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How to finance surrogacy

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Don’t let costs get in the way of building your family.

Surrogacy is an expense that some couples aren’t willing to compromise, but that doesn’t make it any more affordable. Costs can easily top $100,000 and can be difficult to predict — you can’t control how many IVF cycles you’ll need or whether your surrogate will have complications.

We walk you through costs you might expect and how you can cover them when working with a surrogate.

Our top pick: LendingClub Personal Loan

  • Min. Credit Score Required: 640
  • Min. Loan Amount: $1,000
  • Max. Loan Amount: $40,000
  • APR: 6.95% to 35.89%
  • Requirements: US citizen or permanent resident, verifiable bank account, steady source of income, ages 18+.
  • Available in 48 states
  • Checking rate won't affect your credit
  • Can apply with a cosigner

Our top pick: LendingClub Personal Loan

A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.

  • Min. Credit Score Required: 640
  • Min. Loan Amount: $1,000
  • Max. Loan Amount: $40,000
  • APR: 6.95% to 35.89%
  • Requirements: US citizen or permanent resident, verifiable bank account, steady source of income, ages 18+.
Promoted

Can I pay a surrogate mother with a personal loan?

Yes, most personal loan providers allow you to use your approved funds for any legitimate personal expense. Because surrogacy can come with unexpected expenses over time, you might want to also consider taking out a personal line of credit.

Personal loans offer either secured or unsecured financing. Unsecured loans are best for borrowers with good credit, a low debt-to-income ratio and a high salary. But even so, for the lowest rates, consider secured loans, which use personal assets like a car or a home as collateral. Another popular way of financing surrogacy is taking out a home equity loan or home equity line of credit.

Top personal loan providers to compare

Updated November 17th, 2019
Name Product Filter Values APR Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount
5.95% to 35.99%
Fair to excellent credit
$100,000
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.
3.84% to 35.99%
Good to excellent credit
$100,000
Get loan offers from multiple lenders at once without affecting your credit score.
6.98% to 35.89%
600
$50,000
Affordable loans with two simple repayment terms and no prepayment penalties.
3.84% to 35.99%
550
$100,000
Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.
34% to 155% (Varies by state)
No minimum
$10,000
Check eligibility in minutes and get a personalized quote without affecting your credit score.
3.99% to 35.99%
450
$100,000
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
6.49% to 17.99%
650
$25,000
With over 80 years of lending experience, this credit union offers personal loans for a variety of expenses.
6.95% to 35.89%
640
$40,000
A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
5.99% to 17.88%
680
$100,000
No fees. Multiple member perks such as community events and career coaching.

Compare up to 4 providers

How much does surrogacy cost?

Surrogacy can cost from $60,000 to an eye-popping $240,000 in the US. Prices depend on whether you use your own eggs, how complicated the pregnancy is and the legal hoops you need to jump through.

We’ve broken down the typical costs you can expect to pay when using a surrogate to grow your family.

ExpenseTypical cost
Surrogacy agency fee$20,000–$25,000
Surrogate compensation$35,000–$65,000
Surrogate and parent psychological evaluations$600–$1,500
Surrogate medical exams and screenings$2,000–$4,500
Embryo transfer$500–$1,500
IVF fees — including medication$12,000–$40,000+ (depends on number of cycles)
Egg donor fees$15,000–$20,000
Legal fees$2,200–$12,500
Maternity clothing allowance$750–$1,000
Miscellaneous expenses allowance — meals, travel, vitamins and other costs$200–$300 monthly

Other expenses you might need to pay include C-section fees ($1,500), birth compensation for two or more babies ($5,000) and lost wage compensation for your surrogate (up to $25,000), among unexpected costs.

Surrogacy abroad

The basic costs of surrogacy abroad can be less than what you’d find in the US. Going through an agency in India, one of the most popular surrogacy destinations, costs in the ballpark of $30,000. But once you factor in travel expenses, legal fees, accommodation and genetic testing involved in bringing home a surrogate child born abroad, it can cost as much as a US surrogacy.

Keep in mind that countries have different levels of regulation, which could affect how well your surrogate takes care of her health — and the health of your unborn child — while pregnant.

In India, surrogates see from $800 and $8,000 of that $30,000 you pay, while the rest goes to the agency or clinic.

It depends on where you live. Surrogacy is not legal in states like New York and Michigan, while other states impose varying levels of restrictions.

Explore our interactive map to learn about surrogacy laws in your state.

Surrogacy state regulations map

How else can I pay for surrogacy?

  • In-house surrogacy financing. Agencies know that many parents don’t have thousands of dollars on hand, and so most offer payment plans or financing directly. Agency financing is like any other type of loan, which means you might be able to shop around for an option that better fits your needs.
  • Foundation grants. Several foundations offer grants to intended parents who can’t cover the cost of surrogacy themselves. You might need to provide proof of infertility or live in a specific state to qualify. Your grant also might not cover the entire cost — many top out at $10,000.
  • Crowdfunding. Because surrogacy costs are so high, you might have luck crowdsourcing from your family, friends and social network than just asking a few relatives for funds. Look for a platform that allows you to keep whatever funds you raise (minus fees, of course).
  • 401(k) loan. As a last resort, consider borrowing from your retirement fund, which doesn’t require a strong credit score or financial history. But taking money from your 401(k) could hurt your ability to save for retirement. And if you leave your job, you’ll need to repay what you’ve borrowed in full. You also can’t borrow more than $50,000, which likely won’t cover your full costs.
  • Credit cards. For a smaller, unexpected expense — like an emergency C-section — your credit card might more easily cover the costs. Consider applying for a new card with a 0% intro rate once your surrogate is pregnant to take advantage of no-interest financing as you need it.

5 tips to make surrogacy affordable

  1. Get the right insurance. As an intended parent, you’ll want to look for IVF benefits and newborn coverage. For maternity care coverage you’re surrogate requires, you can either pay any extra costs of adding it to her health plan or research switching to a plan that’s more affordable (if she isn’t already covered).
  2. Get a single embryo transfer (SET). Using one embryo lowers the risk of multiple pregnancies, which can increase complications and costs (not to mention the cost of raising an extra child or two).
  3. Find a surrogate nearby. If you live in a state where surrogacy is legal, getting a surrogate near you can cut down on transportation costs, especially if there’s a chance you’ll need to hop on a plane at a moment’s notice.
  4. Consider friends or family. It’s a weighty request, but you can avoid agency fees by asking trusted loved ones to carry your baby for you. Depending on your circle of support, they just might agree to do it for a lower fee — or none at all.
  5. Know your legal options. While it’s common to establish your legal rights to parenthood before your child is born, other legal options out there might be less expensive. Speak with a lawyer to find a choice that’s best for you.

Bottom line

Paying out of pocket for a surrogate is untenable for most people, but plenty of financing options are available. From grants to crowdfunding and personal loans, you might be able to piece together a way to cover the cost of a priceless new addition to your family.

Get started by comparing your personal loan options and researching other forms of financing to meet your needs.

Frequently asked questions

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