Bringing a biological baby into the world can cost $180,000.
For twins it can be around a quarter million. The biggest question is: Can
we make it cheaper?
Through our podcast we have met so many dads in various
stages of the parenthood journey. But whether it’s in gay dad Facebook groups
or in face-to-face interaction, there’s no doubt that the biggest issue gay
dads tackle is the cost of surrogacy.
In our season premiere of Daddy Squared we decided to dive
into the costs of surrogacy and try to figure out how flexible (downward, we
mean) these costs are. The first step for us was to find a surrogacy agency
that we can trust and that agrees to be transparent with us on the money issue.
Our motto was: no hidden costs.
Yan conducted research by asking gay dads in Facebook groups and dads in the community on our Instagram account. In the research, Circle Surrogacy was the #1 agency that dads were happy with in terms of client service and support. We turned to Circle Surrogacy asked to talk about money, and surprisingly (to us) we were answered quickly and warmly. — A quick disclosure: Circle Surrogacy, through this process has also become a sponsor of Daddy SQR podcast, but in our episode they speak generally about options, not specifically about themselves, and their openness has been truly refreshing.
According to Sam Hyde, President of Circle Surrogacy, costs
can be flexed up or flexed down based on small choices you can make along the
journey. Examples include travel costs, surrogate location, egg donor history,
“When you’re going through a journey like this there are, unfortunately, quite a few ‘fingers in the pie’ with regard to costs,” Hyde explains, “and I think that what drives confusion sometimes, or anxiety around the costs, is the different parties that are involved.”
“To break it down at a high level, there are a couple of big
buckets you’ll be looking at when it comes to cost,” Sam says. “The first one
that I list, just because of my position, is the agency fee. This is the cost
associated with the surrogacy or egg donation agency that will help you and holds
your hand along the journey.”
During our research we realized that some agencies (Circle,
for example) include in their fees all the legal costs as well. Other agencies
use an outside fertility lawyer that bills separately, so when comparing agency
fees make sure you’re comparing “apples to apples.”
“The second bucket,” continued Sam Hyde, “is compensation
for the actual women helping you along on this journey. So that’s compensation
for the egg donor to go through a cycle to produce the eggs that create the
embryos, and compensation for the gestational surrogate who carries the child.
“The third big bucket you’ll run into is costs around the
actual medical care that needs to be done. You’ll work with a clinic that
you’ll pay for the medical work of the journey.
“The last big bucket that you’ll run into is about maternity
insurance. This is usually a point of confusion for some of our international
clients who come from countries with a universal coverage. In the U.S. we need
to put insurance vehicles in place for both the egg donor and the surrogate.”
Conclusion: In the case of Circle Surrogacy, your surrogacy
costs split between two parties: agency and fertility clinic.
Here’s your journey and how it splits financially:
Stage 1: Embryo CreationAgency ExpensesCircle$9,500Legal Support FeeCircle$3,200Freeze Sperm and TestsFertility ClinicSee BelowEgg donor compensation Circle$9,000Travel CostsCircle$2,500Egg donor legal feesCircle$600Creating embryos for freezingFertility ClinicSee Below
Stage 2: PregnancyAgency Costs Circle$27,750Surrogacy Program Costs*Circle$9,200Surrogate's Legal FeesCircle$1,200Arrangement of Surrogate's Local Clinic for monitoringCircle$500Surrogate Travel Circle$2,500Embryo TransferFertility ClinicSee BelowPregnancy feesCircle$46,500Birth+hospital feesInsurance$20,