What is a realistic budget for costs and expenses for a UK surrogacy journey?

July 17 2019
What is a realistic budget for costs and expenses for a UK surrogacy journey?

Budgeting is one of many daunting and moveable aspects of any surrogacy journey, but there are some standard considerations.

Conception – Becoming pregnant, and how people get to this point is one of the biggest variables when it comes to costs. A large amount of the overall budget will be needed in the creation of embryos, so it is important to maximise the number of embryos created through each cycle, and allow for at least 2-3 transfers to become pregnant.  

Some intended parents may come to surrogacy never having stepped foot in a clinic. They may have always known it was not possible for them to have a baby on their own, and will have waited, or not known about surrogacy before creating embryos. They may require the help of an egg donor, or need to complete a cycle of IVF themselves. Other intended parents may already have embryos, and this will help to reduce costs or will already met this cost. 

It is sensible to ask for specific costs to your circumstances so you can budget accurately as clinic costs alone can vary from £5,000-£20,000.

Brilliant Beginnings works alongside licensed clinics as part of our services but it is possible to pursue surrogacy through home insemination, and a traditional surrogate (a surrogate providing her own eggs). This dramatically reduces cost, but comes with additional considerations to ensure that everyone is both safe and successful in their journey. 

Help from a surrogacy organisation – Costs vary between all the surrogacy organisations this reflects the level of service and professional support that is offered.  Fees for Brilliant Beginnings services can be found here. The range of costs are from those associated with joining an informal Facebook group, to the full service organisation at Brilliant Beginnings. It is important to work out what works best for you in terms of support and access to advice as well as what meets your budget.  Sometimes the cost of an organisation that offers support and guidance at the initial stages will save time and money by avoiding issues that complicate and escalate costs. 

Payments to the surrogate – All surrogates are motivated by the desire to see the intended parents with their baby in their arms. This is an amazing gift and is a huge moment for her to see what she has made possible. It is right that no surrogate should get to there and be financially worse off. Surrogates helping friends and family, may not want any reimbursement, but more commonly there will be payments for actual out of pocket expenses, such as travel and childcare. For others they may not have a clear idea of what their expenses will be, and will be reimbursed by the intended parents as the journey progresses. Commonly a lot of surrogates and intended parents will agree a figure for reimbursement prior to treatment commencing, and this will be spread out over the pregnancy with allowances for unforeseen expenses. This is a popular way to do things as it is clear from the outset, and allows everyone to focus on the relationship, rather than money. At Brilliant Beginnings we spend time helping surrogates work through this, and we typically see payments to the surrogate of anywhere between £12,000 and £18,000.

Legal Costs – Legal advice should be sought at an early stage, and forms part of our service at Brilliant Beginnings. When baby is born the intended parents will need to apply for a parental order. Read more here on our sister organisations NGA Law’s website. The cost to apply for the parental order is £215, but many intended parents will seek help from a solicitor so they can spend more time focussing on their new arrival. Costs for this vary from £215-£6,000 depending on how much help the intended parents want.

Other costs – At Brilliant Beginnings we always advise that life insurance is in place for the surrogate and that everyone has up to date wills. There will also be costs for the intended parents travel, accommodation and related expenses which will be very dependent on where they and the surrogate are based, and how often they visit during the journey.

Overall costs - Whilst it varies, an overall budget of £40,000-£50,000 would be sensible when embryos need to be created, and when having help from Brilliant Beginnings and NGA Law. The majority of these costs should be available at an early stage, but are reasonably spread out through the journey. 

For a more in depth look into costs and budgeting and the options around your particular circumstances and budget, Brilliant Beginnings offers an Options Review meeting.

See more details on this here.

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