Low cost surrogacy can be achieved through careful planning and saving.
It is possible to reduce expenses in surrogacy drastically, and even eliminate a surrogate fee, though these methods do not work in every surrogate motherhood situation.
I am frequently asked why surrogacy is only available to “the rich” and why middle class potential intended parents are financially restricted from participating.
The truth of the matter is, most intended parents ARE middle class.
Most set a goal of affording surrogacy within a few years and have the patience and perseverance to achieve that goal.
Saving for Surrogacy
Most intended parents afford surrogacy one way: they save. They are realistic about the time it will take to achieve the funds needed for a surrogate motherhood journey, and they sacrifice much to get there.
Many intended parents are older, in their thirties, forties, or even fifties, and one advantage of being an older parent is that you have had more time to work out your financial situation. Many older intended parents have stable careers, and extra funds that they can save for surrogacy.
But for those who do not have these means, there are other options. First, examine what expenses you currently are paying on a monthly basis. Are you paying for a gym membership you do not use? Drink a Starbucks latte every morning? Are your land-line and cell phones redundant? Could you get by on less new clothing, or a less expensive car?
How important is it to you to keep up with the Joneses? Could you downsize your home, or move to another area in town? How about another town or state completely? Do you take expensive vacations?If so, consider a staycation, a volunteering vacation, or even spending time with family instead. The truth is many of us could easily live on half of what our paychecks bring us.
Add up all the little things that you are spending money on in your life, and make a decision to reduce or eliminate them. I’m not saying make yourself miserable. I’m asking you if cable TV is worth putting off your dreams of parenthood for a couple more years.
For more information on reducing expenses and saving money, I invite you to visit our sister site, also written and edited by Rayven Perkins, Stay a Stay at Home Mom.
Other Ways to Afford Surrogacy
If saving is not possible, or you are looking for a way to jump-start your quest to afford low cost surrogacy, here are a few more out-of-the-box ideas.
- Raid Retirement
Many intended parents have accumulated a sizable retirement fund, such as a 401K account. It is quite possible that the funds needed to afford even a low cost surrogacy are available through such an account. Before liquidating the retirement fund, however, some things need to be considered:
- How close are you to retirement? Will you have enough time left to replace the funds removed?
- What kind of financial penalties will be incurred with such a withdrawal?
- Is this something both partners agree on?
- Is there another way to afford surrogacy?
Choosing to raid a retirement account in order to fund surrogacy is not an easy decision to make, and should be done with thoughtfulness and reflection. Such a decision could very well affect the rest of your lives.
- Borrow from Your House
I hesitate to put this in here, because personally I am strongly opposed to using one’s home as an ATM, but I think this may be one of the only circumstances where such a loan is justified.
Many intended parents have taken out second mortgages on their homes to afford surrogacy. If this option appeals to you, it may be the quickest method to surrogacy.
- Borrow from Family
Some intended parents may be in a position to borrow money from philanthropic relative. If this is an option in your family, it is one that should be considered.
Keep in mind, however, for the benefit of the relationship, all details of the loan should be documented, including how much money is to be paid back and when.
- Sell Excess Stuff
It is said that the average American family has over $3,000 worth of unwanted belongings in their homes and garages, collecting dust. Now, $3,000 is a far cry from affording even a low cost surrogacy, but its a start, and could be the jump start that’s needed to get the ball rolling. Clean out your closets. Have a garage sale, sell on eBay and Craigslist, or take your more expensive pieces to an auction house.
- Get a Second Job
Growing up, the most plentiful two years of our lives was the time when Dad was moonlighting at another hospital a 45-minute drive away. We had great Christmases and vacations for those two years, and my parents were able to buy their first brand new car.
It may be possible for intended parents to take on a second job, do some moonlighting, request overtime at their current job, or even do some consulting on the side in order to earn extra money to save for a low cost surrogacy. One thing to remember here: it is far easier to spend less money than it is to earn more. Check out the tips for reducing expenses first.
- Start a Business
Many intended parents have the goal of at least one parent staying home with their baby after the birth, to become a stay at home parent. With the thought of these added expenses just to bring their child into the world, however, this dream may seem farfetched. My advice? Start a home based business….now.
Plan to spend the next 2-3 years building a source of income from a legitimate home based business. Put all the passion you have in wanting to become a parent into a business that will allow you not only to afford surrogacy, but to be able to quit your job and take care of your children full time. Don’t quit your job yet, however. Wait until your business is supporting you.
Ways to do a Low Cost Surrogacy
Of course, it also helps to come up with a way reduce expenses in surrogacy and do an actual low cost surrogacy. Here are some tips that will help.
- Eliminate the Agency
One of the larger expenses in surrogacy is the fees from the surrogacy agency.
Agencies do a lot for surrogate motherhood; they match intended parents and surrogates, take care of testing, organize appointments, handle escrow, and provide recommendations and mediation services.
But intended parents looking for low cost surrogacy need to eliminate the agency. Period.
In order to do so, intended parents must have done their research.
They must comprehend what surrogate motherhood entails, and must be comfortable doing all the leg work, including finding their own surrogate mother.
- Go Altruistic
Probably the best expense to eliminate in order to have a low cost surrogacy is the fee the surrogate mother receives.
Yes, it is possible to find a surrogate mother who will carry a child for you for free.
The catch: the most likely place to find such a woman is within your own family or close circle of friends.
Baring that, there are many traditional and gestational surrogates out there willing to take a very small surrogate fee to contribute towards a low cost surrogacy.
You can find them by placing an ad on the classifieds board.
- Become an Egg Donor
Some intended mothers, in order to afford a low cost surrogacy, have themselves become an egg donor. They do this multiple times and save the compensation they receive for their own journey.
Some intended mothers even do a shared IVF cycle, where half the eggs they retrieve goes to another couple, in exchange for the other couple paying the costs of the egg retrieval.
Caveats with Low Cost Surrogacy
Though there are ways to do low cost surrogacy by eliminating some expenses in surrogacy, one expense you must never tamper with is the cost of a good surrogacy attorney. If you listen to nothing else on this website, know that the single most important thing you can do in surrogate motherhood is to hire appropriate legal council.
There are too many horror stories about those who did not, thinking that they would save money and do a low cost surrogacy, or trusting their “experienced” surrogate mother or “really nice” intended parents instead.
Spend the money on a good attorney.
You’ll be glad you did.
Also keep in mind that though it is possible to reduce or eliminate a surrogate mother’s compensation, she should never, under any circumstances, be required to pay money out of her pocket to help intended parents have a child.
Things like lost wages, prenatal vitamins, medical bills, and maternity clothing should be covered, without hassle, by the intended parents.
Please understand that the preceding suggestions are only ideas, ones that I hope you will read in order to come up with your own solutions. I realize that not every one of these ideas are practical in every situation, and I am not proposing a one-size-fits-all solution. Rather, my goal is to encourage you to look outside the box and realize that if you want it bad enough, you will find a way to afford surrogacy.