Surrogacy is a hopeful but expensive option for couples or individuals who wish to start or grow a family. The entire surrogacy process involves a couple of professional services that include legal, medical, and insurance fees; hence there is no denying the fact that surrogacy will cost you a lot.
One of the most significant expenses in the surrogacy process is the compensation fees for the surrogate mother. Here, we have discussed how much a surrogate costs in Florida. You will also learn the total cost of surrogacy and the surrogate mother’s medical, legal, and insurance requirements.
The Average Surrogate Cost in Florida
The average cost of the base compensation for a surrogate mother in Florida is around $35,000 and $50,000. Reputable and reliable surrogacy agencies often start the base compensation for surrogate mothers from $42,000. Maintenance of this generous base compensation ensures that both the intended parents and the surrogate mother benefit from this arrangement.
Many factors determine the exact surrogate compensation, including whether it’s the first experience of the surrogate or whether she has gone through the surrogacy process before.
One can become a surrogate mother multiple times. The exact number of pregnancies varies from person to person. However, as a general rule, a surrogate mother should only experience six pregnancies at most. Thus, per this rule, if a surrogate mother has had a pregnancy before opting for surrogacy, then technically, she can only become a surrogate mother five more times.
Some parents or individuals prefer an experienced surrogate over a first-time surrogate to ensure both parties’ contractual commitment. However, generally, most parents don’t have any such requirements.
Additional Surrogate Compensation
In addition to the base compensation, many surrogate agencies offer additional compensation to the surrogate mothers. These extra payments are covered throughout the surrogacy journey and vary from surrogate to surrogate. A few significant other settlements include:
- Psychological support
- Monthly allowance for a year or longer
- Clothing allowance – usually provided at the start of the second trimester
- Medication allowance
- Travel cost
- Compensation for loss of reproductive organs during the process
- Surrogate compensation for twin pregnancy or C-section
- Medical insurance
- Bed rest compensation per the legal and medical professionals’ advice
- Weekly payment for pumping breast milk
Fundamental Qualities of a Good Surrogate Mother
There are specific peculiar qualifications that a woman must uphold to become a surrogate mother. As stated earlier, one essential requirement is not to have more than six pregnancies.
Typically, every surrogacy agency or medical professional can define a particular set of requirements for the gestational carrier. However, most surrogacy agencies follow the American Society of Reproductive Medicine guidelines. The primary purpose of these recommendations is to reduce the complications for both the genetic parents and the gestational carriers. Here is the gist of these guidelines:
- The surrogate mother should be of legal age. The preferable age group is between 21 and 45 years. However, in some situations, the practitioners may opt for surrogate mothers above 45. In such cases, the practitioners discuss the prospective complications in the pregnancy with the gestational carrier and the intended parents.
- Having a healthy BMI is necessary for the surrogate mother. The doctor will do a thorough physical examination and medical screening of the surrogate to ensure her readiness for the surrogacy journey.
- The carrier must have at least one uncomplicated pregnancy before signing up as a gestational carrier.
- Ideally, the carrier has a stable relationship at her home, free from domestic, sexual, or psychological abuse.
- The carrier should be psychologically and emotionally stable. Also, she must have been off anti-depressants for about the past twelve months.
- The prospective carrier should test negative for STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases).
These are a few significant considerations to check in prospective surrogate mothers. Generally, reputable and reliable surrogacy agencies in Florida check these qualifications.
How Much Surrogacy Costs in Florida
The average cost of surrogacy in Florida is around $110,000 to 220,000. The wide gap between the two extreme average values is because the exact surrogacy expenses depend on several factors. These factors include surrogate fees, legal service charges, fertility clinic management costs, medical treatment expenses, etc.
Average Surrogacy Agency Management Charges in Florida
Surrogate agencies bridge the intended parents or individuals and the women who wish to become a surrogate. A surrogate agency provides both parties with a healthy and helpful environment throughout their surrogacy journey.
Reliable surrogate agencies have skilled and experienced professionals who offer counseling regarding the surrogacy process. The surrogacy agencies also advertise and screen for potential surrogates. Surrogate agency fees in Florida range between $20,000 to $30,000.
IVF and Fertility Center Cost
IVF (In-vitro Fertilization) is a significant part of surrogacy. The average cost of IVF in Florida is around $10,000 to $30,000. If everything goes as planned, the IVF will not cost more than $12,000. However, IVF is a complex procedure, and its success depends on many factors.
The occurrence of complications in any of these factors can increase the surrogacy cost. For instance, the donor sperm may not fuse with the egg, or the egg is not healthy for fertilization, failing to make the embryo.
In some cases, the fertilized embryo may not be healthy enough to survive the in-vitro conditions. Also, if everything goes well until embryo fertilization, the surrogate’s body may fail to accept the embryo transfer and start the pregnancy. Hence, it is wise to consider all the prospective complications before starting your surrogacy journey.
The medical expenses of surrogacy in Florida are around $8,000 to $14,000. These medical expenses include screening and testing, medications, and embryo transfer. The screening and testing of the surrogates determine if they are fit to carry on the pregnancy. These screening procedures include blood and urine testing, STD blood testing, evaluation of the record of previous pregnancies, review of the complete medical history, and drug screening of the surrogate.
Also, surrogacy medications are necessary to make the lining of the uterine wall of the surrogate ready for embryo transfer.
Legal Service Charges for Surrogacy in Florida
The legal fees for surrogacy in Florida are around $7,000 to $13,000. These services are essential to pass through surrogacy smoothly. Having legal professionals check every aspect of the process offers you peace of mind and allows you to focus on surrogacy only. Hence, it is best to approach surrogacy agencies that offer state-of-the-art legal counsel services.
Prenatal Care and Delivery Expenses
The surrogacy cost for prenatal and delivery care in Florida is about $12,000 to $30,000. These charges vary from case to case and depend upon the compilations or the care required during the delivery process. The parental care services ensure the maximum health and safety of the surrogate mother and the child.
How Does Surrogacy Work
It is crucial to understand surrogacy before consulting any surrogacy agency or hoping on to the surrogacy journey. Surrogacy is an agreement between the intended parent(s) and the surrogate mothers. In this agreement, the surrogate mother agrees to carry a pregnancy for the intended parent(s), who will be the child’s legal parent(s) after birth. The surrogacy agency compensates the surrogate mothers for their services per surrogacy agreements.
Difference Between Gestational Surrogacy and Traditional Surrogacy
There are two types of surrogacies: gestational surrogacy and traditional surrogacy. The gestational surrogates or non-genetic surrogate mothers are the ones that carry other couples’ offspring in their wombs.
A gestational carrier or gestational surrogate is not biologically or genetically related to the child she is pregnant with. In gestational surrogacy, the medical experts fertilize the donor’s eggs or the intended mother’s eggs through in vitro fertilization (IVF) technique.
Then, the doctors transfer this embryo inside the gestational surrogate’s uterus. This embryo transfer shows that the child’s genetic makeup will not coincide with the surrogate, as the gestational carriers only carry the child. Instead, the child is genetically related to the egg donor or intended parents whose sperm and eggs are used during IVF.
Contrarily, in traditional surrogacy, the surrogate is genetically associated with the child she carries. Traditional surrogacy does not involve sexual intercourse; the surrogate gets pregnant using modern medical technology.
There are many types of genetic surrogacy. The doctors may use the genetic surrogate’s egg and fertilize them using IVF with the intended father’s or donor’s sperm and then transfer the embryo to her uterus. The surrogate may also get pregnant via intrauterine insemination using the donor’s or father’s sperm.
Surrogate mothers carrying the child via traditional surrogacy are their biological mothers. However, the surrogate mothers sign the legal surrogacy agreements that they will only be carrying the child without the intention of claiming any parental rights on the child after birth.
Is It Legal to Get a Surrogate Mother in Florida?
Yes, Florida is a surrogacy-friendly state. Florida offers a comprehensive set of laws beneficial for both the intended parents and the surrogate mothers. However, following the rules and regulations is essential before starting surrogacy.
Gestational Surrogacy Laws
Gestational surrogacy laws in Florida are regulated under Fla. Stat. Chapter 742. This “Gestational Surrogacy Contract” thoroughly explains the legal boundaries of the intended parents and gestational surrogates.
Per this law, the commissioning couple or the intended parents should be legally married and above 18 years of age. Moreover, one of the intended parents must be genetically related to the child.
Traditional Surrogacy Laws in Florida
Traditional surrogacy comes under the laws devised for “Pre-Planned Adoption,” regulated under the section Fla. Stat. §63.213. In this surrogacy, the surrogate uses their own eggs to start the pregnancy, and none of the intended parents share the genetic makeup with the child.
As the surrogate mother is genetically connected with the child, in this case, the law gives her 48 hours to decide to place the child for adoption. However, it is imperative to note that surrogate pregnancy and child-birth-related laws keep changing in every state. Therefore, it is essential for all United States citizens living in Florida to thoroughly research and read Florida’s current surrogacy or adoption laws before commencing the surrogacy journey.
Is Compensating Surrogate Mothers Legal in Florida?
Florida surrogacy law allows intended parents to pay for reasonable expenses during a surrogate pregnancy. These compensations include health insurance, medical screening costs, psychological treatments, legal services, living expenses, lost work hours during pregnancy and childbirth, and other medical risks and inconvenience.
Do Insurance Companies Cover the Surrogacy Costs in Florida?
Medical insurance of prospective surrogates is essential before commencing the surrogacy procedure. Only fifteen US states obligate the insurers to cover infertility treatments. These states include Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
Insurance companies in Florida do not cover infertility treatments. If a handful of companies offer such medical insurance, these may not cover IVF treatment and embryo transfer. Therefore, it is best to be ready for the surrogate’s medical insurance. The surrogate agencies may also offer multiple medical insurance options. These options vary per the surrogacy programs. On average, the medical insurance cost is between $5,000 and 44,000, varying based on the situation’s complexity.
How Long is the Surrogacy Process?
Ideally, the completion of the entire surrogacy process takes about fifteen to eighteen months. However, searching for the sperm or egg donor may take additional three to four months. This timeline is only valid if everything runs smoothly. In reality, surrogacy is time-taking, so you must remain patient while hoping for the best.
Starting a family through surrogacy is both expensive and rewarding at the same time. There are two main expenses of surrogacy, one is IVF, and the other is compensating the surrogate. A physically and mentally fit surrogate mother is essential for successful surrogacy, hence the expensive cost. Other surrogacy costs include agency fees, legal charges, medical expenses, and additional incidental expenses.