As your surrogacy journey begins, figuring out how to navigate through the financial aspects can be challenging and overwhelming. There are many different areas of surrogacy that require careful budgeting and planning, so it’s important to start off with a solid plan.

These tips will help you navigate the financial decisions you’ll need to make when the time comes to start the process.

1. Consider All Your Options

Surrogacy can be very costly. Luckily, many different grants are available to aid you in your surrogacy journey. Learning more about the different surrogacy grant options you can apply for will give you a better understanding of the costs associated with surrogacy. You’ll have to factor in medical and travel expenses, legal fees, as well as any payment to the agency you choose. 

The good news is that in addition to grants, you can also fundraise to get some extra money to use towards your surrogacy costs. One great way to do this is to set up a GoFundMe for family and friends so they can contribute to your journey. 

It’s also important to remember that donations of material goods are just as helpful as receiving money. Leaning on friends and family with older children is a great idea for those looking for hand-me-down furniture, baby clothes, and toys. The more items you can get secondhand, the more you can save and put towards the cost of your surrogacy journey. 

2. Set Up a Health Insurance Plan

Your surrogate’s personal medical insurance may not cover her pregnancy. Often, there are “surrogacy exclusions” which allow an insurance company to deny payment for any services relating to a surrogate pregnancy. But, just like any pregnancy, your surrogate will have to attend many appointments with her OBGYN throughout the pregnancy. And of course, there is the cost of the birth!

Setting up a surrogate maternity insurance plan is an essential step in the surrogacy process. Your surrogacy agency can refer you to a surrogacy insurance specialist who can help you determine whether your surrogate’s current medical insurance coverage is sufficient. They can also assist you with obtaining a surrogate-friendly health insurance policy to cover her pregnancy.

3. Open a Flex-Spending Account

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) allows you to put a portion of your income directly towards healthcare expenses. With an FSA, you can allocate a certain percentage of your direct deposit, so you don’t have to think or worry about putting the extra money aside. Another terrific benefit to an FSA is that the money spent on medical expenses is tax-free.

Although expenses for your surrogate are not eligible for reimbursement with an FSA, you can use the funds to cover copays at doctor’s appointments and any other health-related expenses you may incur as you complete your portion of the surrogacy process. 

This means that the money you use on your appointments, medications, check-ups, and overall healthcare won’t be taxed, and you’ll have that extra money to set aside for future expenses.

4. Dedicate a Savings Account for Your Child

As important as it is to allocate the appropriate amount of money to your surrogate, you can’t forget about saving for when the baby arrives as well as for when they’re growing up. Before the baby arrives, make sure you’re saving enough money for all the costs of parenting. This includes the essentials like furniture, clothing, diapers, toys, baby monitors, and other necessary supplies. By opening a separate savings account for these expenses, you won’t have to worry about budgeting for these items as you go. 

As crucial as it is to budget for the essentials, saving for your child’s future is equally important. If you choose to set up a college savings fund for your child, investing $250 each month from birth will end up accumulating around $80,000 by the time your child is ready for college, trade school, or to go directly into a career. 

5. Cover Your Other Expenses 

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when welcoming a child, especially in terms of the financial burdens associated with surrogacy. There are so many other expenses involved in your life in addition to those associated with having children. 

For younger parents, student loans might be something you’re still working to pay off. As you age, you’ll gradually be able to pay these loans off in full as long as you don’t halt payments while growing your family. Even though it can be tough to juggle student loan payments with all your other financial obligations, the last thing you want is to accrue even more debt by putting these payments off. Work with your lender to come up with a set monthly payment plan that you’ll be able to manage with your other expenses.  

Perhaps the largest expense you’ll have in your life is a home. For those looking to have a smaller monthly payment spread out over a longer period of time, a 30-year fixed-mortgage is a great option. This type of mortgage is ideal for those who plan on growing their family in the same home for many years. You’ll also get the security of a fixed interest rate, so there won’t be any surprises along the way. 

Now It’s Time to Develop Your Plan

The tips above will help if you use them to create a personalized budgeting plan for your surrogacy journey. There are many different expenses that families have, from car payments and student loans to business expenses and travel. Once you’ve considered all your expenses and how much money you need to allocate for them, it’s important to put money aside for emergencies. This can be an unexpected medical expense, car repair, or home renovation. It’s crucial that you have money put aside for those unexpected expenses, so you aren’t forced to take money from elsewhere to make up for these costs. 

Lastly, it’s important to use some money to do the things you enjoy. As your kids get older, you might want to use some of that money you’ve been saving to take a vacation. Whether you choose a quick weekend getaway to visit family out of town or you’re able to take a longer vacation as a family, it’s important to create those memories with your kids as they grow up. 

Parents using a surrogate have a lot of expenses to figure out, and it can definitely be a challenge. The good news is that the hard work and stress all pay off when you get to welcome your new baby home!

Staci Swiderski, CEO and owner of Family Source Consultants has been involved in the field of reproductive medicine since 2002. Staci has vigorously grown the comprehensive egg donation and gestational surrogacy agency to become a worldwide leader in the third-party reproduction field. Staci is a former intended parent herself. She and her husband welcomed their son via gestational surrogacy in 2005. Additionally, Staci had the experience of assisting an infertile couple (AKA Recipient Parents) build their family through her efforts as an egg donor, with her donation resulting in the births of their son and daughter.