How Much Does Surrogacy Cost in the US? Time to Consider Ukrainian Surrogacy!
Infertility and surrogacy in America can be crippling in America. Insurance rarely shoulder the burden. Our international surrogacy programs in Ukraine are pay as you go, the entire amount is not paid in advance. In addition, the cost is less than a third of that in the US and financing is available through our financial partner. Contact us to see how we can make your dreams a reality affordably.
Article By Doree Shafrir
When my husband and I started trying to have a baby, part of us thought even if it took a while, we'd eventually get pregnant "spontaneously." How naive we were. After trying for six months, we decided to get tested, and my husband was diagnosed with low sperm count. We were told that the odds of conceiving without medical intervention was less than 1% and that IVF was our only option. Okay, we thought, plenty of people have gotten pregnant via IVF. It would be expensive, but we'd end up with a baby. Right?
Well, two and a half years later, all I can say is: maybe. My husband's diagnosis (not covered by insurance, by the way) was just the beginning. Three egg retrievals, two embryo transfers, one polyp removal surgery, and a surgical hysteroscopy to repair a septate uterus — not to mention more ultrasounds, blood tests, and self-administered shots than I care to count — and I still don't have a baby, or even a pregnancy (I did have a chemical pregnancy after my most recent transfer, but that's literally the definition of "a little bit pregnant"). At this point, we've spent around $60,000 out of pocket — almost all of which has been put on low-interest credit cards.
I wanted to know how other people who had children, or who were trying to have children, either through medical intervention or via adoption, had done it. How much had they spent? What were the outcomes? I spoke to five couples across the country, from a variety of backgrounds and income levels, to find out.
Amy and Gordon Perrin
Ages: 37 (both)
Location: Plymouth, Michigan
Occupations: Treasury and investor relations manager (Amy), engineer (Gordon)
Household income: More than $150,000
Total spent: Approaching $200,000
Amy: I got pregnant on my own three times and had miscarriages three times. The first miscarriage, the D&C [dilation and curettage, a procedure to remove tissue from the uterus] cost me $11,000 in the emergency room. Our deductible is $6000 and then 70% or 80% up to another $10,000. That hit me right away: On top of losing a baby, I had to pay all of that. The second and third miscarriages I had in my doctor's office, so she only charged me $500 to do the D&C.
We've done two rounds of egg retrievals and the related drugs, genetic testing for the embryos, and then two embryo transfers.
Our insurance is pretty shitty. My insurance has no fertility coverage. We both work for large corporations. A couple years ago I read my husband's policy and he had fertility coverage. But you don't know all the terminology until you start going through it. So because I had been pregnant over the age of 35, they don't consider me infertile.
Gordon: Any kind of insurance, if they find an out, they're going to push for an out.
Amy: There were seven embryos from our first retrieval that passed genetic testing, and then two embryos didn't thaw properly, so we couldn't use them. We have two left from the first retrieval.
Gordon: Obviously, a gestational carrier — a surrogate — would be another option.
Amy: We sat down and went through our expenses last week. How long is it going to take us to save for it without having to take money out of our 401(k)? I don't want to be penniless when we have a child. We think it will take us two years to come up with the money. So far, we've just been able to pay for everything as we go. My husband sold a home from before we were together, and he made $40,000 on that. My parents have given us money here and there.
But for surrogacy, you have to show them that you have the money.
Gordon: If we could just pay along the way, we could probably do it now. But you have to have the whole lump sum. It goes into escrow.
Since initially speaking to BuzzFeed News, Gordon and Amy have found a surrogate and are planning on transferring one of their embryos in February.
Amy: We couldn't find any agencies that we liked. I put it on Facebook that this is what we were going to do, and a friend of a friend saw it who knew that her roommate in college had used a surrogate. She connected us with her agency in Indianapolis. Then we had to find a doctor and a psychiatrist in Indianapolis. [Editor's note: Michigan is an altruistic, or noncompensated, surrogate state.]
We're paying a premium for an experienced surrogate — she's already done this for a couple in Chicago. We went down for a weekend to meet her and went to the hospital where she wants to deliver. The first time she did this, she wanted to do it for someone who had had cancer. Afterwards she pumped milk and sent it to the parents and the baby.
This is easily $100,000. The agency gets a pretty big cut. What I liked about this agency is they didn't ask for everything up front. It was broken out — it was $5000 initially, and if nothing happens, that's it. But all of our money is in escrow right now. They have all of our cash, around $60,000. The money thing is crazy — fortunately, my grandma's helped us out, and we used our bonuses from work. And my girlfriend has a lot of money and said she'd give us whatever we need and we can just pay her back. We're not hurting, but knowing that every single dollar is in this is very stressful.
The agency does all of the background work on the medical and psychological stuff, and if you meet the person and decide you're a match, you reimburse the agency. Then we paid another fee to the agency, and then we reimbursed them for the medical costs. We paid for our attorney and her attorney, and got a life insurance policy for her. You have to pay to have wills drawn up for her, you pay for the transfer and the medication. She gets a couple hundred dollars a month from us to pay for things like vitamins and gas, and then starting at the heartbeat she gets a monthly payment until after the birth.
We didn't have to buy a separate health insurance policy for her [many health insurance policies do not cover pregnancy by surrogate]. She had a policy through the ACA and the ACA is very friendly towards surrogacy, but at any time it could change. So I really don't want to get into 2019. I really hope this transfer works.
Another thing that really pisses me off is after she gives birth, I have to pay her for six or eight weeks where she's off work, but I'm not being paid. My company's policy is that I have to give birth to this child to get any paid time off. I'm trying to get the policy changed. I've worked here for seven years and no one has given birth.
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