costs of surrogacy

/costs of surrogacy

Money Talks, But What If We Don’t Like the Conversation?

By |2019-03-15T10:50:09+00:00March 15th, 2019|Categories: altruistic surrogacy, Blog, costs of surrogacy, surrogate, surrogate partner|

It is a fact universally known, that altruistic surrogates don’t like to talk about money. We don’t like asking for money, and we’d rather spend our own money than burden our intended parents. We feel that any talk about money can undermine the altruism of the gift that we’re giving. And let’s be honest, no one really likes talking about money. But in surrogacy arrangements, you kind of have to grin and bear it, because you have to talk about money at some stage.

The number one rule of altruistic surrogacy is: the surrogate should never be out of pocket. Altruistic surrogacy does not mean free. Surrogates are already putting themselves and their family’s well-being at risk by carrying a baby for someone else – they shouldn’t be financially worse off for doing it. Whilst there are legal frameworks for what expenses should be covered, the rule of thumb should be  that if it’s surrogacy, pregnancy or birth-related, the intended parents should be covering it. If it’s an expense that the surrogate wouldn’t have incurred if she weren’t pregnant with someone else’s baby, then the intended parents should be covering it.

So how do you have the conversation if she won’t talk about it? Well, in some ways you need to take it out of her hands. Make it as easy as possible for her, and make sure she’s never out of pocket. The easiest and least stressful option to ensure surrogates are not out of pocket is not to reimburse them after she’s paid for something, but to provide her with access to funds ahead of time. Many teams find the easiest way to manage expenses is to provide the surrogate with a bank card with direct access to the intended parents’ bank account. This way, the surrogate can use the card for expenses, there’s no need for reimbursing after she’s spent her own money, and there’s a record in the intended parents’ bank account of any expenses she’s incurred.

As for the tough conversations about what everyone agrees is to be covered and how much, these are best had as a team, and both in and out of counselling. Don’t rely on the counselling to cover it all – utilise the counselling as a starting place for ongoing conversations. Recognise that it’s awkward. And in particular, recognise that the surrogate is likely to minimise her needs and will likely say “it’s fine” and “don’t worry about it.” The intended parents need to be proactive about money – don’t wait for the surrogate to ask for money or request a certain expense. The chances are, if she wants a new maternity bra, she’ll spend her own money to buy it. The intended parents need to be assertive enough to insist that she spend their money on those expenses, and not take no for an answer.

Surrogate partners can also play a role in the money conversation. They’re one step removed from the pregnancy, and might find it easier to have hard conversations with the intended parents about expenses. The surrogate doesn’t want her altruism undermined by money conversations, whilst her partner can make sure there’s money secured for a cleaner, and that her request for maternity clothing is met. She can then feel comfort knowing that the conversations are being had, but that she can focus on herself and the baby.

Here’s my 5 tips to ensure money doesn’t kill the relationship:

  1. Have pre-conception agreements about how money stuff should be dealt with.
  2. Have a linked card for the surrogate to utilise to pay bills etc so she doesn’t have to ask for money or reimbursement.
  3. Nominate a communication avenue to discuss money. Have it in writing, email or text, to avoid confusion.
  4. Nominate a spokesperson from each team to discuss money.
  5. Keep it unemotional and business-like.

Hi! I’m Sarah Jefford. I’m a surrogacy, fertility and family lawyer. I’m also an IVF Mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, and I delivered a baby for her Dads in 2018.

I promote positive, empowered altruistic surrogacy arrangements within Australia, and provide support and education to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing overseas surrogacy.

You can get in touch with me through the options below.

Contact Me

PO Box 366, Batman VIC 3058

Phone: 0400481703

Kickin’ back with the Kickbacks

By |2019-02-06T01:40:44+00:00February 4th, 2019|Categories: America, Blog, Canada, costs of surrogacy, overseas, Ukraine|

Intended Parents may be forgiven for thinking that everyone they talk to about surrogacy has their best interests at heart. If someone seems kind, knowledgeable and generous, surely they’re only wanting to help you have a baby, right? But, surrogacy is an industry like any other, and not everyone who seems helpful is looking out for your interests.

There are overseas surrogacy agencies who pay commissions to consultants and brokers who refer intended parents to them. Consultants come in many forms – they may also be intended parents, fertility specialists or lawyers. And you know, I don’t have a problem with consultants making money for the work they do. I do have a problem with people preying on vulnerable intended parents, and I do have a problem with people not declaring that they are receiving commissions from the organisation they are referring to. This is a conflict of interest, if they’re making money for referring you to an agency and not telling you about it – do their interests lie with you, or the agency?

So, for the savvy intended parents, I have some tips to help you make informed decisions when considering overseas donor and surrogacy arrangements. Rest assured, this post won’t make me popular and it won’t make me any money.

  1. Cast the Net Wide
    .
    Research far and wide about all the surrogacy options. There are lots of agencies and clinics in various countries, and not all of them will be the right match for you. Surrogacy is a marathon, not a sprint, and you should commit several months to researching the options and gathering information to make a final decision. Best practice arrangements involve known donors and a relationship with your surrogate. The Agencies should be able to provide a detailed breakdown of their fees and expenses, and candidly answer your questions about surrogate recruitment and screening, fees, insurances, timelines, processes and contracts. If they dodge your questions, they may not be right for you. If their promises seem too good to be true, they probably are.
    .
    The Australian Surrogacy Podcast shares stories from intended parents who have pursued surrogacy overseas and in Australia. The podcast episodes are another source of information about overseas options, from intended parents who have been there, done that. You should also seek out intended parents at events and on forums and ask them for their personal experiences.
    .
  2. Ask the Question
    .
    If you are meeting with someone (anyone!) to discuss donor and surrogacy options, be assertive and ask if they are receiving commissions, including co-marketing fees or benefits from any other organisation. If they say “You should try Agency ABC” you should ask “What is your relationship with Agency ABC? Do you have a business relationship with them? Do you receive money for referring people to them?” Some consultants only work for one agency or clinic, and they will openly declare their interest. My rule of thumb is that if someone is up front about their interest, then they’re more likely to be honest with you. They should not be interested in your business ‘at all costs’ and should be happy enough to see you go elsewhere if they are not the right match for you.
    .
  3. Go Direct to the Source
    .
    One good option is to avoid consultants and brokers altogether, and go direct to the source. Agencies and Clinics will offer Skype consults direct with them, which means you can get the information direct from the horses’ mouth and know that no one is benefiting from your business but them. It’s worth emailing them direct and asking to meet with them.
    .
  4. Watch Out for the Slag-Off
    .
    If someone is criticising agencies or clinics, consider whether they have a vested interest in you not choosing those agencies or clinics. Go back to Number 2 and ask the question. Go to the source and ask the question. Take a criticism with a pinch of salt and use it to inform how you research that option further.
    .
  5. Speak to other Intended Parents – and ask the Question
    .
    Other intended parents are an amazing source of information, and have often done a tonne of research themselves. They can provide reassurance about the process and advice about the challenges and successes. They can even provide advice about what to take on the plane and where the best hotels are. But some intended parents are also receiving kickbacks – and good for them. But if they are referring you to their agency or clinic, ask them if they’re receiving a benefit for the referral. They should be declaring their interest to protect yours.

Personally, I don’t do kickbacks. I don’t receive any commissions or fees and I don’t have any special relationships with clinics or agencies. I promote positive, altruistic arrangements in Australia, and I’m interested in informing and empowering intended parents to make decisions about their options overseas. You can ask me any question and I’ll answer it honestly.

My last piece of advice is that you should be careful not to let the baby lust take over from logic and learning. It can be exciting to dream of the baby you will be bringing home; but if you want a positive, informed, smooth journey, you need to work at it and that takes time. Get ready  to run a marathon and it will pay off.

Hi! I’m Sarah Jefford. I’m a surrogacy, fertility and family lawyer. I’m also an IVF Mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, and I delivered a baby for her Dads in 2018.

I promote positive, empowered altruistic surrogacy arrangements within Australia, and provide support and education to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing overseas surrogacy.

You can get in touch with me through the options below.

Contact Me

PO Box 366, Batman VIC 3058

Phone: 0400481703

Frequently Asked Questions

By |2019-02-27T06:00:55+00:00January 2nd, 2019|Categories: altruistic surrogacy, Australia, Blog, costs of surrogacy, finding a surrogate, ivf, parentage order, surrogacy process, traditional surrogacy|

Hi! I’m Sarah Jefford. I’m a surrogacy, fertility and family lawyer. I’m also an IVF Mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, and I delivered a baby for her Dads in 2018.

I promote positive, empowered altruistic surrogacy arrangements within Australia, and provide support and education to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing overseas surrogacy.

You can get in touch with me through the options below.

Contact Me

PO Box 366, Batman VIC 3058

Phone: 0400481703

Book an initial 30 minute consult

Click here to book!

Altruistic Surrogacy: How Much Will it Cost?

By |2018-12-29T01:24:59+00:00October 14th, 2018|Categories: altruistic surrogacy, Australia, Blog, costs of surrogacy, surrogacy process|

Intended parents are always keen to know how much surrogacy will cost them. There are so many variables depending on individual circumstances, so it can be hard to give an exact answer to that question. Intended Parents should expect to cover the expenses incurred by the surrogate and her partner in relation to the surrogacy arrangement, pregnancy and birth. You will need to get specific legal advice about what costs the intended parents must cover under the relevant State legislation, as it varies greatly.

You can expect the surrogacy in Australia will cost anywhere from $15,000 to over $100,000. The major variable is the cost fertility treatment, which will depend on what sort of treatment you require, and the success of any treatment and when the surrogate falls pregnant.

The costs you can expect will include:

Fertility treatment– this will depend on how many cycles are required, whether donor eggs or sperm are required, and the success of the treatment. Medicare rebates are not available for surrogacy arrangements and this will impact in different ways.

Legal Advice – Lawyers’ fees might be an hourly rate, or a fixed fee. Lawyer fees vary considerably and depend on a number of factors, including whether you need a written agreement. You should compare quotes beforehand, and seek out lawyers who specialise in surrogacy law. Intended parents need to cover the cost of their own legal advice as well as that of their surrogate and her partner.

Counselling and Psychological Assessments – some fertility clinics provide counselling as part of their service. For the most part, however, counselling and psychological assessments are provided by independent counsellors specialising in surrogacy.

Pregnancy and Birth – Surrogates are eligible for Medicare and public healthcare, just as if they were having their own baby. Medical costs that are not covered by Medicare need to be covered by the intended parents. This includes private health insurance, private healthcare and hospital fees as appropriate. It also includes medication and treatments that might be required during the pregnancy and birth.

Parentage Order – After the baby is born, the intended parents need to apply to Court for a Parentage Order to recognise them as the legal parents and to change the Birth Certificate. This can involve lawyers, and further counselling.

Other costs that might be payable, depending on the State legislation and individual circumstances, include:

  • travel costs (fuel, parking fees, train tickets) for the surrogate and her partner to attend for treatment, or for pregnancy appointments;
  • life insurance for the surrogate;
  • loss of income for the surrogate and her partner for days they need to take off for appointments related to surrogacy, pregnancy and birth;
  • non-medical treatment such as massage, naturopathy and acupuncture for the surrogate;
  • prenatal supplements.

Hi! I’m Sarah Jefford. I’m a surrogacy, fertility and family lawyer. I’m also an IVF Mum, an egg donor and a traditional surrogate, and I delivered a baby for her Dads in 2018.

I promote positive, empowered altruistic surrogacy arrangements within Australia, and provide support and education to help intended parents make informed decisions when pursuing overseas surrogacy.

You can get in touch with me through the options below.

Contact Me

PO Box 366, Batman VIC 3058

Phone: 0400481703

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

This Is A Custom Widget

This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.