IVF and surrogacy costs in the UK
Every IVF and surrogacy journey is unique and this means that saying exactly how much it will cost for you is very difficult. There are many factors to consider, from whether you need to create embryos to the number of attempts needed to achieve a pregnancy, through to if you need the help of a surrogate.
However, it is possible to outline where each of the costs are in order to help you figure out how much your journey might be. Here we look at the core stages and possible circumstances you might be in during an IVF or surrogacy journey and the typical costs.
Creation & Storage Of Embryos
Depending on if you are starting a surrogacy journey from step one, or are just now deciding to try to conceive using IVF, the first stage will be to look at and think about your embryos in relation to your journey.
If you are just starting out and don’t have embryos, the creation of them will be your next step and that means finding a clinic.
How do we choose the clinic?
For intended parents without embryos there are a few things to consider. Where you create your embryos is important as you need the clinic to meet your practical needs.
For example, does the clinic need to be local so attending appointments for a cycle of egg collection is as straightforward as possible? Do you already have a surrogate and want to make it easy for her by finding a clinic that is local to her? Similarly, if you are having the help of an egg donor, what is the donor program at the clinic? What are the wait times for a donor and what information will you get about them to help you decide?
Each clinic will have slightly different operating procedures and options for you to investigate once you’ve answered those key questions and where your clinic needs to be. Many clinics offer additional testing on embryos, including PGT (PGS) which checks for chromosomal normality in embryos. This will come with additional costs.
For those choosing a clinic and going through surrogacy, it is important to find a clinic that has experience of surrogacy, and a clear pathway for surrogacy. This will ensure there is a process to follow and it isn’t unduly stressful down the line.
You can get help finding a clinic by searching a region using The HFEA clinic search.
How much does it cost to create embryos?
The main costs at the clinic are going to be creating embryos. The clinic you choose will have to match your budget but these are very specific medical procedures so the costs are not insignificant.
Many clinics will have fixed packages for creating embryos, with or without the help of an egg donor. These will range from upwards of £10,000 (if using your own eggs and sperm) to around £20,000 (in a London clinic and having the help of an egg donor).
These packages will usually include everything to get you to the point of having embryos stored and will often include the screening of a surrogate and one embryo transfer. Other clinics will have more bespoke pay schedules depending on your exact needs, but the range in costs is probably not dissimilar.
The cost of additional testing, such as PGT, varies. To test around 8 embryos you can expect the cost to start at around an additional £3,000.
Should you need to create more embryos or find another surrogate then many costs will be repeated.
What if we already have embryos created and stored?
Many intended parents already have embryos stored from previous IVF attempts. These should be suitable to be used for surrogacy, but it is worth checking this with the clinic they are stored at, at an early stage, to be sure. Frozen embryos have good success rates, but the clinic will be able to give you advice on embryo quality.
Additionally, it is worth considering how many embryos you have stored. It may take 2-3 embryo transfers to achieve a pregnancy, meaning you will want enough viable embryos to be able for at least this many attempts.
Furthermore, if you would like the option of a sibling journey then you would need to have double this number of embryos with 4-6. It is sensible to create enough embryos to take this into account; though you can make embryos at a later date, it is advisable to have enough embryos at the start of your journey so the process isn’t extended by having to go back into embryo creation.
If your first embryo transfer takes then you will be one of the lucky few. For many intended parents, multiple attempts are needed to achieve a pregnancy and baby. You will have to pay for every embryo transfer, meaning you’ll need to budget for, at least, 2-3 transfers (the number we advise is needed to achieve a pregnancy).
How much does it cost to transfer embryos to a surrogate?
The cost of transferring embryos you have stored will include:
- the clinic fees for thawing,
- transferring the embryo to the surrogate
For surrogacy journeys, you should also bear in mind that the surrogate will need to take medication and also travel to and from the clinic. It is sensible to budget around £5,000 for each transfer of existing embryos.
The cost of a transfer may be included in any package you have paid for with the clinic. More commonly, and particularly after the first transfer, they will be paid for at the time of each transfer.
Transferring embryos between clinics
For surrogacy, it is worth bearing in mind that you may need to move your embryos to be closer to the surrogate, so the clinic that helps you create embryos may be different to the one that transfers them to a surrogate.
There will be costs to transport the embryos between clinics starting at around £1,000.
Costs of surrogacy with embryo creation
At Brilliant Beginnings we advise an overall budget of £50,000 – £60,000 for intended parents that need to create embryos and want our help to find a surrogate and support throughout their journey. Brilliant Beginnings is the only full service surrogacy organisation in the UK. We can help you at every stage, from finding a surrogate, through to getting you and your new baby settled at home.
As well as the costs at the clinic and Brilliant Beginnings, there are other costs which will be largely dependent on your individual circumstances. These would include:
- your travel (to hospitals, visit surrogate, etc),
- legal fees,
- surrogate expenses,
- life insurance
- wills – ensuring that everyone has up to date wills.
With the exception of surrogate expenses and legal fees, the majority of these costs will be incurred prior to pregnancy.
To discuss your individual circumstances and explore surrogacy in more detail we offer an options review meeting.