Myth: Surrogacy is Only for the Very Wealthy
Over the last few years, it has become increasingly common to read or see news stories on celebrities, athletes, or other public figures starting or growing their families through gestational surrogacy. This may lead potential intended parents to believe surrogacy is out of their reach financially. While the price of surrogacy may seem daunting at first, there are many ways to make the cost of a journey more manageable for all budgets. Let us dive in and explore a few of those ways together.
- Crowdsourcing: While asking friends, family, and yes, even complete strangers, for help may feel “icky” at first, crowdsourcing has become a popular way to offset the cost of surrogacy. There are multiple online platforms available and they make it easy to set up your fundraising goal and share it with your circle and beyond. We have all been in a situation where we know someone in need and have said, “Let me know if I can do anything to help!” This is the perfect opportunity to share that need with others.
- Grants: A number of organizations offer grant assistance to help those looking to build their family through surrogacy. Some are specific to a type of parent – such as LGBTQ, survivors of cancer, or military service members – and others are open to all. A few options to explore are those through Men Having Babies or the BabyQuest Foundation. Your employer may also offer grants that help with these costs.These can help lower your overall out-of-pocket costs. Be sure to also ask your fertility clinic and/or agency about scholarships and assistance they may offer as well.
- Financing: Whether it is a private loan, 401(K) loan, home equity line of credit, or fertility-specific loans, there are many options available to help finance part or all of the cost of surrogacy. If you are working with an agency, you can discuss if they offer any type of financing options that you could take advantage of as well. With multiple options available, you are likely to find a loan option that is the right fit for you.
- Break the process into pieces: A great strategy for tackingling costs is to break your costs up into pieces so you can tackle them in more manageable chunks. Start with the costs for creating your embryos since embryo quality declines with age. Once your embryos are ready, you can then focus on the costs related to a gestational carrier carrying your child. This strategy helps with budgeting since you can see how much you need and at what stage. It also allows you to get some momentum going which is a mental win that can help over the course of the entire process.
- Downsize and look into a “side hustle”: Start small. Many tackle the costs by finding ways to cut back on their expenses so they can devote more to saving. This could mean saying no to trips, selling barely used gym equipment, electronics, and other household items, or getting strict with a budget. There are also companies, Starbucks is a popular one, that are said to offer fertility coverage as part of their overall benefits package for employees. Besides bringing in extra income, this will help reduce the cost of your journey. Always double check any insurance coverage to see what they may cover. Exploring other “side hustles” can help your savings grow more quickly whether it’s as a part-time tutor, offering online business consultations, or whatever your interest and skills may be.
You do not have to be wealthy to grow your family via gestational surrogacy. There are many ways to afford surrogacy and we hope this list gives you a starting point of ideas. With research and planning, you can decide which strategies will work best for you and get started on your own path to baby sooner than you think.