Costs of Surrogacy in Australia
Choose the best treatment options for surrogacy like gestational in Australia. Clinic fees Cost may vary depending on which clinic is used, what procedure is required to impregnate the surrogate.
A surrogate is someone who carries a baby for another couple or individual who cannot fall pregnant or carry their own child for a range of reasons. Surrogacy is when a woman carries and gives birth to a baby for another person or couple. In Australia, gestational surrogacy is the most common form. This means that the surrogate’s egg is not used in conception, and so she is not the biological mother. The embryo may be created using the sperm and egg of the intended parents, or donor embryos may be used.Surrogacy is a highly complex process, involving many people other than just the people wanting the baby and the person carrying it. There are many important steps to ensure that both parties make the best decisions – including extensive counselling, psychiatric assessment and independent legal advice. Commercial surrogacy is currently illegal here in Australia. Parents are instead heading overseas to pay surrogates in India, the US and Thailand – to carry their children.
Surrogacy Australia represents the many hundreds of Australians considering or engaged in surrogacy. Australians engaging in surrogacy in India or Thailand report an average total spend of around $70,000 compared to $165,000 in the US and $45,000 amongst those using Australia. One of Surrogacy Australia’s aims is to make surrogacy within Australia a far easier pathway for intended parents, by seeking to dispel the myths that surrogates ‘change their mind’. The stresses involved in overseas surrogacy are high, with no access to medical insurance should there be complications during pregnancy or after birth. Unfamiliar medical systems, vastly different cultures and thousands of kilometres distance between surrogates and intended parents only add to the stresses.
Surrogacy Treatment Procedures in Australia
In surrogacy, an embryo is created using an egg and sperm produced by the intending parents or by using a donor for egg, sperm or both. This fertilised egg(s) is transferred into the surrogate’s uterus. The process usually involves:
- The intending couple (or individual) and surrogate participating in a medical review including obstetric assessment.
- Counselling and psychiatric assessment for the intending couple, the surrogate and her partner, including any genetic and mental health issues.
- Independent legal advice to advise both parties of their rights and obligations.
- All information, applications and assessments need to be reviewed by an independent Ethics Committee and approved (usually provided by your Surrogacy/IVF Clinic)
- IVF treatment cycle. If the intending parent is using her own eggs, they will be collected after an IVF treatment cycle and fertilised with her partner’s sperm. The embryo will then be inseminated into the surrogate. Once the pregnancy has been confirmed, the surrogate will be provided with ongoing pregnancy care and liaise with the intending parents as to plans for delivery.
- At the birth, the baby is legally the child of the birth mother (the surrogate) until the intending parents Parentage Order takes effect.
Costs of Surrogacy in Australia
As surrogacy treatment involves medical, counselling and legal costs, it is naturally expensive. You will need to pay for consultation with IVF specialists, counselling, legal advice, and the cost of IVF cycles, as well as any agreed reimbursements for the surrogate. Clinic fees may vary depending on which clinic is used, what procedure is required to impregnate the surrogate, and how many attempts at impregnating the surrogate are undertaken. It is recommended that you discuss the details of costs with your clinic directly. No, Medicare does not subsidise the costs of surrogacy in Australia. This is largely due to the inability of surrogates to satisfy the eligibility criterion for Medicare. In order to be eligible for Medicare subsidies, the treating doctor must deem the procedure to be ‘medically necessary’ for the woman undergoing treatment which, in this case, is the surrogate.