For many people, the dream of starting a family is a simple next step in the relationship process. A woman in a relationship allows herself to become pregnant, and nine months later, a baby is born, and a new life together as a family begins. Unfortunately, for some, this journey isn’t so simple and straightforward. Women with heart conditions are advised not to get pregnant as it risks endangering themselves and the baby. Some women have had their lives saved from cancer through hysterectomies, but this has meant the surgical removal of their womb, leaving them unable to conceive naturally.
Fortunately, there are alternatives, such as surrogacy. With the surrogacy solution, another woman agrees to become pregnant on behalf of a hopeful family. Once the baby is born, she then unites that newborn with the intended parents and life as a family can begin. However, as to be expected, the process of surrogacy is not an easy process. It requires time, effort, and significant financial commitment.
Since 99% of the world is not in the top 1% of elite wealth, where money is not an issue, it’s natural to try to manage the large financial requirements of surrogate pregnancy. But finding a lower-cost surrogacy brings its own risks for hopeful parents that aren’t careful.
No Such Thing As Cheap
The single most important lesson that hopeful parents need to take is that there is no such thing as cheap surrogacy. Parents must, at the very least, be prepared to commit tens of thousands of dollars, often far more than that if additional processes, such as in vitro fertilization, are required. And of course, regardless of whether a surrogacy is altruistic or compensated, a surrogate mother’s living and medical expenses should be covered by the hopeful family as the pregnancy progresses.
All of this means that “cheap” is essentially impossible. If, while searching for a surrogate mother, the costs offered, especially by an agency, are just a few thousand—or even a few hundred—dollars, this is likely a scam. No safe, successful, legitimate surrogate mother process costs only a few hundred dollars. This is more likely an attempt to make some quick, small amounts of cash off couples desperate to be parents and unwilling to face the reality that it won’t be cheap.
But even if the cost of surrogacy is not unusually low, there are still things to keep an eye out for when individuals or agencies offer lower surrogacy costs.
Not Meeting The Surrogate Mother
One of the biggest red flags a hopeful family can get early in the proceedings for lower-cost surrogacy is a reluctance to let the couple meet a potential surrogate mother. This is a partnership, a relationship that will last at least nine months. Both the hopeful family and the surrogate mother need to get to know each other and feel comfortable entering this relationship.
If an agency is unwilling to allow a crucial meeting between people involved in something as important and medically significant as surrogacy, the lower price is not worth it. It’s possible that no meeting is being allowed because there is no surrogate, just falsified names, and photographs provided to scam a hopeful family out of their money.
Unwillingness To Discuss Compensation Or Expenses
This is another very large red flag and often indicates that the seemingly low initial cost of surrogacy will likely be outweighed by ongoing expenses throughout the surrogacy. There have been scams in the past where hopeful families are required to create a trust fund for the surrogate mother and are then assured that only living expenses will be drawn as required up to a certain amount. However, as time passes, it becomes obvious that the maximum allowable amount is used every single month, with expense reports citing unlikely figures, such as $1000 for groceries for a single month alone, without receipts to back up these expense claims.
This is another red flag if a surrogacy agency is unwilling to provide transparency about how funds are being used. There is only one reason not to let a hopeful family see how their money is being spent, and that is because money is not being spent as intended or promised.
The safest way to ensure a successful surrogacy is to find agencies with established, verifiable track records. Always look to agencies that have reputations and ask about sources, look for past reviews, and, whenever possible, talk to past clients about their experiences. It is possible to find agencies that provide lower costs than other surrogacies simply by going to another city and country, such as Tbilisi, Georgia, where currency value is less than the US dollar. Therefore, costs are lower through obvious, understandable economic factors. But if surrogacy costs are lower through means that are not easily explained, this is a clear signal that things may not be legitimate and exercise caution.