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Houston Fertility Journal

    How to Plan for the Cost of Surrogacy

    January 13, 2017 / by Center of Reproductive Medicine   

    Center of Reproductive Medicine

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    So you’ve been facing infertility issues for an extended period of time. You’ve tried alternative methods of getting pregnant, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) and artificial insemination (AI). Yet, nothing seems to be working, and you’re anxious to bring a new baby into your family.

    It’s an all too common scenario that many individuals and couples alike find themselves in, and in that case, it may be worth it to explore surrogacy. This process -- which, of course, involves the use of a surrogate mother who carries a new baby to term, either through IVF or AI -- may be the best bet you have to finally receive the bundle of joy you’ve always dreamed of.

    Unfortunately, the cost of surrogacy -- which may include an advocacy agency, gestational carrier and social workers, legal assistance, medical expenses and travel costs as well as any number of incidentals -- can become crippling without proper planning.

    Health Insurance Options

    Conservatively, the cost of surrogacy will be at least $50,000. However, estimates place the actual total as high as more than $100,000 when all's said and done. Accordingly, surrogacy is probably only best considered when other, cheaper means have been attempted first. That being said, there has been a dramatic change as far as insurance options for cases of surrogacy.

    Whereas providers once swiftly denied or restricted maternity coverage for surrogates, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes maternity care as an “essential health benefit” under qualified plans. Granted, this doesn’t preclude self-funded, nonfederal governmental plans as well as some individual carriers and small group plans to dismiss coverage of surrogacy-related maternity.

    In any case, if you and your family are considering surrogacy as a possible route, we highly recommend reaching out to an attorney specializing in reproductive law or a qualified insurance broker who works within that field. The stipulations regarding surrogacy-based pregnancies often vary greatly from plan to plan.

    So be sure you know where you stand or are able to plan your insurance coverage accordingly before you exert significant effort and energy in exploring surrogacy as a financially viable option. You may be surprised by what you find out. In some cases, coverage hinges on a surrogate’s health plan, while others depend on the plan for the intended parents. Regardless, having a secondary plan in place may be a smart move if you intend on moving forward with surrogacy.

    Loans and Grants

    We highly recommend you reach out to your financial advisor before looking into any loan or grant options. Nevertheless, there are several potential sources you may turn to for assistance in your surrogacy. Many surrogacy agencies -- which you may or may not need to turn to -- offer their own financing programs, and you may also consider a standard loan borrowing against the equity of your home. Both of these options are preferable to a 401(k) loan, which can wreak havoc on your retirement contributions. Only borrow against your 401(k) if you’ve exhausted all other options.

    On the other hand, eligible applicants can turn to grants, which oftentimes hinge on cultural and religious affiliations. Engage in a bit of research regarding what options you may have within reach, given the specifics of your family’s background and the specific circumstances of your anticipated surrogacy. A ton of organizations may be happy to offer you some relief in order to facilitate the birth of your new child. You’ll never know unless you look into the possibilities first.

    Plan for Parenthood

    We understand that struggles with infertility are never easy on anyone involved, and hopefully, the above information has at least helped you better understand the financial obligation associated with the cost of surrogacy. No matter what stage you’re in on your road to conception, chances are that there are still some options out there that you have yet to explore.

    In many cases, financing may be available for you to seriously consider surrogacy as a legitimate road to conception. Here at the Center of Reproductive Medicine in Texas, we encourage you not to give up on the dreams you and your family have to add a bundle of joy into your lives, and with today’s technology and a bit of time, who knows what may be possible. Surrogacy is simply one route you can take and one that you should certainly keep in mind as you venture on your road to new parenthood.

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    Topics: Treatment, Surrogacy

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