Planning a Surrogacy Journey: Timeline and Costs

Planning for a surrogate pregnancy can be overwhelming. When do you start?  How long will it take?  How much will it cost?  These are some of the most common questions!  Below are estimated timelines and costs, as well as some things to consider as you begin to think about a surrogacy journey.

Timeline to locate a surrogate.

Pearl Surrogacy estimates it will take 6-9 months to match intended parents with a surrogate.  However, this number is just an estimate and depends on many factors.  Your search may be longer or shorter.  One of the most important factors is what states your surrogate can deliver in, both in terms of your comfort with distance and with legal parentage determinations.  Every state’s laws treats surrogacy differently.  Intended parents frequently want to know if they can both be on the initial birth certificate.  The answer is, it depends on the state, whether you are married and whether you are both the biological parents of the child.  In some states, marital status and biological parentage don’t matter and in other states, they do.  You need to be comfortable with the legal process for parentage determinations, both in the state where the baby will be born and in your state of residence or the country to which you will take the baby home.  We are more than happy to talk to you about your personal circumstances and what the legal options and recommendations will be for parentage determinations.

Some other important considerations in thinking about your search for a surrogate are: types and frequency of contact during the pregnancy, types and frequency of contact after delivery, medical decisions during the pregnancy and delivery, and any other personality or family structure qualities that are important to you.

Timeline from matching to attempting pregnancy.

In general, it will take 2-3 months after Pearl Surrogacy matches you with your surrogate until you are ready to attempt pregnancy.  First, final medical and psychological screenings must be completed.  Pearl Surrogacy will coordinate to have your surrogate go to your clinic for these screenings.  After final medical and psychological screenings are complete, you are ready to prepare the surrogacy contract.  Your lawyer will draft the surrogacy contract.  Your surrogate will have a local attorney review the contract and negotiate on her behalf.  Once the contract is signed, then we can coordinate the embryo transfer.

Making embryos.

Whether you are undergoing IVF yourself or looking for an egg donor, the process of making embryos is likely to be shorter than the search for a surrogate.  Some intended parents make embryos and search for a surrogate concurrently while others complete the process of making and banking embryos before searching for a surrogate.  It is entirely up to you.  You should talk to your doctor about how long they anticipate it will take for you to obtain the desired number of embryos so you can include this in your timeline.

Estimated costs.

The estimated total costs for a successful surrogate pregnancy are $75,000-$150,000.  Below is a breakdown to help you better assess where you are likely to fall in that range.

  • Agency Fee. Pearl Surrogacy’s agency fee is $22,000, which includes: all background checks, insurance review of your surrogate’s existing insurance policy and escrow agent fees.
  • Surrogate Compensation. $25,000-$35,000, depending on whether it is a singleton or multiple pregnancy and whether your surrogate is a first-time or repeat surrogate.
  • Maternity Insurance. $10,000-$25,000. Only about 10% of surrogates will have insurance that will cover a surrogate pregnancy.  We strongly encourage you to plan on purchasing a supplemental maternity policy.  Pearl Surrogacy will help you review maternity insurance options for your surrogate.
  • Reimbursements and Fees to Surrogate. $10,000-$20,000.  This includes all contracted reimbursements and additional payments to your surrogate (i.e. maternity clothes allowance, C-section fee, embryo transfer fee, travel reimbursements, compensation for unpaid time off from work to recover post-delivery).
  • Legal Fees. $8,000-$12,000.  This includes drafting and negotiation of the surrogacy contract as well as preparation and filing of all documents necessary for parentage determinations.
  • $0-$50,000+.  If you have insurance for IVF cycles, medical treatment could potentially cost you very little.  However, if you are paying out of pocket for numerous IVF cycles or for an egg donation cycle, the costs can be considerable.  You should consult with your doctor about your anticipated treatment plan so you can determine the associated costs.

Medical, legal and agency fees are due at the times services are rendered.  Compensation, reimbursements and fees, and maternity insurances costs are placed in an escrow account prior to any pregnancy attempts and then disbursed by the escrow agent in accordance with the terms of the surrogacy contract.

Surrogacy arrangements have a lot of moving parts and while we have tried to give you a general overview, every circumstance is unique.  If you are considering a surrogacy journey, schedule a free consultation with Pearl Surrogacy!  We are happy to answer your questions and provide information specific to your situation and plans.   Contact us today at 201-390-7400, ext. 1 or email

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