you are thinking about becoming a parent through surrogacy, it’s important to understand what is involved in the cost of surrogacy. Overall, surrogacy costs tend to be between $75,000 and $150,000, but they can run in excess of $150,000. Let’s take a look at the costs involved in a successful surrogacy.

Breakdown of Surrogacy Costs

The cost of surrogacy varies from state to state and from family to family, depending on the circumstances. Here are some of the costs typically involved in the surrogacy process.

Medical and Psychological Screening

Surrogacy can be an arduous process, both medically and psychologically. Before someone can act as a gestational carrier, they must be thoroughly screened to ensure that they are ready to go through the process of conceiving and carrying a child for someone else. Intended parents are responsible for the cost of the surrogate’s screening and may have to go through a screening process themselves.

Matching with a Surrogate

Some people are fortunate enough to have a family member or friend who wants to serve as their surrogate. For most intended parents, though, it’s necessary to match with a surrogate. There are a few ways to do this. Many people choose to work through an agency; agency fees include matching and other surrogacy costs. Working with an agency provides peace of mind, but some intended parents elect to find surrogates on their own, which carries its own costs, such as creating an intended parent profile and advertising to find a surrogate.

Counseling and Other Support Services

As mentioned above, surrogacy is an unfamiliar, emotionally fraught process that can bring up unexpected issues and take a toll on intended parents and surrogates. As an intended parent, you should be prepared to pay for counseling, education, and support for your surrogate and for yourself. These services comprise a relatively small portion of your overall surrogacy costs, but are invaluable for all involved.


Surrogacy obviously involves medical procedures, and a gestational carrier will need to have adequate insurance. Your surrogate may have health insurance that will cover some of her costs once she is receiving treatment from an obstetrician, but as the intended parent, you should expect to pay for insurance coverage that covers surrogacy (not all health insurance does).

In addition to health insurance, your surrogacy contract may require that you purchase life insurance for your surrogate or even insurance that covers the potential loss of reproductive organs. You may also need, or choose, to purchase egg donor and IVF complications insurance.

Surrogate Compensation

Unless you have a friend or family member who has volunteered to act as your surrogate, you should expect to pay your surrogate fair compensation for reimbursement of reasonable living expenses; after all, she is providing a significant service and disrupting her own life to do so. Base compensation for a gestational carrier varies, but typically runs between $30,000 and $55,000. Carriers who have already successfully completed a pregnancy as a surrogate usually command higher base compensation.

A surrogate may receive other compensation above and beyond the base compensation, such as additional compensation for carrying multiples, lost wages, travel for medical visits, a clothing allowance, any payment for childcare or housekeeping help if the surrogate needs to go on bed rest.

Medical Procedures

Typically, there are multiple medical procedures involved in creating and carrying a pregnancy with a gestational surrogate. These can include egg retrieval, in vitro fertilization (IVF), genetic testing of embryos, cryopreservation of eggs or embryos, and transfer of embryo(s) into the carrier’s uterus. And, of course, any costs for medical care during the pregnancy and costs associated with the birth itself.

Fewer procedures are required for a “traditional” surrogacy, in which the surrogate’s own egg is fertilized via artificial insemination. However, traditional surrogacy is becoming more rare because it is more legally complicated. Legal costs for traditional surrogacy may be even greater than those for gestational surrogacy.

Legal Services

Both surrogates and intended parents need legal guidance through this journey. Surrogacy affects the legal rights and responsibilities of multiple people; it creates a legal relationship between intended parents and a child, and severs any parental rights of egg or sperm donors or the surrogate.

Experienced legal representation is essential for a successful surrogacy and include services such as:

  • Negotiation, drafting, and review of surrogacy contract
  • Negotiation, drafting, and review of donor contracts
  • Advising the represented party throughout the surrogacy process
  • Arranging for pre-birth orders to establish parentage

An experienced surrogacy attorney helps intended parents anticipate and plan for various contingencies that could arise throughout the surrogacy process. Knowing that every legal detail has been addressed will help you feel more at ease and focus on the joy of your impending parenthood.

If you have questions about how much surrogacy costs in South Carolina, or any aspect of the surrogacy process, we invite you to contact Brinkley Law Firm to schedule a consultation.

Categories: Surrogacy