The Financial Burden of Surrogacy: The Shift Towards International Surrogacy

The Financial Burden of Surrogacy

In recent years, surrogacy has become a widely accepted path to parenthood for individuals and couples who can’t have children naturally. Yet, the financial burden associated with surrogacy, particularly in countries like the United States and Canada, often remains a significant hurdle. The high cost of surrogacy in these nations has catalyzed a global trend – the move towards international surrogacy

Surrogacy in the United States and Canada

The United States is renowned as a popular destination for surrogacy due to its advanced medical technology, experienced healthcare professionals, and well-established legal framework protecting the rights of intended parents (IPs). However, it is also one of the most expensive options available. In the United States, the average cost of gestational surrogacy, where the surrogate carries a baby who is not genetically related to her, ranges from $125,000 to $200,000. This figure encompasses a myriad of expenses including agency fees, legal costs, medical and psychological screenings, and the surrogate’s compensation.

Similarly, while Canada has garnered recognition for its altruistic surrogacy model (surrogates are not paid beyond expense reimbursements), the overall cost can still be high. On average, the costs, which encompass fees for legal advice, fertility treatments, and reimbursable expenses for the surrogate, can range from $60,000 to $100,000. However, the cost of surrogacy in Canada is not the largest hurdle in the country. The largest hurdle is the lack of qualified surrogates amounting to wait times that last years.  

The Impact of High Costs

The steep financial commitments associated with surrogacy in these countries have inevitable consequences. Notably, they limit access to surrogacy for many prospective parents who simply cannot afford these costs. This economic barrier can lead to significant emotional distress and desperation for those who view surrogacy as their only viable path to parenthood.

Moreover, the prohibitive costs have precipitated a shift towards international surrogacy. IPs are increasingly seeking more affordable surrogacy options abroad, in countries where the legal environment allows for commercial surrogacy at a fraction of the cost.

The Emergence of International Surrogacy

International surrogacy has emerged as a compelling option for many IPs, driven by significantly lower costs. However, international surrogacy comes with its own set of complexities. Legal issues, ethical concerns, language barriers, travel commitments, and potential issues with citizenship for the newborn are just some of the challenges that IPs may face.

While the lower costs can make international surrogacy an attractive option, it’s important that IPs are fully aware of these potential challenges. Thorough research, proper planning, and legal advice are essential for those considering this route to parenthood.

In conclusion, the high cost of surrogacy in countries like the United States and Canada has undoubtedly contributed to the surge in international surrogacy. While this provides a more financially accessible path to parenthood for many, it also presents new challenges. Addressing the financial burden of surrogacy is crucial to making this path to parenthood accessible for all who need it, regardless of their economic means.