When you want to start a family, and there are barriers to traditional conception, surrogacy can be a fantastic option for achieving your dreams. However, it can be a complicated – and expensive – process. The team at Pinnacle Law Firm is dedicated to working with you as you grow your family by helping you navigate contracts, fees, and more, and in today’s blog, we’ll be discussing the costs associated with surrogacy. Read on to learn more and contact our Los Angeles office today to get started!

Agency Fees

If you decide to work with a surrogacy agency, the associated fees can make up a significant portion of the overall cost of surrogacy, but it comes with many benefits. Those fees give you access to experienced professionals and comprehensive services like background checks, screenings, support, education, and more. A large portion of that expense will likely cover the cost of advertising to potential surrogates if you, as the intended parents, don’t have a specific surrogate in mind.

The exact cost of working with an agency will vary depending on the state and the agency. If you choose to pursue an independent surrogacy, you can cut out these fees, but you will lose the expertise and support that comes with an agency.

Legal Fees

Another portion of the overall cost you should consider is the legal fees that come with a smooth, effective surrogacy. An attorney should draw up a surrogacy contract for the intended parents, and the intended surrogate should have it reviewed by another attorney on their behalf, but that is only the beginning. In many cases, steps need to be taken to terminate the surrogate’s parental rights, and any non-biological parents may need to go through the legal adoption process.

A firm like Pinnacle Law can help you draw up pre-birth orders, establish parentage, and guide you through expense reimbursement. The right legal counsel can make the difference between a happy and successful surrogacy experience and an emotional, legal, and financial challenge. Fees will vary based on local laws and the amount of legal work required. Contact Pinnacle Law Firm today to learn more about how we can help you through your surrogacy experience!

Compensation for the Surrogate

Compensating your intended surrogate for their time, energy, and sacrifices is typically a major component of the overall expense, although it all depends on where you are pursuing surrogacy. Local laws establish different expectations, and if you are pursuing an international surrogacy, you may have to navigate restrictions on reimbursement. A surrogacy attorney like Corlandos Scott can help you determine what expectations you should have for your specific situation.

In the U.S., base pay for a first-time surrogate is typically between $40,000 and $60,000. The expense changes with different factors, such as the surrogate’s previous experience, their insurance coverage, and the pregnancy itself. This base pay is often intended to cover legal, medical, travel, and counseling expenses.

On top of this base pay, most contracts include supplemental payments to cover day-to-day expenses. These payments frequently take the form of a monthly allowance of about $200. This helps the surrogate cover the cost of items like maternity clothes.

In Vitro Fertilization

There are many different ways to approach surrogacy, but many intended parents choose in vitro fertilization, or IVF, to ensure that the child is genetically related to them. IVF can be expensive, especially if multiple attempts are made in order to achieve a successful pregnancy. The fees associated with IVF often include the costs of egg donation, the procedure itself, and the first embryo transfer. In some cases, you may be able to make the expense more manageable by separating this process into several steps that take place over weeks or months. Using an intended parent’s egg or frozen embryo can also reduce costs compared to using a donated egg and sperm. However, if a single pregnancy evolves into twins or triplets, there is often an added fee paid to the surrogate for carrying multiple babies.

Prenatal Care

Once the pregnancy is confirmed, you as the intended parents can expect to foot the bill for prenatal care. This includes the cost of the surrogate’s medical examinations, ultrasounds, and so on. Keep in mind — the payments you make are almost always non-refundable. You should not be expected to continue paying for the intended surrogate’s housing, travel, or clothing expenses if the pregnancy terminates, but you will not get a return on any of the payments you made up until that point. An experienced surrogacy lawyer can help you finalize these details in your initial contract, so make sure that you don’t skimp on the legal fees!

Medical Expenses

As intended parents, you will likely be responsible for the surrogate’s medical expenses throughout the pregnancy, including not only prenatal care, but also postnatal care. Any invasive procedures or necessary treatments to address problems like an ectopic pregnancy can add thousands of dollars to the overall cost of surrogacy. If the surrogate is subject to physician-ordered bed rest and they are employed at the time of the recommendation, you will be expected to compensate them for wages lost. The costs of the delivery itself will also be billed to you, and extra measures such as a Cesarean section can accrue additional fees.

Let Our Legal Experts Guide You

Surrogacy can be daunting, especially when it comes to the cost, but with the right preparation, it can be an unbelievably fulfilling experience for everyone. Pinnacle Law Firm wants to help you through the process from beginning to end with expert legal counsel and guidance. From handling fees and drawing up contracts to confirming guardianship, we’re here for you. Take the first step toward the family you’ve always wanted and contact our team today to get started!