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Is Surrogacy More Expensive Than Adoption?

For those who are unable to have children naturally, there are other ways to start or expand a family. Two of the most common include adoption or surrogacy. The process of surrogacy involves one woman carrying the embryo that develops from a father's sperm and either the surrogate's or the biological mother's egg in order to carry and subsequently birth the child for the couple. Many who are considering the addition of a child to their family will oftentimes compare the financial aspect of surrogacy versus adoption. While it is certainly impossible to put a price tag on obtaining a child, there are certain business aspects of both the adoption and the surrogacy process that must be realistically considered.

Adoption and Related Costs

Although it can vary considerably, Adoptive Families magazine cites the average cost of adoption at between $20,000 and $30,000 in total, with the majority of international adoptions costing at least $20,000 and many newborn domestic adoptions costing less than $25,000. Regarding domestic adoption, the cost may vary from state to state, as well as upon the agency that the individual or couple works with for the process. In addition, in some cases, the adoptive parent or parents may receive a subsidy and/or reimbursement for some of their costs via tax credits, employee benefit plans, and government programs.
The Cost of Surrogacy

While surrogacy has become more common over the past few decades, it can still be costly - depending upon the type of surrogacy that the individual or couple chooses to use. Therefore, for those who may have financial concerns, it is good to get an estimated cost prior to moving forward. For example, traditional surrogacy which involves using the surrogate's own eggs will typically be less costly than if gestational surrogacy is chosen. The latter procedure involves obtaining sperm and eggs from both biological parents and then implanting the embryo into the uterus of the surrogate using in vitro fertilization. Because surrogacy involves the actual impregnation and birth of the child, it can typically cost more than adoption - however, this too will depend upon each individual situation. In many cases, the costs may include:

  • Surrogate agency fees (if applicable)
  • Attorney fees for drafting the surrogacy agreement (fees will be charged to both the surrogate and the individual or couple who is working with the surrogate)
  • Surrogate mother reimbursement (typically paid on a monthly basis throughout the pregnancy)

Reimbursement compensation that is paid to a surrogate can encompass many things, starting with the number of fetuses that are involved. Therefore, a surrogate who is carrying twins will charge more than one who is carrying a single child. These charges will also likely include medical and hospitalization expenses (which can also vary depending on whether the surrogate has a natural birth or delivers by cesarean section), maternity clothing, and a transportation allowance. Regardless of whether one chooses adoption or surrogacy, it is important to keep in mind the underlying reason for such expenses, as in either case it is bound to bring about a positive and happy life-changing experience for the intended parent or parents.