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Understanding the Cost of Surrogacy in the UK: A Comprehensive Financial Guide

26th Aug 2023


Embarking on a surrogacy journey is a significant emotional and financial investment. This article aims to shed light on the different types of costs you may encounter along the way, offering a roadmap for your financial planning.

Types of Costs Incurred Whilst Going Through a Surrogacy Journey

There are a number of different types of costs that are incurred whilst undertaking a surrogacy journey:

  • Joining an organisation
  • Getting to know a surrogate
  • Trying to conceive costs
  • Pregnancy expenses
  • Post birth expenses (including applying for a parental order)
  • Unforeseen costs

In this article we will look in detail at the costs incurred in each of these areas.

Joining an Organisation

Costs Incurred while Getting to Know a Surrogate

Establishing a strong and trusting relationship with your surrogate is an invaluable part of the surrogacy process. However, it’s important to remember that building this relationship also carries its own set of costs. Below are some of the typical expenses you might encounter:


Getting to know your surrogate often involves several face-to-face meetings. Depending on your respective locations, you might need to consider:

  • Refreshments: Providing drinks and snacks for these meetings can cost around £20 to £50 per meetup – this may be more if the surrogate’s family are involved at this stage.

Days Out

Spending a day together can be a great way to build rapport. Whether it’s a day at the zoo, a picnic in the park, or a visit to a museum, budget for:

  • Admission Fees: These can range from £10 to £30 per person.

  • Food and Beverages: Budget approximately £20 to £50 for meals and snacks.


Dining out can offer a relaxed setting to discuss expectations and form a closer bond. Expect to pay:

  • Casual Dining: £20 to £40 per person

Transport Costs

Travel expenses can add up, particularly if you live far apart:

  • Public Transport: £100+ per journey, depending on distance and location.

  • Petrol: If driving, consider the fuel costs, which can vary widely depending on distance.  You should pay the current mileage rate.

  • Taxis/Ubers: If you’re meeting in a city or somewhere without parking, taxis might be the easiest option, ranging from £20 to £60.


If your surrogate lives far away, an overnight stay might be necessary:

  • Hotels: Budget around £50 to £200 per night, depending on location and the level of comfort you desire.

  • Airbnb: Can be a cheaper option, ranging from £30 to £150 per night.


Costings Incurred While Trying to Conceive

The process of trying to conceive is an intricate and often expensive part of the surrogacy journey. It involves several aspects, from medical procedures to counselling, as well as compensation for time off work for the surrogate and her partner. Below is an in-depth look at the costs associated with this crucial phase.

IVF Treatments

In the UK, In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) is a commonly used method in surrogacy:

  • IVF Procedure: Undertaking your own IVF can cost between £5,000 to £10,000 per cycle, depending on the clinic and specific treatments needed. However IVF for surrogacy typically costs more and you should budget more for this.  

  • Medications: Additional costs for hormones and medications usually range between £500 to £1,000. 

Implications Counselling

Most clinics recommend implications counselling to ensure that everyone involved understands the emotional, ethical, and legal aspects of surrogacy:

  • Counselling Fees: These can range from £100 to £200 per session, and multiple sessions may be needed.

Travel to the Clinic for the Surrogate

The surrogate will be required to travel to and from the fertility clinic for appointments, treatments, and check-ups:

  • Public Transport: This usually costs £100+ per trip, depending on distance and location.

  • Petrol Costs: The costs can vary but are dependent on the distance between the surrogate’s home and the clinic.  The current mileage rate should be used.

Loss of Earnings for the Surrogate

Time off work for appointments and treatments is often necessary for the surrogate:

  • Lost Wages: The cost is variable and is generally based on the surrogate’s standard hourly or daily rate.

Loss of Earnings for the Surrogate’s Partner

The surrogate’s partner may also need to take time off to provide support, particularly during key stages:

  • Lost Wages: This cost will vary but is generally based on the partner’s standard rate of pay.

Childcare While the Surrogate is at the Clinic

If the surrogate has children, you’ll need to consider the cost of childcare when she’s attending clinic appointments:

  • Childcare Fees: These range from £7 to £12 per hour, per child, depending on your location and specific needs.

Surrogacy Pregnancy Expenses

Understanding the variety of expenses during a surrogacy pregnancy is crucial for intending parents to be well-prepared. UK guidelines recommend estimating these expenses at the outset and incorporating them into your surrogacy agreement. For authoritative information, the UK government’s publication on having a child through surrogacy is a valuable resource.

  • Loss of Earnings for the Surrogate and Partner: This accounts for any income that the surrogate and her partner may forgo due to time spent on medical visits and other surrogacy-related activities.

  • Childcare to Support Pregnancy and Visits: If the surrogate has other children, childcare may be required during her medical appointments and other surrogacy activities.

  • Help with Additional Cleaning: Pregnancy can be physically demanding, making it harder for the surrogate to maintain her household chores. Additional cleaning help might be considered.

  • Additional Food and Supplements: Nutrition is paramount during pregnancy, so additional funds for food and health supplements are often part of the budget.

  • Classes or Therapies to Support Pregnancy: These can range from birthing classes to relaxation therapies that help support the surrogate throughout her pregnancy.

  • Travel and Accommodation: Transportation costs for getting to and from medical appointments and to have team time, and any possible overnight stays.

  • Maternity Clothes: Comfortable and suitable clothing for the surrogate as her body changes during pregnancy.

  • Recovery Break for the Surrogate and Family: Time off for the surrogate and her family to recover post-birth is a reasonable expense and is key for emotional and physical recovery.

  • Other Incidental Expenses: These can include life insurance, wills, or apps that support the surrogate and intending parents throughout the surrogacy process.

It’s important to note that surrogacy expenses can vary greatly and depend on the individual circumstances of the surrogate. Factors that may influence the costs include the surrogate’s age, the number of children she already has, her earned salary, access to paid maternity leave, any pre-existing medical conditions, and the level of support she may require during the journey. There is no set minimum or maximum limit for expenses as long as they are reasonable.

Quoting the UK government’s guidelines, “It is generally accepted practice for the parties to a surrogacy agreement to estimate their expenses at the start, so that an agreed sum for expenses can be clearly recorded in their agreement and the payments can be spread over the course of the pregnancy if required.”

By being aware of and planning for these expenses, you can better prepare for the financial aspects of the surrogacy journey, allowing you to focus on the emotional and rewarding experience of bringing a new life into the world.

Costs Incurred Post Birth

Understanding the likely costs that may surface after your child’s birth is vital for comprehensive financial planning. Although these costs can differ depending on personal circumstances and needs, here are some typical expenses to think about:

  • Additional Medical Treatment for the Surrogate: Should the surrogate need postnatal medical attention like chiropractic treatments, the costs can vary. For chiropractic sessions, you may look at around £30 to £60 per session.

  • Parental Order Application: A pivotal legal step post-birth involves applying for a parental order to become your child’s legal parent. The UK Government’s guide states that the cost for a parental order is £232.

  • Surrogate’s Attendance at Parental Order Appointments: The surrogate usually attends family court appointments for the parental order. Expenses could encompass transport (perhaps £100+ depending on distance), loss of earnings, and childcare which can range from £7 to £12 per hour.

  • Celebratory Meal: Celebrating this monumental life event often includes a meal or gathering. Though this is optional, budgeting around £100 to £300 for a decent restaurant experience would be reasonable.

Costings for Unforeseen Expenses

Surrogacy is a complex process, and despite meticulous planning, unexpected costs can arise. It’s crucial for intended parents to maintain a contingency fund to ensure that the surrogate is not left out of pocket. Here are some scenarios where unforeseen expenses might crop up:

  • Unplanned C-Section: If a caesarean section becomes necessary, the surrogate’s recovery time could extend to around six weeks. During this period, she may be unable to drive, work, or adequately care for her own children, necessitating extra costs for transport, loss of earnings, and additional childcare.

  • Multiple Pregnancy: Carrying more than one baby often leads to earlier maternity leave, increased medical attention, and potentially, bed rest. This can result in additional costs for loss of earnings and medical care.

  • Medical Conditions Requiring Bed Rest: Conditions such as preeclampsia or gestational diabetes could require the surrogate to go on medical bed rest, again resulting in lost earnings and possibly increased medical costs.

Intended parents should always keep a contingency fund in reserve to cover such unanticipated circumstances. This ensures that the surrogate is adequately supported financially and that the journey remains as stress-free as possible for all involved.

How SurrogacyUK Can Help with Surrogacy Expenses

When it comes to navigating the financial intricacies of surrogacy, SurrogacyUK is committed to ensuring that both intended parents and surrogates are well-informed and protected. Here’s how we assist:

  • No Financial Motivation for Surrogates: As part of our thorough admissions process, we verify that surrogates are not primarily motivated by financial gains. This sets the stage for a relationship built on trust and altruism.

  • Surrogate Mentors: For new surrogates entering the programme, our experienced surrogate mentors work closely with them to calculate a detailed and reasonable expenses plan. These mentors guide surrogates on what is considered ‘reasonable,’ ensuring both the surrogate and the intended parents are comfortable with the financial aspects of the arrangement.

  • Expenses Calculator: Our in-house expenses calculator offers a reliable tool for surrogates to understand the likely expenses they could incur during the pregnancy. This enhances transparency and helps to manage expectations for both parties.

  • Board of Trustees Oversight: If a surrogate’s expenses rise unexpectedly during the pregnancy, our Board of Trustees steps in to scrutinise and approve the increase. This ensures that all changes to the financial agreement are reasonable and protects everyone involved.

  • Member HUB Information: Our Member HUB is a reservoir of valuable resources and guides that help all our members to be fully informed about the costs associated with surrogacy.

By offering these services and resources, SurrogacyUK aims to make the financial aspects of surrogacy as clear and manageable as possible, allowing all parties to focus on the incredible journey they are undertaking together.

If you’re interested in embarking on a surrogacy journey either as a surrogate or as intended parents, we invite you to join the SurrogacyUK community. To start the process and gain access to our wealth of support and resources, surrogates can apply here, and intended parents can begin their journey by applying here

Navigating the financial landscape of a surrogacy journey can be complex, but with diligent planning and the right resources, it becomes a manageable part of this incredible life-changing process. SurrogacyUK is committed to providing the support and tools needed to make your surrogacy journey as smooth as possible.