What Does Surrogacy Cost and What are Reasonable Expenses?

Portrait of Cara Nuttall
Author:
Cara Nuttall
Partner and Family Law Solicitor
Date:
01/08/2022

As part of National Surrogacy Week, we are answering some of the most common questions people ask when they are considering a surrogacy arrangement. In this article we are looking at the financial aspects.

As always, it is important to remember that the law regarding surrogacy, including payments, varies significantly between countries and it is always important to make sure you have fully investigated the position in any country that the arrangement will involve, to make sure you aren’t accidentally doing something you shouldn’t.

Many people will have seen reports of celebrity surrogacies and the often eye watering costs involved (cases like Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, and Christiano Ronaldo are some of the many well-known personalities who have undertaken arrangements which have been reported as running into hundreds of thousands of pounds). However, it is important to understand that there is a whole spectrum of possible costs, and not every arrangement will involve six-figure sums.

There is limited research available about the average costs of surrogacy in England and Wales, but it is generally considered that between £7,000 and £25,000 is around average. That is not to say there are not arrangements where it has been done for significantly less, or where the costs have been higher – there is no one size fits all approach.

If you’re considering entering into a surrogacy arrangement, our expert Fertility and Surrogacy Solicitors could help you. Get in touch for initial advice.

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In England and Wales, there are restrictions on commercial surrogacy that limit what can be paid for a surrogacy arrangement, who it can be paid to, and why it can be paid.  In countries where commercial surrogacy is allowed, costs will always be higher. In this country, a surrogate can only be paid an amount of money that is classed as “reasonable expenses” rather than a commercial payment for being a surrogate. One of the most common questions we get asked is what is reasonable?

There is no set amount or definition in the law that explains how much is reasonable, and it will depend on the circumstances of the case.  It is not the case that you need to produce a receipt for each item and account for every penny, but the amount that has been paid must be relative to costs incurred. The most common types of expenses include:

      • Medical and medication expenses;
      • Maternity clothes;
      • Additional childcare costs for existing children;
      • Travel/transport expenses;
      • Food expenses;
      • Additional domestic expenses such as cleaning, gardeners etc.

The court has also made it clear that an appropriate holiday for the surrogate (and where applicable her family) to recover after the birth will generally be reasonable, likewise a modest, sentimental gift. However, it is important that the value of such items is not such that it could constitute a “hidden” commercial payment for being a surrogate.

If you would like more information about surrogacy arrangements you can contact our expert team who would be happy to discuss the process with you.

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