Surrogacy is an invaluable tool for those who want to add children to their families. Whether you choose traditional surrogacy or gestational surrogacy using your own genetic materials and in vitro fertilization (IVF), there are many health concerns and financial worries involved in the process.
The surrogate or gestational carrier will be the one who experiences physical pregnancy and all of the medical complications that go along with the process. Those partnering with a gestational carrier typically have the responsibility of covering medical costs.
Will your family’s health insurance coverage extend to the gestational carrier?
Most modern policies explicitly exclude surrogacy coverage
The average health insurance policy has pages of information about what kinds of procedures they will cover and for whom. For example, many modern health insurance policies cover fertility testing for couples trying to conceive but will not cover the costs of IVF.
When it comes to a gestational carrier, the insurance policy that covers you, your spouse and your children will likely not cover them. Most modern policies now specifically exclude maternity support for a gestational carrier. Instead, it will be her insurance that pays, provided that the policy does not exclude gestational services. Her coverage may not apply to the infant after birth in many cases, which is also something you will need to address.
A careful review of your policy and any policy that applies to the gestational carrier will let you know if insurance will cover the costs of pregnancy or if you must cover those costs yourself.
What expenses will you need to pay?
The kind of surrogacy you pursue and the unpredictable medical complications of pregnancy will control what expenses you incur. A vaginal delivery with few complications could mean that birthing costs are as low as $5,000, but a C-section could push that price tag up to nearly $15,000.
Additionally, you will likely need to pay for the IVF services provided, if that applies to your circumstances. If there is no current coverage for the gestational carrier, you may need to cooperate with her to help her secure coverage or even plan the pregnancy around when she can enroll for health coverage.
Getting a realistic idea of the expenses involved will help you better manage the process of expanding your family through surrogacy and adequately protecting yourself in the contracts you draw up related to the process.