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  1. #1
    lilpeoplefixer
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    Cool Confusion on surrogacy costs

    I have been to numerous surrogate agency websites this week and have received feedback from several agencies. At this point, my brain is in overdrive.

    I have been quoted 26,000 - 42,000 for traditional surrogacy all the way to 80,000 - 130,000. These were all 'all inclusive costs' supposably including legal, medical, agency, and surrogacy fees. Why the wide range andd what is really a realistic number for a TS experience?

    Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks and hugs!

    Sammie Sue


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  3. #2
    BC-MAV
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    I myself am not that familiar with traditional surrogacy as we did gestational surrogacy for both the boys. I think you should have a specific break down of what that wide ranging fee includes. I know for the gestational surrogacy we had a breakdown of all the costs. Some were not variable costs like the contract and matching fee for the agency ($6,000?). You should have an estimate for the surrogates compensation depending on whether she is experienced or not (lets' say $18,000 for inexperienced all the way up to $30,000), then there would be medical screening fees ($1,000), and the psychological screen ($1,000), lost wages for surrogate Mom (this fee would vary depending on how much she makes and how long bedrest), legal contracts ($1,000), miscellaneous costs like babysitting, meals, etc... ($100 a month). I am just throwing out a few figures out there and it seems like when I add up my guesstimates that it is more in line with a fee of $26,000 to $42,000.

    I am assuming that the traditional surrogate doesn't take fertility drugs so you are just using the natural cycles and adding progesterone and estrogen so there isn't $4K - $5k in fertlity drugs. Maybe some others will chime in that have done traditional surrogacy. It seem like the $80,000 to $130,000 is a very high figure, gosh even high if it were getational surrogacy and that involves IVF whereas traditional surrogacy is just an insem.
    MAV Mom to

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  4. #3
    Essie
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    Hi.
    OK. Um... are you ready for another one of my posts???

    Costs. Well, I don't know as much about TS, since I'm doing GS. But I'll give you my general advice on costs to start and then you can ask questions. Costs vary hugely. This is a wide open marketplace and because surrogacy is not widely accepted, communications are sketchy. Therefore, providers don't have fierce competition, etc. Some cater to the wealthy who want someone else to take care of the pregnancy, others cater to those who are cash-strapped, some are in the middle, others provide a unique mix of services, etc. And cost of living in different parts of the country makes a big difference and whether the surrogate is local or long distance makes a big difference and the IVF clinic costs vary widely.

    So, what you need to do is this: Start a spreadsheet of the services you will need. When you look at these websites and they list all those costs - start with all those costs as the things you'll need. Put everything on the list as possibles. I advise two or three columns for estimates - minimum, probable and maximum. Put the low and high end in now based on what you are seeing. As you start making decisions about your journey, you can fill in the probably column. The basic decisions you need to make to fill in this column are: agency vs independent, what clinic you are going to use (if any), lawyer and surrogate.

    Agency vs indy: agency fees vs not, but if not, then you have to estimate what you are going to spend on background checks, credit checks, travel to visit your potential surrogates, screening costs, escrow agent for compensation, etc.

    If you are going with an agency, then when you pick an agency, you will have a better idea of what your cost will be as this varies widely. If you go indy, then you have to estimate how many surros you will have to screen before matching for sure.

    Clinic: Some clinic are much less expensive than others. Do you need one with great statistics? If not, then pick one close with a good reputation. If you need one with great statistics, then look and see what their fees are and how much travel will be involved. If you go homeinsems, then this cost is much less.

    Lawyer fees vary but the big issue is what legal proceeding will be needed to get you parental rights. This depends on the state and your situation. So, you need to choose an experienced lawyer and consult the lawyer to estimate this.

    Surrogate: experienced surrogates gets higher compensation than first time surrogates but have other advantages. Other contract provisions will affect costs. Rates vary in different parts of the country and from agency to agency. Health insurance is a huge factor - if you have to purchase a policy for her, that can run into thousands of dollars. If she has to travel to the clinic and you/or you have to travel to her for appointments, etc. these are added costs. If you need a secondary monitoring clinic because she is not close enough to the primary clinic to go for monitoring, that is an added cost. (This may be GS related only?).

    The bottom line is that until you make basic decision about your own journey, it is very hard to pin down the estimated cost. My advice is this: look at the maximum figure as "if I really had to, could I come up with this amount of money?" figure, knowing that it would be over the course over a couple years. (although, I'm having trouble coming up with $130,000 in costs for TS. If you post the website where you found that one I could look at it and see if I can figure out why it's seems so high. All I can think of is a really expensive agency and extra legal costs.) Your probable cost is likely to be less than this once you make your decisions. But it is good to have a plan for how to come up with some extra money in case something happens along the way and you have to spend some more or stop. If the answer is no, I couldn't come up with that figure, then you know that when making your decision, you need to make them so your numbers end up closer to the lower end of the scale somewhere. And the important thing to do is figure out where you are willing to compromise.

    A typical compromise - I can only afford a first time surrogate who has her own insurance. You may have to wait longer to match to someone with those conditions. Another typical compromise - I'm using healthy eggs, sperm and surrogate, so I'll use a less expensive clinic that doesn't have as good statistics, but it'll still be cheaper to do three transfers here than one at the more expensive clinic. Another compromise - I won't travel to see my surrogate as much during the pregnancy, or I'll be willing to arrive after the birth instead of paying to stay in a hotel for weeks waiting for the birth.

    I know that's not really what you wanted - you wanted a quick and easy number! But hope it helped to get you pointed in a direction that is less confusing.
    -Essie
    Married to DH and ttc - 2002
    IM and officially Matched to 5 surrogates since 2007
    - 2009
    Chemical pregnancy - 2009
    Transfer - 1/24/11 BFP - 2/4/11 Twin boys born - 9/5/11


  5. #4
    Essie
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC-MAV View Post
    It seem like the $80,000 to $130,000 is a very high figure, gosh even high if it were getational surrogacy and that involves IVF whereas traditional surrogacy is just an insem.
    I'm thinking that $130,000 is more like GS with Egg Donor numbers, but maybe a TS with IUI and meds to stimulate egg development and then she'd get extra comp because of the extra meds? That with an expensive agency, experienced surrogate, expensive lawyer and having to pay health insurance - might push the number up into this range.
    -Essie
    Married to DH and ttc - 2002
    IM and officially Matched to 5 surrogates since 2007
    - 2009
    Chemical pregnancy - 2009
    Transfer - 1/24/11 BFP - 2/4/11 Twin boys born - 9/5/11


  6. #5
    BC-MAV
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    I was on very low doses of fertility drugs for my own IVF's and that cost at most $2,000 to $3,000. I can't see a traditonal surrogate taking fertility drugs to produce multiple eggs. Maybe Clomid but that is minimal. Yes $130,000 would be upper limit of gestational surrogay with egg donor but even that is a high figure!
    MAV Mom to

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  7. #6
    Essie
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC-MAV View Post
    Yes $130,000 would be upper limit of gestational surrogay with egg donor but even that is a high figure!
    My initial estimate for GS with ED for our agency and clinic was under this figure, but I already passed it a while ago and I'm not done! But then, as my agency likes to say, I've "had a little bad luck." I would not call it the upper limit on an all inclusive figure. But it is the high end for what most people need to worry about as long as you don't have too many problems. The thing that has saved us is that the cost has been spread out over so many years.
    -Essie
    Married to DH and ttc - 2002
    IM and officially Matched to 5 surrogates since 2007
    - 2009
    Chemical pregnancy - 2009
    Transfer - 1/24/11 BFP - 2/4/11 Twin boys born - 9/5/11


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