It isn’t easy to quote a price for a surrogate in Texas or elsewhere because of situational differences that can influence prices between surrogate agencies and child intended parents. However, a surrogate costs between $50,000 and $65,000 in Texas. That excludes other charges you may have to pay.
Surrogacy is gaining more popularity every passing minute all over the US. Records show that both heterosexual and LGBTQ+ families are availing themselves of this opportunity of having the family of their dreams.
Though the reasons couples turn to surrogacy might differ, the end result is the same. They always get babies, and the surrogate always gets paid.
Typically, the intended parents start their surrogacy journey by seeking a surrogacy agency. The child’s intended parents are responsible for the surrogate mother cost and other expenses.
In Texas, surrogacy laws are clear and much more relaxed than in some other states. Yet, it is better to get legal services. There are some conditions you need to know before signing a surrogacy agreement.
Who Is a Surrogate?
A surrogate, also known as a surrogate mother or gestational carrier, is a woman who enters into a surrogacy agreement with an intended parent and their partner (where that is applicable) to provide her womb for their baby’s gestation in exchange for a fee.
Only a woman who is healthy and has had at least one child of her own can become a gestational surrogate in Texas. Such a woman must also be financially stable and willing to submit herself for evaluations.
Texas surrogates can be single parents or married. Where they are married, their partner must agree to the gestational agreement.
Also, an essential requirement is that she must not have a body mass index that exceeds 32.
Most intended parents get their gestational surrogate mothers through a surrogacy agency. The implication is that they would pay agency fees which adds to the overall surrogacy costs. However, it makes the task of the intended parents easier if you choose the right agency.
All parties in this agreement understand that the intended parents remain the baby’s legal parents.
How to Choose the Best Surrogacy Agency
For most intended parents, the surrogacy journey starts with choosing a surrogacy agency. This step is sensitive because it is the foundation upon which the surrogacy process is built. Any mistake at this point may result in critical problems.
Therefore, if you are an intended parent, this is a stage you want to tread with utmost caution.
Let’s look at the key factors you must consider while choosing a surrogacy agency.
- Surrogacy Services/Surrogacy Program Available
First, you can use the internet to get a list of surrogate agencies in Texas. Then, you can check online reviews and choose the top three or two surrogate agencies that catch your fancy.
The first thing to consider is the surrogacy services that the agencies provide. It is important to note that not all surrogacy agencies are what they claim. As a result, you need to find out what services and care they offer every intended parent and surrogate mother. Of course, you should know what services you need and which will lead your surrogacy journey to your intended destination.
The next thing to do is dig into the agencies’ history. You want to know how long they have been in the business and their success rate. It is also necessary to find out about their gestational surrogates and the conditions in their gestational agreement.
- Surrogacy Costs
You will most likely have a budget for your surrogacy journey and do not want to derail it. Thus, you must consider the total cost the agencies charge and see whether it falls within budget.
- Surrogacy Process Clarity
Part of knowing what services a surrogacy agency offers is understanding the surrogacy process and the implication of every aspect of the process for the intended parents.
A significant process you must learn about is screening for both the intended parents and surrogates. The screening process is delicate; if sordidly handled, it may cause long-term problems.
- Experience and Professionalism
A good surrogacy agency employs different professionals and values experience a lot. Such surrogate agencies have medical personnel and legal teams that can offer intended parents and surrogates the necessary assistance.
Surrogacy Process in Texas: What You Should Expect
Surrogacy laws vary from state to state. The differences are so pronounced that some states are labeled surrogate-friendly and others surrogate-non-friendly. By every standard, Texas is a surrogate-friendly state. The state has surrogate laws that create an enabling atmosphere for the intended parents, the surrogacy agencies and the surrogates.
Texas has many fertility clinics and surrogacy agencies that use in vitro fertilization to help many intending parents have the family of their dream.
It starts with a fertility clinic (an IVF clinic) creating an embryo. This embryo is later transferred into the gestational surrogate’s womb. Usually, the clinic creates the embryo from the sperm and eggs of the intending parents. However, the clinic may sometimes use eggs from an egg donor.
PS: Note that the egg donor is not the same person as the gestational surrogates; we shall discuss this later in this piece.
Medical Screenings, Tests and Matching
Yet other essential parts of the surrogacy process are the screenings and the test that prelude matching. The intended parents and the surrogate undergo physical and mental health screenings.
There is also a legal screening involving a criminal background check on the gestational carrier. This check will also include their partner if they have one.
Matching only comes up if the screenings/tests come out fine and there is a mutual agreement between the parties to carry on.
What Are Your Options as an Intending Parent
As an intending parent, you have a choice of either going for traditional surrogacy or gestational surrogacy. These are the only two options recognized by Texas surrogacy laws.
In either case, you will need a surrogate mother. What differentiates these two types of surrogacy is the relationship of the surrogate mother to the baby.
In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother functions as a surrogate and egg donor. Therefore, she is biologically related (she’s the biological mother) to the baby, who automatically shares her DNA.
This type of surrogacy is considered a parental termination and adoption in Texas. The intended parents and the contracted gestational surrogate reserve legal parental rights over the baby for the first 48 hours after birth. The genetic father (intended parent) and the surrogate (and the surrogate’s husband, if she’s married) execute a paternity acknowledgement affidavit.
The child’s birth certificate, which is issued based on the affidavit, bears the names of the genetic father and the surrogate.
The surrogate mother (and her husband, if she is married) then execute another affidavit to relinquish parental rights formally. On this ground, the genetic father and his partner base their filing for termination and adoption of the new baby.
Gestational surrogacy, on the other hand, involves intended parents and a gestational surrogate who carries the embryo in her womb till birth. In this case, the egg is either from the intended mother or an egg donor. There is no genetic link between the surrogate and the baby. This is what Texas surrogacy law recognizes.
Gestational surrogacy requires a gestational agreement that must identify all the parties involved.
The Gestational Agreement and Approval
Before entering an agreement, you must know the gestational carrier laws. These laws provide that the intended parents, the parents of the embryo, have the right to have a written agreement with the surrogate.
This agreement details the rights, duties and obligations, intentions and expectations of all parties in connection to the surrogacy arrangement.
The intended parents can also have the court validate this written agreement before birth.
Surrogacy Agency Fees in Texas: A Breakdown
Surrogacy costs differ from agency to agency and from intended parents to intended parents. To make this unambiguous, we will give you a breakdown of all charges involved in surrogacy in Texas.
- Surrogate Agency Fees
These fees include a $17,000 1st installment agency fee, which is due as soon as match acceptance takes place. Then, a $17,000 2nd installment agency fee is due once the surrogate contract is signed.
In some situations, a surrogate rematch fee of $8,500 may be applicable. Likewise is an international surcharge of $5,000.
- Surrogate Fees
Surrogate fees cover housekeeping allowance, maternity clothing allowance and other expense allowances. Some of them are:
- Surrogate fee – $50,000 to $65,000
- Surrogate expense allowance – $3,500 (estimated at $250 per month for fourteen months)
- Group support meeting allowance – $900 (estimated at $75 per month for twelve months)
- Embryo transfer fee – $1,500
- Housekeeping allowance – $2000
- Screening and IVF Costs
All medical screening and medication costs (including IVF fees) will cost you around $25,000 – $$50,000.
- Attorneys/Escrow Fees
The escrow account fee is $2,000, while surrogacy contract/ pre-birth order filing costs between $4,000 and $6,000. The services of a surrogate’s independent attorney can cost anywhere between $2,000 and $4,000.
Other costs/fees are:
Health Insurance/Healthcare fees surrogate – $42,000 to $79,000
- Live Insurance – $750 to $1,000
- International Newborn Health Insurance – $3,000 to $125,000
- Travel costs – Estimation not applicable
- Lost Wages – Estimation not applicable
PS: Other miscellaneous expenses may apply depending on the peculiarities of your arrangement.
Can Same-Sex Couples Legally Use Surrogate Mothers?
Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples have the right to surrogacy in Texas. Both same-sex couples and LGBTQ+ families can start a family via surrogate mothers. The significant difference is that these intending parents need an egg or sperm donor for IVF.
The most critical condition is that they must marry just like heterosexual couples.
You will have to consider many factors to know how much a surrogate costs in Texas. These factors vary so much according to the peculiarities of individual cases. As a result, it may be challenging to get a fixed price that will be true in all cases may be challenging.
In addition, remember that the surrogate mother is just one of the people you will have to pay as intended parents. Surrogacy involves much more than just the surrogate and costs almost seven times of surrogate fees.
Enlisting a surrogate agency’s services can help you have a good idea of what surrogacy costs. However, it would help if you choose with care. From history, it is evident that only some surrogacy agencies can pass the litmus test. Some do not have a good contract for surrogates, so they do not have access to legal surrogates.