If you're considering surrogacy, here are some things you should know. A surrogate can become pregnant in one of two ways: She can have her own eggs artificially inseminated by the father's sperm, or she can have another woman's artificially inseminated eggs implanted in her uterus. The latter, which is called gestational surrogacy and involves in vitro fertilization, costs around $10,000 per attempt. Artificial insemination of the surrogate's eggs costs about $5,000. Most insurance policies do not cover either.
When surrogacy is arranged through an agency, the surrogate is generally paid for her services. She might undergo psychological screening to determine her motivation and whether she can cope with being pregnant and giving up the baby.
Laws regarding surrogacy vary from state to state. Some require parents to legally adopt the child, even if it's biologically theirs. Others ban for-a-fee surrogate arrangements completely. Consult an attorney for the laws in your state.
Copyright © Melba Newsome 2003. Reprinted with permission from the March 2003 issue of Parents magazine.