There are several ways to start one’s family. For those who can afford it, surrogacy can be an amazing option. So, how much does surrogacy cost in California?
Surrogacy costs in California are between $100,000 to $210,000 on average. The costs of surrogacy range widely due to varying medical expenses at the fertility clinic, surrogacy expenses, legal fees, and other unexpected incidentals associated with the surrogacy process.
The process of surrogacy is complex and requires a wide range of professional services, so, understandably, surrogacy is a costly endeavor.
When you consider lawyer fees, medical services, and compensation to the surrogate, surrogacy expenses add up fast.
Due to the high expense requirements of surrogacy, you are going to want to research your options and be as prepared as possible.
Let’s dive into a few aspects of California surrogacy expenses that you will need to make note of.
How Much Does Surrogacy Cost in California?
The average cost for surrogacy in California is between $100,000 to $210,000. Total expenses for surrogacy are dependent on the various medical procedures required, lawyer fees to ensure all legal requirements are being met, and surrogate expenses.
To better understand why the process of surrogacy is so expensive, we will take a look into each aspect of the surrogacy process.
Surrogacy Agency Fees
Surrogacy agencies provide a service to both those wanting to grow their family as well as to the surrogates who carry the baby to term.
Surrogacy agencies help coordinate the entire surrogacy process, in essence carrying the burden of the stresses that the surrogacy process can entail.
Typically, a surrogacy agency has trained professionals who provide counseling, case management, and other services.
A surrogacy agency in California can cost on average between $20,000 to $32,000.
Surrogacy Medical Expenses in California
Several medical procedures will be required as part of the surrogacy process.
Surrogacy Medical Screening
A top priority of any surrogacy process is the screening of the potential surrogate to ensure the surrogate is healthy and able to carry a pregnancy.
All potential surrogates will need to undergo the following list of screening procedures:
- Paperwork and an evaluation.
- All records of previous pregnancies will be required.
- Current pap smear.
- Blood and urine testing.
- STD blood testing of both the surrogate and her partner.
- A medical history will be reviewed.
- Drug screening as well as drug screening of the surrogate’s partner.
Surrogacy Medications and Embryo Transfer
Also added to the medical costs of the surrogacy process are the likely medications prescribed to the surrogate.
Surrogacy medications help prepare the lining of the uterine wall for implantation and thus increasing the success rate of an embryo transfer.
Surrogacy medical screening, medications, and embryo transfer in California typically can run on average between $7,800 to $14,000.
Prenatal Care and Delivery
As with any pregnancy, the surrogate will be evaluated to ensure the health and safety of both the unborn baby as well as the surrogate carrying the child.
The costs associated with prenatal care and delivery for the surrogate range on average between $12,500 to $29,000 in California.
The expenses involved in the delivery of the baby may differ depending on various circumstances such as whether or not a C-section is being performed along with any other unforeseen medical needs of the surrogate or the baby.
Surrogacy Lawyer Expenses in California
Surrogate attorneys play a very important role in the surrogacy process and are worth their expense, as they provide peace of mind knowing that the surrogacy process is being done legally.
If your surrogate party lives outside of the state of California, your attorney will oversee the legal process to make sure all out-of-state laws are met, as well.
Surrogacy legal services in California generally range between $6,900 to $13,000.
If you are considering surrogacy to start or add to your family, understand that you will sleep better at night knowing you have a legal representative on your side to protect your interests.
Surrogate Expenses in California
Surrogates are offered compensation in return for being implanted with someone else’s embryo, carrying the baby to term, and then following through with the agreement to give that baby to the expectant parent or parents.
The compensation expenses associated with the surrogate include what is referred to as a base payment that ranges roughly between $36,000 to $50,000 in California.
Additionally, surrogates are likely to receive a monthly stipend and other allowances during the surrogacy process.
Surrogacy Incidental Expenses in California
Often overlooked are the additional expenses that can likely occur for things like travel, the costs of insurance, and so much more.
When budgeting for surrogacy expenses, plan on spending an additional $2,700 to $5,000.
The costs of the entire surrogacy process can vary significantly depending on each unique set of circumstances.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Adoption: Pros & Cons is an article we wrote to help you explore your options.
Does Insurance Cover Surrogacy in California?
Many insurance companies have exclusions for surrogacy pregnancy. There are only fifteen states that require insurance companies to cover infertility treatments.
Even if an insurance company is required to cover infertility treatments, they may not cover in vitro fertilization (IVF) or embryo transfer.
You will want to check with your surrogate to see if she has insurance and find out what parts of the surrogacy process if any, are covered by her insurance.
If an insurance company does cover a surrogacy pregnancy, oftentimes there will be exclusions that will not cover every procedure. It will be important to find out exactly what is covered and what is not.
If the surrogate does not have insurance, you will want to check with your own insurance company to see what they do and do not cover with regard to the surrogacy process.
Insurance for the child will also be needed, and your insurance company will be able to help you understand your options in getting your child added to your insurance as soon as possible.
Are Surrogacy Expenses Tax Deductible in California?
If you reside in California and doing your surrogacy research, you will want to know if surrogacy is tax-deductible. Are surrogacy expenses tax deductible?
Many surrogacy-related expenses are tax-deductible. Couples using in vetro fertilization (IVF) may deduct fees related to their treatment, including fertilization and embryo transfer. Other costs that may be tax-deductible are donor fees, agency fees, and psychological and medical testing expenses.
Insurance premiums associated with after-procedure care and some legal fees may also be eligible for a deduction.
There are, however, some things that are not tax-deductible. Most of the surrogate expenses incurred during the surrogacy process are not tax-deductible.
Exceptions may apply if there is a medical condition that would prevent a mother from carrying her child.
Contacting a tax professional is highly recommended and can save you money, in the long run, to ensure you are taking all of the deductions that you are entitled to.
Independent or Agency Surrogacy Costs in California
Independent surrogacy is an option and is much less expensive than hiring an agency to facilitate the entire surrogacy process for you.
If you prefer to have all of the surrogacy aspects taken care of for you, then you may wish to use a surrogate agency.
Surrogate agencies offer some wonderful services and alleviate much of the stress for you by facilitating the entire surrogacy process.
Many feel that this added expense is worth every penny.
However, if you are finding that the costs of surrogacy are simply out of your price range, you may want to research independent surrogacy.
What is Independent Surrogacy?
Independent surrogacy, also known as private surrogacy, is when a surrogate and the intended parents do not use a surrogacy agency.
Providing the intended parents can find someone willing to be a surrogate, then all that is typically needed is a lawyer to ensure that the legalities are being met.
Although worth their value, surrogacy agencies in California typically charge on average between $20,000 to $32,000.
This is a substantial amount shaved off of the overall costs of surrogacy should the intended parents instead opt for independent surrogacy.
How to Pay for Surrogacy in California
It’s no secret that surrogacy is expensive, and many couples will be wondering how they will be able to cover such a large investment. So, how do you pay for surrogacy in California?
You can pay for surrogacy by getting a home equity loan, providing you have enough equity to use as collateral. You can also pay for surrogacy with credit cards, providing your credit limit allows. You can pay for surrogacy by borrowing from a 401K retirement account, up to 50% of the account balance.
There are many ways to pay for surrogacy, and some ways to cover those costs may be things you haven’t yet given any thought to.
How to Pay for Surrogacy in California:
- Financing Programs
- Borrowing from a 401K
- Home Equity Loan
- Borrowing from Family
- Credit Cards
- Agency Financing Programs
Let’s take a look at some of the above options in more detail to see if they may be a viable option you may wish to consider.
Below are just a few of how hopeful parents can raise money for surrogacy:
- Online fundraisers
- Asking for donations
- Hosting an event
- Selling something of value
There are many ways to be creative here, so put your mind in motion and see what else you can come up with.
Grants are popular ways to help cover surrogacy expenses.
You will be asked to complete an application, and if you meet the organization’s qualifications, you may receive a grant.
Grant funds are awarded yearly to families who need financial assistance to cover surrogacy.
Each grant organization can vary greatly from the next, and each has its list of requirements to qualify for a grant.
Some organizations will require a certain religious affiliation, and some may require that you live in a certain state.
If you are seeking surrogacy for a reason other than being diagnosed as infertile, then you will likely not qualify for a grant.
Below is a list of organizations that offer grants to those on a surrogacy journey. If you are infertile, then you may want to reach out to these organizations to see if you qualify for a surrogacy grant:
There are likely many other grant organizations, so it may be worth the research to find them.
Borrowing From a 401K
Generally speaking, one is only allowed to borrow up to 50% of their 401K retirement account.
A payment plan to reimburse the account will be required and will need to be paid back within a specific timeframe.
Home Equity Line of Credit
Providing that your credit is strong and you have enough equity built up, a home equity line of credit may be just what you need to help cover those surrogacy expenses.
The downside of financing all or part of your surrogacy journey using credit cards is that oftentimes credit cards incur high interest.
If you are considering using credit cards to pay for even just a part of your surrogacy process, you are encouraged to pay more than the minimum amount due each month to get the accrued balance down sooner rather than later.
Otherwise, the amount you will be paying for surrogacy expenses will be far greater when adding in interest that will accrue on top of it.
Agency Financing Programs
Surrogacy agencies will generally be able to provide a payment plan for the surrogacy process rather than having to pay for the entire cost of the surrogacy upfront.
These agencies may also be able to refer you to other programs such as fertility loans and grants. Talk with your surrogacy representative to inquire about the options available.
How Much Does International Surrogacy Cost?
Are you considering surrogacy and wondering if the costs to find a surrogate are less expensive internationally? How much does international surrogacy cost?
International surrogacy costs between $47,000 to $83,000 on average. In Eastern Europe, surrogacy costs average about $47,000, and in Western countries such as the United Kingdom (UK), Canada and Greece average closer to $83,000.
One thing that cannot be overlooked here is the cost of travel, and oftentimes there will be several trips required throughout the surrogacy process.
What may seem less expensive now might very well add up to be much closer to the cost of finding a surrogate within the United States.
There is also something to be said for less stress of not having to travel and deal with international processes such as passports, visas, customs, and the legalities of bringing a baby into the states.