“How much is this really going to cost?” It’s one of the more common questions an agency fields about gestational surrogacy. The honest answer: it depends. It is an experience that truly requires flexibility every step of the way, and that includes the financial side of surrogacy.
You can expect the cost of surrogacy to start at around $100,000, but you may ultimately pay $240,000 or more when all is said and done. There are many different factors and variables to consider, from using an egg donor to a multiple-birth, both of which increase costs. When you factor in the gestational carrier’s compensation, psychological evaluations, medical exams and screenings, the agency fee, the IVF fees, legal fees, insurance, and miscellaneous expenses, it’s easy to see how it adds up quickly.
There is also the possibility your surrogate will be placed on bed rest or require a cesarean-section, meaning she may receive reimbursement for lost wages and things like childcare and housekeeping.
The reality is that most people don’t have an extra $150,000 at the ready to cover the cost of surrogacy. That’s where financing comes in, and there are a growing number of options for intended parents to consider. Many will go the route of a bank loan, a second mortgage or a home equity line of credit. Some borrow money from family or relatives, while still others decide to put some of the costs on a credit card – a risky option that is typically used as a last resort.
Yes, banks can provide several different kinds of loans to help finance surrogacy.
Unsecured loan: These are typically available for those with excellent credit, a low debt-to-income ration, and a high salary.
Even if you weren’t granted an unsecured loan, you may still be eligible for a secured loan. The important thing to remember is that payments must be made on time to avoid losing whatever you put up as collateral. Other potential loan opportunities include:
Home equity loans: if you have a strong credit history, you may have the option to use your home as collateral.
401(k) loans: some people choose to dip into their retirement funds and utilize their 401(k) plan. A 401(k) loan will often permit borrowing up to 50% of the account balance with the stipulation that it is paid back in a certain amount of time. Finder.com recommends this as a last resort to avoid spending money you’ll need for retirement, and because the funds will need to be repaid in full if you leave your job.
Finder.com offers an online service to compare your personal loan options and research other forms of financing to meet your needs.
There are still ways to make surrogacy more manageable with or without a loan – it may just require a bit more creativity and support. Other options on surrogacy financial help are out there – some have even been spearheaded by previous intended parents!
Several foundations, such as the Tinina Q. Cade Foundation, Baby Quest Foundation, and Pay it Forward Fertility offer grants to intended parents who are unable to cover costs of IVF or surrogacy. While it may not cover the full cost (many max out at $10,000), it can certainly help.
Still other intended parents have generous family and friends with the means to loan them the money or who set up crowdsourcing on their behalf.
Ultimately, your agency can refer you to the best financial resources to suit your needs. The support and guidance can actually help you save money over the course of your surrogacy journey! Contact us to get started.
All Things Conceivable is a blog dedicated to sharing the knowledge and expert opinions of the dedicated team at ConceiveAbilities, a Chicago-based egg donation and surrogacy agency.