Most gay couples know that surrogacy costs are substantial. But just how steep is the price tag?
The short answer: It won't be cheap. The average cost of a surrogacy journey in the United States is roughly $120,000. However, the total cost can vary greatly depending on a number of factors. Below are some of the common costs associated with a successful surrogacy journey for gay men:
Egg Donation: $10,000 -$15,000
You can expect to spend around $15,000 to participate in an egg donor program at your agency. This fee will cover the costs of screening, evaluating, and compensating your egg donor, as well as associated legal fees. Costs may be higher, however, if you choose to work with an experienced egg donor, or if you need to cover any travel-related costs.
Gestational Carrier Costs: $40,000-$80,000
Your "gestational carrier" is the woman who will carry your baby (check out this article for a full list of important terms related to surrogacy). Reputable surrogacy agencies in the United States generally compensate their gestational surrogates upwards of $30,000-$40,000. The total you will be responsible for depends on a number of factors, however, including: the state she lives in and whether or not she is a first time gestational carrier. (Experienced carriers typically get paid more.) If your gestational carrier does not have health insurance, the fee for a gestational carrier can be considerably higher, which explains the drastic difference in price possibilities.
Agency Fees: $25,000-$30,000
Many surrogacy agencies will charge upwards of $30,000 for their services. This cost can considerably lower, however, if you only require the services of their egg donor program, or only need to be matched with a gestational carrier.
IVF Procedure: $15,000-$25,000
These fees cover the costs associated with creating and transferring embryos to your gestational carrier via In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). (While some health insurers cover the costs of IVF for heterosexual couples who are experiencing infertility, this benefit has not yet been extended to same-sex couples in most instances.)
Legal Fees: $5,000-10,000
These fees help cover the costs associated with the legal proceedings that help establish your parental rights.
Shocked by the prices? You aren't alone! Fortunately, there are some options for gay men and couples to bring down the surrogacy costs. Grants to prospective gay dads who can't afford the full cost of becoming biological parents on their own are available. Most surrogacy agencies also partner with lenders, who can talk with you about different loan opportunities to afford the procedure. Lastly, many gay men have successfully crowd-funded the money they need to help them afford the journey. Get some tips for starting your own crowd-funded campaign here.
Thinking about surrogacy for your path to parenthood? Check out these 6 Surrogacy Tips Every Prospective Gay Dad Needs to Know.