The cost of surrogate mother is not the only fee the intended parents are responsible for in commercial surrogacy. There are many other expenses in surrogacy that need to be paid in order to commission a surrogate pregnancy.
Intended parents are responsible for nearly every fee under the sun when it comes to commercial surrogacy. If it pertains to surrogate pregnancy, the cost of surrogate mother, or to getting pregnant, the intended parents pay for it.
Here is a list of expenses in surrogacy, in addition to the cost of surrogate mother, they are expected to pay:
- Agency Fees
All fees associated with obtaining and using a surrogacy agency are the responsibility of the intended parents.
- Escrow Fees
An escrow agent is the party who acts as the middle-man where payment is concerned.
The intended parents pay the escrow agent, and the escrow agent pays the cost of surrogate mother directly.
Many agencies or lawyers handle escrow for the intended parents, but some choose to hire an independent escrow agent instead. Other arrangements do not use escrow at all, instead making payments from the intended parents directly to the surrogate.
- Attorney Fees
Both the intended parents’ attorney and the surrogate’s attorney are paid for by the intended parents. It is a good idea for surrogates to choose an attorney in advance and to know what his fees are, before she starts to look for intended parents. This way she can communicate these costs up front.
Intended parents also have to pay fees involved in getting the baby’s birth certificate or prebirth order taken care of so that they, and not the surrogate mother, are named the legal parents.
It is the intended parent’s responsibility to pay for insurance for the surrogate mother IF she does not already have viable insurance before the commercial surrogacy begins.
It is NOT the intended parent’s responsibility to pay the surrogate’s insurance premiums if she has the policy in place before the journey.
In addition, intended parents may pay for a life insurance policy for the surrogate for the duration of the journey.
- Medical Bills
All medical bills pertaining to the surrogate pregnancy that are not paid for by insurance are the responsibility of the intended parents. This includes the medical bills the baby incurs in the hospital after his birth.
Any testing required for the surrogate to be approved by the agency or the intended parents’ clinic is at the expense of the intended parents. If a surrogate’s insurance will cover some or most of the testing, that should be used, but any additional or non-covered fees will be paid by the intended parents.
- Psychological Evaluation
If required, this test will be paid for by the intended parents.
NOTE: It is important to note that this test will belong to the intended parents, and if the surrogate and intended parents part ways, this test and the results will not be forwarded to the surrogate.
If she decides to find a new set of potential intended parents to work with, she will have to take this test again.
- Clinic Fees
All fees associated with the clinic and procedures will be part of the fees intended parents pay. Most private insurance companies will not pick up any of these expenses, as they usually have exclusions for infertility treatments.
- Cycle Medications
These medications are very expensive, and are the complete responsibility of the intended parents. This includes birth control pills. Some surrogate’s insurance companies will pay for these medications, and her insurance policy should be used when possible.
If a surrogate and her partner need to travel any distance in order to proceed with testing, attorneys, appointments at the clinic, or the transfer itself, all fees associated with this travel will be paid for by the intended parents.
This includes: mileage or airfare, childcare, hotel stays, per diem for food, and car rental or taxi fare. This is usually for the surrogate and her choice of travel companion.
- Missed Work
As part of the cost of surrogate mother, any unpaid time-off that the surrogate or her partner incur because of the commercial surrogacy should be part of the fees intended parents pay.
Not every surrogate or her partner will need this provision, and this provision is not added to an all inclusive fee schedule.
- Surrogacy (or Egg Donor) Fee Schedule
Intended parents are responsible for the fees agreed on as part of the cost of surrogate mother in the commercial surrogacy fee schedule.
- Miscellaneous Expenses
Intended parents pay for all miscellaneous expenses as outlined in the surrogacy fee schedule.
Expenses Not Paid by Intended Parents
Some unethical surrogates choose to take advantage of the fact that “any pregnancy related expense” is paid for by the intended parents, increasing the cost of surrogate mother drastically.
Without prior discussion, they choose to bill the intended parents for things like take-out dinner (they reason that they were too tired from being pregnant to cook), massage (their back hurt from carrying the baby around all day), and once, I even saw toilet paper (she “went” more while pregnant).
Intended parents have taken on a great financial hardship for the opportunity to bring their child into the world.
I say “opportunity” because it is not a given thing.
They risk spending countless amounts of money for failed transfers, miscarriages, or unfortunate stillborns.
Some intended parents have taken out a second mortgage on their homes, have liquidated their retirement accounts, or have sold off their possessions to come up with the money for expenses in surrogacy.
Intended parents are real people, not a nameless, faceless corporation, and a surrogate mother should not be tempted to take advantage of them.
Having said all that, if there is an uncommon surrogate pregnancy related expense that a surrogate mother feels is important, such as pregnancy massage, she should discuss it with her intended parents in advance of their paying for these services, preferably before the commercial surrogacy contract is signed.