When intended parents approach us about starting the surrogacy process, one of the biggest questions they have is, “How much does surrogacy cost in South Carolina?”
It’s important to recognize that the cost of surrogacy will vary by the professionals you choose and the kind of surrogacy that you pursue. No two surrogacies are exactly alike, so it’s difficult to tell you exactly how much your surrogacy will cost before we know the specifics of your situation. To learn more about what your surrogacy costs may look like in South Carolina, you can call us today at 864-573-5533.
However, many surrogacies involve similar legal and medical procedures, so we can tell you here what kind of costs to expect as you go through your surrogacy process. In this article, we’ll give you a surrogacy cost breakdown to help you understand where your funds will go when you complete a surrogacy with our law firm.
Our Program Costs
When you choose to work with the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson, we charge a program fee for our legal services. However, unlike other law firms’ programs, this also includes a matching service to find a prospective surrogate for you, as well as many of the typical additional professional fees you are likely to incur (e.g. gestational surrogate’s psychological screening, the insurance policy review, the third party escrow company, etc.). We also make the payment process a bit easier for you than other surrogacy professionals would.
Because we are a law firm, our fee structure for the Gestational Carrier (Surrogacy) Program is different from most programs. Instead of earning all of our fees upon contract signing, as is done with many agencies, our fees are earned as the work is completed. The total program fee is $19,350, to be paid as follows:
- Initial consultation: $350
- Upon retaining James Fletcher Thompson, LLC: $3,500
- Upon match confirmation: $3,500
- Upon medical clearance: $5,000
- Upon confirmation of a viable pregnancy: $3,500
- Prior to beginning pre-birth parentage action: $3,500
These fees will cover all of the legal processes required in surrogacy, as well as the screening process that both you and prospective surrogates will go through before being matched together. These surrogacy fees will also cover the case management and support services you need to keep the surrogacy process running smoothly.
Here’s a full list of the services that are included in our Gestational Carrier Program:
- Initial consultation with James Fletcher Thompson and the program director
- Advertising and other marketing for prospective gestational surrogates
- Non-medical screening of prospective gestational surrogates, including a home visit completed by a social worker
- Criminal background checks
- Preparation of clients’ profile letter
- Review of the gestational surrogates’ insurance policies by an insurance professional
- Match meeting in one of our two offices
- Psychological screening of the gestational surrogates
- Coordination of the medical screening process
- Preparation and negotiation of the proposed gestational carrier contract
- Trust account management and the cost of a third-party escrow company
- 24-hour emergency access to the social worker assigned to your case
- A minimum of two home visits with the gestational surrogate
- Hospital arrangements, including assistance at the hospital prior to discharge
- Preparation of legal paperwork necessary for the pre-birth and post-partum court pleadings, including all court appearances
Surrogacy Costs Associated With Your Chosen Surrogate
One factor that contributes to your overall surrogacy price is surrogate expenses. When a woman chooses to be a surrogate, the process is entirely free to her — so, as intended parents, you will pay for all of her pregnancy-related costs, as well as provide a base compensation for her services.
But how much will these expenses be? This will be determined by attorney Jim Thompson and the surrogate’s attorney while drafting the surrogacy agreement. We’ll discuss in depth what kind of financial assistance she will be entitled to during the process. Again, each surrogate’s situation is different, but here are some of the general surrogacy expenses you may be expected to pay:
- Pregnancy compensation: $25,000 for a first-time carrier ($30,000+ for a proven carrier)
- Multiples fee: $5,000 per additional child
- Invasive medical procedure(s): $500-$1,000
- Cesarean-section delivery: $2,000
- Loss of reproductive organs: $2,500-$5,000
- Transfer compensation: $750
- Transfer expense allowance: $750 (in addition to transfer compensation)
- Monthly expense allowance: $150-$300/month
- Travel expenses: Varies
- Bed rest assistance: Childcare up to $200/week and housekeeping up to $85/week
- Lost wages: Varies
- Maternity clothing: $750 (additional $250 if gestating multiples)
- Legal fees: $2,500 (for separate independent legal representation)
- Counseling fees: Up to $1,000
- Insurance and medical expenses: Varies
- Breastmilk: $250/week
What a surrogate is compensated will depend on a number of factors, including her experience with the surrogacy process. You’ll be made aware of her compensation requirements when you are first presented with a match. A compensated surrogacy like this is the preferred method for completing a surrogacy today, as it helps eliminate feelings of resentment or indebtedness — which will make the relationship between you and your surrogate happier in the long run. Many surrogates use this base compensation to help achieve financial goals, like putting a down payment on a house or finishing their education.
As intended parents, you should be prepared to pay for all of the surrogacy expenses associated with the surrogate’s pregnancy. When we have our initial consultation, we’ll help you better understand what to expect when it comes to this part of the surrogacy cost. After you are matched with a surrogate, you’ll have a better idea of your personal surrogacy price in South Carolina.
You can read more about a surrogate’s financial compensation here.
Medical Surrogacy Costs
Another substantial aspect influencing your surrogacy costs in South Carolina is the surrogacy medical process. Not only will you need to cover your own IVF costs, but you will also be expected to pay for the surrogate’s medical process as well, including any screenings you both have to undergo before moving forward with surrogacy.
The price of your surrogacy medical costs will be determined by the fertility clinic that you choose to work with. You probably have completed a part of the IVF process before deciding upon surrogacy, so you might be familiar with what your fertility clinic will charge for this medical process. On average, screening and a single IVF cycle will cost you $20,000 or more. This can increase substantially if an egg donor is needed.
In addition to the surrogacy cost of transferring embryos through IVF and implantation, you’ll need to cover the cost of the surrogate’s doctor’s appointments, prenatal medicine, her hospital stay and more. Not all insurance companies will cover a surrogate pregnancy, so you may also want to look into purchasing an extra insurance plan for your surrogacy journey. As part of our Gestational Carrier Program, the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson will arrange and pay for the cost of having the surrogate’s insurance policy reviewed by an insurance professional experienced in surrogacy matters and help you understand the insurance needs in your individual situation.
Learn More about Your Anticipated Surrogacy Cost
Clearly, there are many aspects that go into the cost of surrogacy in South Carolina, so it is difficult to get an exact estimate without speaking to a surrogacy professional. When you have your initial consultation with the Law Offices of James Fletcher Thompson, we will explain your anticipated surrogacy costs to the best of our ability at this early stage of your surrogacy journey. While it may be difficult to exactly say what you will spend as you go through this process, we’ll strive to be as transparent as possible while you work with us.
To learn more about the average cost of surrogacy in South Carolina when working with our law firm, please call us at 864-573-5533 or contact us online today.