Choosing a surrogate

Choosing a surrogate? What you need to know!

Choosing a surrogate? What you need to know!

My friend Linda couldn’t wait to be a mom. Her whole life she has dreamed of a house full of children. Even as a little girl she was always the mommy when playing house with her friends and would diaper and even breastfeed her baby dolls. She was the youngest of 5 and the only girl. She nurtured all of her brothers and was a mom to them all, even though to some she was 10 years younger.

Being ambitious, she chose to go to medical school which put her plans for starting a family on hold for a bit. She did meet the man of her dreams in medical school and were married in July, the month they graduated. Linda and Neal immediately set out to start a family.

At 31 years old she was a tiny bit concerned she was starting a little late. A lot of her friends were already moms. She knew that 30 was even young these days to start a family, nevertheless, she was anxious to become pregnant.

Four years and 10 miscarriages later she turned to surrogacy. A gestational carrier was her first choice. A gestational carrier has no genetic relationship to the baby. The mom is the egg donor and the father is the sperm donor. The woman is carrying the child for the intended parents. Both she and her husband were healthy, although Linda’s uterus, as she puts it, was/is “angry”.

They chose a surrogate agency and after a short search found their surrogate, Lorraine, a lovely 29-year-old who had 2 children of her own. Their first meeting was perfect so they chose to move forward.

Obviously, a very different experience when preparing for a child and not be pregnant. In addition to all of the newborn preparation, there was a logistical, financial, legal, emotional and physical challenge they added to their plate.

They lived 300 miles from Lorraine, the gestational carrier. Even still, the couple made monthly visits to attend appointments and get to know Lorraine. This was an easy enough drive for Linda and Neal, and it did not really impact their budget. The cost was significant enough to even venture into this agreement.

Choosing a surrogate

Choosing a surrogate

Choosing a surrogate? What you need to know!

The total cost is approximately $150,000.00. It varies from state to state but the basic breakdown is:

Agency fee: $20,000 – $25,000

Gestational surrogate fee: $25,000 to $35,000, higher if it is a multiple pregnancy.

Health insurance: $10,000 to $35,000 special policy coverage for the surrogate

Non-medical expenses for the surrogate: $10,000 to $15,000

Legal fees: $10,000 – $20,000

Counseling: $5,000- $8000 requirement for most agencies

IVF: Up to $20,000 more expensive for a surrogate and not covered by Insurance.

The legal contract/agreement is extensive, and with this component comes a significant amount of worry and concern for both parties. The list of “what if’s” is lengthy, however, many are comforted by the positive experiences shared by successful couples.

One positive is that the new mom can hit the ground running once the baby is born. With no physical set backs or recuperation time, new moms are stronger and have less of a need for sleep, however, the emotional pain of not experiencing the birth, feeling the first kick and the battle wounds of delivery is devastating to some.

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