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The cost of third-party IVF: egg donors, surrogates and beyond

February 24, 2021

Let’s be real, getting pregnant is expensive. And for intended parents who have experienced failed IUIs, IVF cycles and other unsuccessful attempts with assisted reproductive technologies, it can be overwhelming and heartbreaking to think about third-party fertility resources. 

When you’ve turned to third-party fertility services like surrogacy and egg donation, there are additional costs to consider and budget for. Every fertility clinic and family building agency will have different costs, so it’s important to select the fertility experts and care teams that make you feel most comfortable and prepared for your journey. 

The cost of a surrogate

Simply put, next to choosing the right surrogacy agency, choosing a surrogate is one of the most important decisions you’ll make during this process. 

There are typically far more intended parents in need of help than there are eligible surrogate candidates. The most experienced surrogates will be compensated higher, so keep this in mind when weighing what you’re willing to spend and what your preferences are as you navigate the selection process.

Although surrogacy is expensive, it’s well worth the investment as it optimizes your chances for success. Your surrogacy costs as intended parents can range from $120,000 to $200,000. Let’s explore this cost break-down to understand what you’re paying for along this journey. 

Base compensation for surrogates

In California, a first-time surrogate’s base compensation is $45,000, with an additional $5,000 for every successful birth. Surrogacy also holds no out-of-pocket costs for the loving women who pursue this act of service. Because of this, the intended parents can expect to pay for her: 

Medical expenses 

Because most surrogacy agencies don’t support traditional surrogacy, you’ll need to evaluate the cost of in vitro fertilization cycles when selecting an IVF clinic. On average, the cost of IVF with your surrogate can range from $14,000 to $46,000. Intended parents will cover the cost of the IVF treatment cycle, fertility medications, monitoring visits and more. 

The cost of your IVF cycle should cover: 

  • Ultrasounds
  • Blood tests
  • The egg retrieval procedure
  • Lab fees
  • The embryo transfer
  • Cryopreservation of viable embryos
  • One year of embryo storage fees

Some clinics offer IVF packages with unlimited egg retrievals and transfers to ensure that you’ll leave the hospital with a baby for one set cost, no matter what. 

When selecting a fertility clinic, look for a comprehensive package that bundles multiple egg retrievals and transfers to lower your overall financial risk. As intended parents using third-party fertility services, it’s important to provide yourself with financial assurances and make sure that you’re still on track for your dreams, even if something goes wrong. Using IVF with your surrogate can still take multiple retrievals and transfers, and giving yourself the opportunity for multiple attempts will best ensure your success. 

Fertility medications

These are necessary before and during the pregnancy, and range from around $4,000 to $8,000 per pregnancy. 

Health insurance

Health insurance is a necessary investment to mitigate your financial exposure for maternity care costs.  

Maternity and delivery coverage can range from $8,000 and $35,000. A traditional plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ranges between $11,000 and $13,000, while a surrogate maternity liability insurance plan through Lloyd’s of London can range from $25,000 to $43,000. Note that these numbers can change if your surrogate is carrying a twin pregnancy or your journey takes a prolonged period of time spanning more than one calendar year.

Travel expenses

If you have an out-of-state surrogate or she does not live near your IVF clinic, you’ll need to plan the travel and accommodation required of the three to five visits during the IVF cycle. This cost typically ranges from $2,500 to $5,000. With the current COVID safety recommendations a longer stay may be needed for quarantine and testing periods when traveling. 

Maternity clothing, household, and pregnancy allowance

At the end of the first trimester, your surrogate will receive $1,000 for maternity clothing. Additionally, for every month of your surrogate’s pregnancy, she’ll receive $200 ($1,000 total) for pregnancy-safe household products and healthy foods, and $300 per month for local childcare care, mileage, and pregnancy-related expenses

Lost wages

Your surrogate (and her partner if applicable) will be compensated for time away from work during and after the pregnancy. This can range from $3,500 to $7,000, depending on your surrogate and her partner’s net salary. Your intended parent coordinator will calculate this exact amount using paystubs. Note that not all surrogates will be losing wages from work, so this may be omitted. 

Legal services

Your attorney fees as the recipient parents will range between $6,000 to $12,000. The attorney fees for your surrogate, including contract review and signing for the petition of parentage, will be an additional $1,000 to $1,500. You will also pay for additional court costs of around $2,500. 

Escrow account service fees

Your Escrow Account will be fully funded and set up before the surrogacy journey can begin to ensure peace of mind and financial security for all involved. When setting up your Escrow Account, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $1,500.

Program fee

Depending on the surrogacy agency you work with, you can expect to pay a fee of around $28,000 to $35,000. The staff at Hatch are happy to address any questions or concerns you may have about the costs entailed with a surrogate pregnancy.

The cost of an egg donor

When intended parents must turn to another woman, often a stranger, who will play such an important part in the makeup of their child, they’re anxious to stack the genetics in their favor, believing in the likelihood that traits of the donor will show up in their child. 

At the end of the day, intended parents at Hatch will pay anywhere between $21,000 and $60,000 for an egg donor with their own IVF clinic, and $45,000 for an egg donor and in-house IVF services. Let’s break this down and explore the different expenses when using an egg donor.

Donor base compensation

For intended parents using an egg donor, the base pay included in the package will be around $10,000 in California. At Hatch, our program of super donors are composed of the top 5% of candidates in the nation. 

Additionally, Hatch offers a top-rated program of egg donors with select criteria, such as past successful cycles, superior professional achievements, physical attributes, and higher education degrees. Donors from this program receive a higher fee cycle, and offer you a comprehensive selection of highly qualified, accomplished women when selecting your donor. 

Medical costs

Using an egg donor means you’ll need to purchase an IVF pricing package to retrieve, store and fertilize the eggs. You can purchase IVF plans with one egg retrieval.

The cost of these programs ranges from $25,000 to $46,000, but these prices are significantly discounted as patients purchase additional cycles and transfers. Because Hatch has an in-house IVF clinic, intended parents using our in-house IVF package will receive significant discounts on your associated costs. 

Fertility medications

Intended parents may need to purchase these medications with or without insurance coverage. Recipient parents typically spend around $4,000 to $6,000 on fertility medication. 

Travel expenses

If you’re using an out-of-state egg donor, travel will add considerable costs. Intended parents can expect to pay $4,000- $7,000 for travel during the cycle and egg retrieval process. The travel costs may be impacted by COVID related testing and quarantine periods.

Outside monitoring fees

Your egg donor will require monitoring and check-ins before the egg retrieval (and possibly after) to prepare and wait for the optimal time to retrieve her eggs. This typically costs between $1,500 and $2,500. 

Escrow account service fee

It’s essential that your Escrow account is fully-funded before starting your egg donor cycle. When setting up your escrow account, you can expect to pay around $350. 

Putting it all together: the cost of third-party IVF

The path toward parenthood is filled with many ups and downs, and having the best care possible is what can make your fertility journey exciting. While there are many different considerations to be made--from selecting a procedure to choosing your donor or surrogate--your fertility clinic will guide you with their experience and knowledge. 

Choosing a doctor that can help you achieve your dreams of pregnancy is the top priority of any patient, but remember that you’re not only selecting a doctor--you’re also selecting their fertility clinic. While fertility clinics have improved in pricing transparency and packages, it’s important to evaluate what you’re receiving (and what’s being left out) when you purchase an IVF cycle package with a clinic. 

If you’re using both a surrogate and egg donor on your fertility journey with Hatch & PFCLA, you can participate in the “Unlimited IVF until live birth” package. This ensures that you’ll walk home with a new family member, regardless of how many egg retrievals (for the intended mom), surrogacy cycles, and embryo transfers you may require. 

For intended parents considering surrogacy and IVF, you have a much wider price range due to the variable nature of agency fees, surrogate experience levels, and more. Through our sister clinic, PFCLA, you can access significant discounts and savings if you select Hatch’s in-house IVF program. 

Begin your journey toward parenthood with Hatch’s surrogacy and egg donor programs

In working with the first and longest-running egg donation program in the country, you’ll have access to the top 5% of surrogate and egg donor candidates nationwide. You’ll feel guided and supported every step of the way with your dedicated care coordinator, and staff composed of women who have first hand experience as egg donors and surrogates. 

At Hatch, we specialize in curating outstanding matches between intended parents and surrogates. You deserve the happiest, healthiest journey possible, and we’ll do everything in our power to make that happen. We’ve been known to  go the extra mile for our clients including delivering surrogate medications in the middle of the night in an emergency, and providing prompt assurances to surrogates and intended parents across time zones. Whatever you need, our team will be there for you. Join Hatch’s program to embark on a journey toward parenthood unlike any other. 

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