Surrogacy tourism, like other medical travel services, is commonly promoted to be a “fraction of the cost” of commercial surrogacy in the U.S.
Yet, like other medical services, commercial surrogacy does not necessarily cost the oft-quoted US$70,000-$150,000.
A bonus of Obamacare gives a surrogate who in the past may not have had medical insurance the chance to sign with one of the state health insurance exchanges, minimizing the medical portion of the cost. With this in mind, cost of U.S. surrogacy has been quoted as low as US$38,000.
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In Canada and the U.S., more importance is given to legal contracts, screening of the surrogate for her physical and emotional health and her criminal background. Life insurance may be provided to the surrogate.
The agency often plays a more direct role in participating in arrangements and services and charges for its participation. The total cost reflects these added services, legal and professional fees.
Surrogacy tourism in Georgia may be as little as US$16,000, in India US$28,000 and in Mexico US$40,000. This covers the three main costs of surrogacy, medical expenses including fertility treatments, payment to the surrogate, and agency fees. How much one pays is largely determined by the chosen medical destination.
In Thailand, the cost of surrogate services by one respected Australian agent is less than US$45,000 with a built-in fee for services of about US$3,500.
However, another agency operating in Thailand charges US$60,000-80,000 even though its costs are the same as the Australian agent because they both use the same clinic and doctor. Reportedly, this agency did not pay its surrogates the full amount that the contracting parents had agreed and kept the money itself.
This 4-part series Commercial Surrogacy Tourism: How Much Do You Pay For A Surrogate Mother In Another Country? begins here.