Surrogacy Using an Egg donor: What will this process cost me?

There are several factors that will impact your total costs of the surrogacy and egg donation process. Probably the most significant is egg age. Whether you are using your own eggs, or those of an egg donor, your odds for success tend to reduce with increases in age.

Those of our clients using an egg donor 30 years or younger and a surrogate, get pregnant on the first attempt 65-85% of the time, and by the third attempt 95% of our clients are pregnant.

Based on these statistics, we recommend understanding and budgeting for the costs related not just to one attempt at pregnancy, but also to attempts two and three. Further, if you are implanting two or more embryos, you want to consider the costs for at least having twins.

Let’s take a closer look at the figures:

  • One attempt at pregnancy/One baby (US-based intended parents): if your surrogate got pregnant on the first attempt, using an egg donor, your costs would range between $150,000 and $155,000 on average. Note that only $25,000 is the Growing Generations agency fee, meaning that the remainder of the expenses for the surrogacy and egg donation process are standard expenses you will incur no matter where you go. In fact, a study of 20 different surrogacy agencies in the United States showed that the total ROUTINE costs of this process vary by 2% from agency to agency.

 

  • Additional attempt using frozen embryos: if your surrogate did not get pregnant on the first attempt, but you had embryos remaining from the first attempt, you can do a “frozen” cycle, which is usually an additional $12,000 to $17,000. This takes into account the medical fees to the IVF doctor, the medications for the surrogate, her travel to the IVF clinic and several other ancillary costs that need to occur for a frozen cycle to happen.

 

  • Additional attempt using fresh embryos: imagine that you did not get pregnant on the previous attempt(s) and are now out of embryos. This means you have to cycle an egg donor again for a second “fresh” cycle, adding approximately $54,000-60,000 to your costs. Some doctors have special IVF packages that will save you money if you have to do additional attempts, and so can lower this amount significantly.

 

  • Twin pregnancy: if your surrogate is pregnant with twins, this adds $7,750 to her compensation package. Depending on her health insurance, there might be an increase in her deductible (i.e. out-of-pocket limit required to be paid by the insured before the insurance company pays 100% of covered services). Additionally, the surrogate’s doctor may limit her physical activity, requiring the need for paid help at home. This is a tough cost to estimate because each pregnancy is different, but we recommend budgeting $10,000-$20,000 for this item.

 

A major gripe we have with professionals in the surrogacy industry is that they do not accurately quote the costs of the process. For instance, at the time of this writing, there is an agency on the East Coast of the U.S. that estimates that costs of this process at $85,400 “TOTAL Excluding 3rd Party Medical and Insurance Services”. Sadly, those excluded costs, and the ones not mentioned, can amount to another $65,000-$70,000. That’s a pretty big exclusion.

Budgeting correctly for the surrogacy and egg donation costs at the beginning of the process could be key in you completing your journey with a baby (or two). It is not uncommon for an intended parent to need to pause or stop the process completely because he is unable to access the funds needed to continue.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.