What are the costs of surrogacy in the UK and abroad?

February 17 2020
What are the costs of surrogacy in the UK and abroad?

Costs around surrogacy is something we get asked a huge amount about at Brilliant Beginnings. We are able to give a fairly accurate estimate of these costs for the UK and for some regulated countries, such as the USA and Canada, given our experience in supporting parents through the process. However, there is always potential for things to crop up during a pregnancy, such as bed rest required by the surrogate or a change circumstances for the surrogate that aren’t always able to be planned for, so with this in mind we always prepare parents to have a sum of money set aside for these instances. 

How much does a surrogate cost (in the UK)?

Currently we estimate a surrogacy journey in the UK to cost between £50,000 - £60,000. This incorporates embryo creation, clinic fees, legal fees, surrogate expenses, and things like life insurance and wills.

Costs of surrogacy in the UK can vary depending on the route you decide to take. There are three main options: 

  1. having a friend or relative help you as a gestational carrier, 
  2. finding a surrogate through an organisation such as Brilliant Beginnings, SUK or Cots, 
  3. via the independent surrogate route

Each of these options brings with them varying costs and so for a lot of parents, where cost is an important factor, they may choose their route depending on this. 

Finding a surrogate costs more, but even with a surrogate there are significant fees for surrogacy

Brilliant Beginnings provides the only matching and management surrogacy service in the UK, and this was grown from parents and surrogates wanting more support throughout the process. 

Currently under UK law a surrogacy arrangement is not legally enforceable, therefore Brilliant Beginnings offers a service of preparation and support for both the surrogate and the parents to ensure every single detail has been discussed, looked in to, and managed so that there will not be any questions around the surrogacy when it comes to obtaining a parental order via the UK courts. 

If you have a surrogate in the UK that is a friend or family member, generally speaking the surrogate’s expenses will be lower, however, the other costs that you need to consider remain the same. Whether you are going through this journey with a long standing friend or someone you have just met, you all need to be prepared for the journey ahead of you, so getting the best advice and support, and being fully informed of all the steps involved is an absolute must for a smooth surrogacy journey.

US surrogacy is priced differently than in the UK

When you look at costs for surrogacy abroad such as the USA, they are made up very differently, and consist of Agency, Egg donor Agency and Clinic and Attorney costs as well insurances, Surrogate fees and out of pocket expenses, we currently estimate a healthy budget for surrogacy in the US to be £160,000. 

The USA has a very good screening process for surrogates, and criteria has to be met for them to become a surrogate. Although surrogacy in the US is commercial, generally speaking surrogates have altruistic reasons for wanting to help build families in this way. 

Canada is more expensive than the UK for surrogacy

Canada is a destination for surrogacy that we are also able to support with here at Brilliant Beginnings. The costs involved for a surrogacy journey in Canada is also quite a significant increase from a journey here in the UK, we advise a healthy budget needed for a journey in Canada would be £90,000 and again how their journeys are managed and how surrogates are screened can vary dramatically. 

Parents like the fact that they are recognised as the legal parents from birth in Canada, and this is a draw for many. However, the wait times are far higher than the US, and the screening process around their surrogates can sometimes be inadequate with surrogates being put forward without sufficient preparation. 

Choose a destination by considering all the costs – not just surrogate expenses

There are other destinations abroad where surrogacy is an option, however there can be a number of things to consider such as quality of treatment, ethics and legalities. Ultimately, check out other destinations thoroughly, and seek legal advice before moving ahead with anything. 

Contact us to book an options review to find out more about how routes in the UK and international surrogacy journeys affect costs.