Choosing to start a family via surrogacy is an incredible and exciting decision. You’re going to be a parent!

Unfortunately, surrogacy doesn’t come cheap. There is a huge range of costs involved: agency fees, medical expenses, travel costs, and various legal services. Then there are all the people who will play a part in your journey: the surrogate mother, doctors, lawyers, and consultants.

Before heading down the surrogacy path, you’ll need to figure out how to pay for it all. Don’t panic: there are plenty of ways to do it without breaking the bank. Some IPs may take out a bank loan, or borrow from friends and family, or even fundraise the money themselves through crowdsourcing.

But if you need a little more help, you could be eligible for a surrogacy grant. These grants are offered by a number of organizations that believe that everyone should have the option of creating a family if they wish.

What is a surrogacy grant?

A surrogacy grant is a non-repayable sum awarded to Intended Parents to help cover the cost of the surrogacy process. This can include a range of expenses, such as IVF, infertility treatments, and other services.

Some organizations offer cash grants that are made payable directly to the clinic or agency, or they may provide a medication award that goes to the fertility clinic used by the IPs.

Most grants are awarded once or twice yearly and are generally limited to around $10,000-$16,000. This obviously won’t cover the full cost of the surrogacy process, but it can still make a big difference to your finances.

Some of the major US organizations that provide surrogacy grants include the Baby Quest Foundation, RESOLVE, the Tinina Q. Cade Foundation, and Pay it Forward Fertility. More on these foundations below.

How to qualify for a surrogacy grant

Applying for a grant begins with completing an application form, which can incur a fee (around $50.) Some organizations also ask you to include a medical evaluation conducted by a physician, evidence of your income, and your personal story and photos.

Grants are available to all genders, singles, and same-sex couples who are permanent residents of the U.S.

Depending on the organization, eligibility may relate to your circumstances, such as the underlying cause of your infertility, your financial situation, and various other life factors. You will also need to meet specific requirements, such as the type of treatments or procedures to be covered and your living arrangements. Most surrogacy grants require a diagnosis of infertility. Some grants require certain religious affiliations or residency within a particular state.

Foundations offering surrogacy grants

Here are a few of the major organizations offering surrogacy grants.

Baby Quest Foundation 

Baby Quest Foundation is a charitable organization that helps couples and/or individuals build families through gestational surrogacy (and also IVF, egg donation, and sperm donation). Baby Quest offers surrogacy grants bi-annually at a value of $2,000-$16,000, based on the recipient’s need.

The next grant deadline is March 15, 2024.  

Tinina Q. Cade Foundation

The Tinina Q. Cade Foundation offers a Family Building Grant of up to $10,000 to infertile families. The foundation is named for Dr Tinina Cade, who carried and delivered the founder’s triplets after five years of infertility. She delivered her “grandchildren” at the age of 55!

The Family Building Grant can be used to help with the costs of domestic adoption and medical fertility treatment.

Grant applications will be reviewed and selected twice per year – once in the spring and once in the fall. Both portions of the application (as well as the medical history forms) must be received by February 1 for the Spring grant review and July 1st for the Fall Grant Review.

Footprints of Angels

Footprints of Angels is a nonprofit organization that provides gift funds for women who have suffered recurrent miscarriages and/or infertility. The grant can be used to cover reproductive endocrinology practice of the recipient’s choice and third-party reproduction.

Family Formation Charitable Trust (AAARTA)

AAARTA provides financial assistance to those who want to start or build a family via gestational surrogacy. Grants range from $500.00 to $2,000.00. Costs covered can extend to fees for court appearances, home study, counseling fees, legal services, travel, lab tests, agency services, and medical provider fees.

Journey to Parenthood

Journey to Parenthood is a charitable organization that helps couples and individuals looking to create families through advanced fertility treatments such as IUI, IVF, egg donation, and surrogacy. Applicants must be under treatment from a Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility Specialist (REI) in the United States, and must be able to demonstrate they can provide a stable home environment for the child.

The next round of grant applications opens in August 2024.

Gift of Parenthood

Gift of Parenthood offers grants four times a year, based upon the availability of funds. Recipients are chosen by a committee comprising fertility specialists, financial advisers, surrogacy attorneys, clinical psychologists, and others who have personally dealt with infertility. Grants can be used to cover any expenses associated with third-party reproduction.

The next grant deadline is February 20, 2024.

Life Grants from the Chicago Coalition for Family Building

The Chicago Coalition for Family Building is a nonprofit organization providing financial assistance for those affected by the mental, physical and financial distress of infertility. The program is open to individuals or couples living in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri or Wisconsin who require help with third-party reproduction and medical treatment, as well as other fertility services (IVF cycles, legal services, genetic testing, and acupuncture services) from the Life Foundation’s partners.

The next round of grant applications opens in April 2024.

What to know before you apply

Some fertility clinics that offer grants or scholarships require you to first pay for fertility testing and/or consultation at their clinic.

It’s also important to note that some test fees may be higher than others, but you can’t transfer your results from another clinic.

There’s also no guarantee that you’ll win the grant you apply for; however, most organizations allow you to reapply a certain number of times if you are unsuccessful (provided you complete another application).

To learn more about financing your surrogacy journey, have a chat with Family Source Consultants.

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.