The financial costs of surrogacy

"It is important to establish a relationship and talk through the issues of surrogacy…discussing things like costs involved with going through the surrogacy process. And secondly what costs would you become aware of once you became pregnant. That would be things like insurances both... life insurances, day to day costs." Leanne

When considering a surrogacy arrangement, it is important to consider the financial costs involved. It is suggested that commissioning parent(s) prepare a budget to ensure they can meet the costs required for the treatment, including covering expenses for the surrogate.

Cost to the commissioning parent(s)

As surrogacy treatment involves medical, counselling and legal costs, it is inevitably be expensive. You will need to pay for consultation with fertility specialists, counselling, legal advice, and the costs of IVF treatment, as well as any agreed reimbursements for the surrogate. Clinic fees may vary depending on the clinic used, what procedure is required, whether a donor is needed and how many attempts are undertaken. It is recommended that you discuss the details of costs with your clinic directly.

Costs of IVF

Medicare does not currently subsidise surrogacy in Australia. This is largely due to the inability of surrogates to satisfy the eligibility criteria for Medicare. In order to be eligible for Medicare subsidies, the treating doctor must deem the procedure to be ‘medically necessary’ for the woman undergoing treatment which, in this case, is the surrogate.

Reimbursement to the surrogate

In Victoria and across Australia, commercial surrogacy is prohibited. However, the surrogate can be reimbursed for costs she incurs as a direct consequence of entering into a surrogacy arrangement. According to the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Regulations 2009, these may include:

  • medical expenses associated with the pregnancy or birth (doctors’ fees, medication, medical scans, etc)
  • costs of legal advice and counselling necessary to satisfy the requirements for approval by the Patient Review Panel, or prior to obtaining a substitute parentage order
  • travel expenses that are incurred in relation to the pregnancy or birth.

The surrogacy costs that are reimbursed to the surrogate are a matter for the parties to agree upon when making the surrogacy arrangement. The surrogacy arrangement should reflect these decisions, and the expenses and costs that will be reimbursed to the surrogate should be clearly worded.

Tip

It is important that both the commissioning parents and the surrogate are clear about what costs will be reimbursed. Financial matters can be difficult to discuss. It’s critical that both parties establish a system that gives the surrogate confidence to talk about the costs she has had to pay out of her own pocket to ensure no undue stress or conflict between you occurs.