The Best Surrogacy Agencies to Help You Achieve Parenthood

If you need help conceiving, a gestational carrier may be a great option. We reviewed surrogacy agencies based on cost, specialties, resources, and more.

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As the average age of first-time parents rises and millennials balance career growth and economic stability with parenthood, people are finding it more challenging to become pregnant when they are ready to. However, thanks to conversations about infertility and LGBTQIA+ rights becoming more mainstream, the surrogacy process with a gestational carrier has, in turn, become well-known and widespread.

Traditional gestational surrogacy started in 1985 with agencies targeting the LGBTQIA+ community with their marketing. Today, surrogacy agencies help prospective parents who may have had trouble conceiving or be unable to conceive naturally for one reason or another create a family on their own terms. From embryo transfers to the legal process to postpartum recovery, these agencies support intended parents and gestational carriers throughout the journey.

The process can be emotionally, physically, and financially taxing. Every experience is different, so prospective families may be unsure how to choose the best surrogacy agency to fit their needs. We narrowed down the top surrogacy agencies to simplify the process, based on important factors such as implantation success rates, screening processes, and legal support.


Note:
​​This article uses the terms "surrogacy" and "surrogacy agency" even though the term "surrogate" is largely considered outdated when referring to someone who carries a baby for a couple who can't conceive on their own. A "surrogate" uses their own genetic material while a gestational carrier is not genetically related to the fetus. We use the terms here because it's how the agencies refer to themselves and the process, and so we want to be accurate for search purposes.

Best Surrogacy Agencies of 2022

Best Overall: Hatch

Hatch Fertility

Hatch Fertility

Key Specs

  • Cost estimate: $148,750 to $225,000
  • Insurance accepted? Yes
  • Legal protections? Yes

Why We Chose It

With widespread national and international locations, Hatch Egg Donation and Surrogacy is a well-established surrogacy agency that prioritizes how it treats gestational carriers and intended parents.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Offers a live-birth guarantee

  • Success rates of 99.5%

  • High customer satisfaction

Cons
  • Higher prices than competitors

  • Does not specify why gestational carrier applicants are denied

Overview

Founded in 1991, Hatch Egg Donation and Surrogacy was one of the first surrogacy agencies. The Los-Angeles based company serves 46 locations across the United States as well as 51 additional countries and offers egg donations and surrogacy services. The agency is respected by fellow agencies, gestational carriers, and intended parents alike, and has a 99.5% success rate and a live-birth guarantee.

The agency states its matching process takes around three months. Gestational carriers for Hatch must be between the ages of 21 and 42 and have a BMI lower than 32. They must also have not had more than three C-sections and have had at least one child they currently are raising with a history of healthy pregnancies.

Furthermore, gestational carriers are required to be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Additional health and psychological screenings are required of prospective gestational carriers during the application process. The average compensation for carriers starts at $45,000. It includes additional allowances, such as covering lost wages, a household allowance to maintain your lifestyle while pregnant, childcare allowances, personalized gifts, as well as bonuses for twin pregnancies, C-sections, and additional IVF transfers.

Hatch’s pricing varies depending on the service you need. A fixed-fee, unlimited transfer surrogacy starts at $148,750, and includes gestational carrier compensation, legal representation, health and life insurance, re-matching, and unlimited embryo transfers for the chosen gestational carrier.

A surrogacy with qualifying unlimited transfer cycle starts at $187,000 and includes gestational carrier compensation, legal representation, health and life insurance, gestational carrier re-matching, unlimited embryo transfers, as well as single egg retrieval.

A “baby guarantee with donor eggs” starts at $225,000 and includes compensation, legal representation, health and life insurance, re-matching, unlimited embryo transfers, as well as egg donor compensation and unlimited egg retrievals. The latter two options go a step further than the fixed-fee plan by covering the costs of embryo genetic screening, carrier screening, clinic gestational carrier screening, and clinic egg donor screening.

It is worth noting there is a pattern of customer complaints from gestational carrier applicants stating they were not told why they were denied. In a company response, Hatch stated they receive numerous applications and cannot specify to each applicant their reasons for the denial.

Best Without Insurance: IARC Surrogacy

IARC Surrogacy

IARC Surrogacy

Key Specs

  • Cost estimate: $97,970 to $138,775
  • Insurance accepted? Yes
  • Legal protections? Yes

Why We Chose It

IARC Surrogacy offers a variety of financial aid options along with lower prices than competitors for prospective parents.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Offers grants, scholarships, and financing options

  • Lower cost than competitors

  • Accepts insurance

Cons
  • Website layout is crowded

  • Additional surrogacy fees might apply

  • Only one location

Overview

Headquartered in Minnesota, IARC Surrogacy offers a more affordable option for surrogacy services compared to its competitors. Steven Snyder, an attorney, founded the agency in 2003 in order to help people who might be having trouble conceiving grow their families.

IARC Surrogacy clearly outlines its prices (as well as an explanation for them), prioritizing transparency and quality customer service. Its prices are lower than the average cost of surrogacy with an estimated range of $97,970 to $138,775. In addition to its lower cost, IARC offers pro bono or discounted surrogacy services through the Gay Parenting Assistance Program. The agency also provides financing options—similar to other surrogacy agencies.

The base compensation for gestational carriers at IARC ranges from $30,000 to $45,000, and the agency uniquely allows gestational carriers to choose their base pay. Additional benefits or reimbursements include medical expenses, travel costs, housekeeping or childcare costs, and lost wages coverage. 

The requirements to become an IARC gestational carrier are similar to other agencies. Prospective gestational carriers should be between the ages of 21 and 41 with a BMI below 35. Additional requirements include at least one healthy pregnancy, a maximum of three C-sections, no significant criminal history, a good support system, and a financially stable household. IARC’s final criteria for gestational carriers is that “You are kind-hearted and altruistic in your intent to help another family have the child they otherwise couldn’t have without your help!”

Best All-Inclusive Rate: ConceiveAbilities

ConceiveAbilities

ConceiveAbilities

Key Specs

  • Cost estimate: $164,900
  • Insurance accepted? Yes
  • Legal protections? Yes

Why We Chose It

ConceiveAbilities offers a single fixed price that is on par with competitors and eligible for insurance coverage.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Offers one fixed price

  • Available in 21 states

  • Accepts insurance

Cons
  • Mixed customer reviews

  • Added expenses may apply

  • Long screening process for gestational carriers

Overview

Founded in 2000, ConceiveAbilities first began as Reproductive Options of Illinois, one of the first egg donor agencies in the United States. In two decades, the agency has grown to serve 21 states as well as offer international options. The most distinct aspect of ConceiveAbilities is its guaranteed fixed price.

Intended parents should expect to pay $164,900 for surrogacy services at ConceiveAbilities. The agency offers “one fixed price, packed with value and security” for its parents, called its All-In Program. The All-In Program protects intended parents from the cost of unexpected expenses during the surrogacy journey. The agency also offers to walk alongside parents when navigating insurance benefits to cover costs. While the one-time fee is higher than some of the averages on this list, when you consider the potential unexpected costs that can arise, such as multiple embryo transfers or additional medical costs, it may be the more financially viable option.

That said, there are additional expenses that might apply, such as if your gestational carrier's compensation is higher than the base rate (say, if you are having twins), as well as IVF clinic costs. IVF costs include “your surrogate’s medical screening and workup, preparation for the embryo transfer and medical monitoring until the pregnancy is ‘established,’” or when a fetal heartbeat is heard.

A gestational carrier's compensation for ConceiveAbilities starts at $48,000. If your chosen carrier's base rate is higher than $48,000, then you will pay the difference in addition to your fixed price. Intended parents will know the gestational carrier's total base compensation before they agree to a match.

The agency prides itself on its screening process, promising a 97% success rate at the first meeting between gestational carriers and intended parents. Aptly titled Matching Matters, its 10-point screening process is completed by licensed nurses and involves:

  • Vetting, consultation, and enrollment steps
  • OB recommendation, health check, and clearance letter
  • Background check for both the gestational carrier and their partner
  • Financial check for both the gestational carrier and their partner
  • Home check
  • Medical review of previous labor and delivery history 
  • Psychological screening of gestational carrier by a licensed mental health provider
  • Insurance review
  • Benefits review

Best for Intended Parents: Growing Generations

Growing Generations logo

Growing Generations

Key Specs

  • Cost estimate: $153,000 to $305,000
  • Insurance accepted? Yes
  • Legal protections? Yes

Why We Chose It

Growing Generations places its focus on intended parents by providing informative resources on its user-friendly website as well as personalized support throughout the surrogacy journey.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • User-friendly, aesthetically pleasing website

  • Offers an informational blog for intended parents

  • Accepts insurance

Cons
  • Large price range for each package

  • Mixed customer reviews

  • Higher prices than competitors

Overview

Growing Generations was established in 1996 to serve the LGBTQIA+ community. In the years since the agency has played a role in more than 2,000 births across numerous demographics. It’s also expanded to three different locations, including Los Angeles, Ohio, and New York City.

The agency prioritizes the care of both intended parents and gestational carriers with its three rules of employee service, including “have kind, warm, and genuine interactions, be interested, and anticipate and fulfill spoken and unspoken wishes”. The agency uniquely outlines its values in an easy-to-read format on its website. These values range from “I advocate for and give back to my communities” to “I am responsible for the integrity of our work and our professional image." From this page on its website, it's clear the agency is intentional about how it treats intended parents and gestational carriers alike.

Additionally, Growing Generations’ website offers a variety of resources for intended parents. The blog format provides multiple articles on the surrogacy experience, from whether to use breastmilk to a list of children’s books about surrogacy.

It is important to point out the large price range for using Growing Generations’ surrogacy services. The agency offers three packages which range from $153,000 to $305,000. 

  • Concierge starts at $174,605 for a singleton pregnancy and includes a customized gestational carrier match as well as additional matches if needed, expense account management, case management, insurance facilitation services, unlimited embryo transfers, and a credit of $5,000 for failed screening expenses of the gestational carrier. 
  • VIP Concierge starts at $224,605 and includes everything in the Concierge package, plus an expedited match, additional administrative support, collaboration with a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, evening and weekend access, as well as three days of staff travel for doctors' appointments. 
  • Executive VIP Concierge starts at $274,605 and includes all Concierge and VIP Concierge benefits plus three more days of staff travel, additional oversight of the surrogacy journey, and personal contact information to access its staff after hours. While its prices are above the average of surrogacy agencies, Growing Generations does offer financing options.

Best for LGBTQIA+ Parents: Same Love Surrogacy

Same Love Surrogacy

Same Love Surrogacy

Key Specs

  • Cost estimate: $160,000 to $206,000
  • Insurance accepted? No
  • Legal protections? Yes

Why We Chose It

Same Love Surrogacy is a great option for LGBTQIA+ parents due to the company’s mission to emphasize cultural and societal factors for the LGBTQIA+ population.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Founders are LGBTQIA+

  • Offers a wellness program for gestational carriers during pregnancy

  • Above-average gestational carrier compensation

Cons
  • Only has three locations

  • Does not accept insurance

  • Website has little information about screening or matching

Overview

Three LGBTQIA+ fathers and a four-time gestational carrier founded Same Love Surrogacy, headquartered in Los Angeles, California, in the late 1990s. The four sought to create an agency that fully understood and respected the needs of LGBTQIA+ intended parents, such as the societal challenges these parents faced during the surrogacy process. 

Today, the agency offers surrogacy and egg donation services with locations in three states: California, Oregon, and New York. It has a transparency policy between gestational carriers and intended parents to ensure the gestational carrier is comfortable with and aware of the intended parents’ sexual orientation. Same Love Surrogacy states, “Our application questionnaires for potential surrogates and egg donors make it clear that the intended parents are likely to be LGBT individuals. In no case would we attempt to match you with a gestational carrier or egg donor who was not fully aware of your sexual orientation.”

Out-of-pocket costs for intended parents are estimated to start at $160,000 for a single pregnancy and $206,000 for twins. These costs cover agency fees, legal fees, egg donor fees and compensation, gestational carrier compensation, medical clinic expenses, health insurance, and delivery costs. Same Love Surrogacy does offer financing options, but it does not accept insurance to cover carrier costs.

Gestational carrier compensation and expense reimbursement at Same Love ranges between $58,000 to $73,000. Expenses gestational carriers can have reimbursed include the cost of travel to medical appointments as well as co-pays, maternity clothing, therapy appointments, cost of lost wages, and legal fees related to carrying. Same Love Surrogacy also offers a pregnancy wellness program for its gestational carriers, including nutritional counseling, acupuncture, and birth coaching. Additionally, gestational carriers can attend support groups with other Same Love gestational carriers.

The website for Same Love Surrogacy offers little information about the agency’s screening or matching processes. Prospective gestational carriers can apply through an online form that takes 30 to 45 minutes to complete. The agency states the matching process can take up to three weeks. On its FAQ page, the agency lists its gestational carrier criteria as follows:

  • Delivered a child of your own
  • Age 21 to 40 years of age
  • BMI (body mass index) of 32 or less
  • No serious complications during your pregnancy or delivery
  • Able to provide OB and delivery records from your pregnancies
  • Have a vehicle and valid driver’s license to attend appointments
  • Good support network of family and friends who will provide emotional and physical support during the process.
  • Partner support and consent. If you are in a relationship your partner must be supportive of your gestational carrier process and must be willing to undergo a medical screening process (blood testing) and/or background check if requested
  • Do not use recreational drugs, smoke cigarettes, or abuse alcohol
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident

Best Implantation Success Rate: Circle Surrogacy

Circle Surrogacy

Circle Surrogacy

Key Specs

  • Cost estimate: $142,250 to $163,250
  • Insurance accepted? Yes
  • Legal protections ? Yes

Why We Chose It

Circle Surrogacy is a leading surrogacy agency with an implantation success rate of 99.3%.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Lower prices than competitors

  • Offers programs for international parents, gay and trans parents, and cancer survivors

  • Accepts insurance

Cons
  • Lower gestational carrier compensation than competitors 

  • Only located in 5 states

  • Longer length of a process than competitors

Overview

John Weltman founded Circle Surrogacy and Egg Donation in 1995 after he and his husband were the first American gay couple to have a child via surrogacy. As one of the oldest agencies, the Boston-based company has six locations in the United States and one in London. It prides itself on creating a “Circle Family” rather than viewing surrogacy as a business transaction.

The agency has one of the highest implantation success rates at 99.3%—Hatch, our selection for overall best agency, is just above it at 99.5%. The agency’s customer reviews reflect its success rates with patterns of intended parents and gestational carriers praising the agency’s personalized care, overall organization, and customer support.

Prospective parents pay an estimated $142,250 for traditional surrogacy services and $163,250 for surrogacy plus egg donation. Circle Surrogacy outlines the cost of surrogacy with a well-organized pie chart indicating the categories that each dollar goes to. These categories include agency fees, legal fees, gestational carrier compensation, and insurance costs.

The base gestational carrier compensation at Circle Surrogacy ranges between $30,000 to $40,000. Prospective parents should also expect to cover monthly payments for the gestational carrier's personal care, as well as the cost of child care and lost wages.

Each gestational carrier completes a standard screening process, including information about past pregnancies, medical records, criminal and financial background checks, and a personality assessment inventory. The personality assessment consists of more than 300 questions to measure psychological well-being. A social worker also interviews each prospective gestational carrier regarding “her motivation, her family and interpersonal relationships, who’s part of her support network, what her expectations are for the experience, and her views on termination and selective reduction.”

Final Verdict

There are a number of surrogacy agencies designed to fit each prospective parent’s needs and desires. Circle Surrogacy has a high implantation success rate, and IARC Surrogacy offers a range of financial aid to increase affordability. While there are leading surrogacy agencies in each category, Hatch excels with the best implantation success rate, a wide range of available locations, and a live-birth guarantee.

Compare the Best Surrogacy Agencies

Company Cost Estimate  Insurance Accepted Process Length Legal Protections 
Hatch Best Overall $148,750 to $225,000 Yes Matching: Around three months Yes
IARC Surrogacy Best Without Insurance  $97,970 to $138,775  Yes  Screening: Estimated 4 to 6 weeks  Yes 
ConceiveAbilities Best All-Inclusive Rate $164,900  Yes  Average 15 to 18 months  Yes 
Growing Generations Best for Intended Parents  $153,000 to $305,000  Yes  Estimated 14 to 18 months  Yes 
Same Love Surrogacy Best for LGBTIA+ Parents  $160,000 to $206,000  No Estimated 12 to 18 months  Yes 
Circle Surrogacy Best Implantation Success Rate  $142,250 to $163,250  Yes  Average 24 to 27 months  Yes 

Guide to Choosing a Surrogacy Agency

What Is a Surrogacy Agency?

Prospective parents who cannot biologically start a family on their own might go to a surrogacy agency. This includes LGBTQIA+ parents and single parents, as well as those struggling with infertility.

Surrogacy agencies can offer a variety of fertility services, such as surrogacy, donor eggs, donor sperm, and fertility screening. Often, surrogacy agencies screen prospective gestational carriers and prospective parents and match them through a standardized process. Some agencies also offer medical clinics for artificial insemination and egg or sperm donations. Typically, surrogacy agencies also help intended parents and gestational carriers with screening and matching, the legalities of surrogacy, administrative support, and case management.

How to Compare Surrogacy Agencies If You’re a Prospective Parent

If you are a prospective parent, it is important to consider these factors when comparing surrogacy agencies:

  • The agency’s reputation
  • How the agency got started and its history
  • The values or mission statement of a company
  • Overall cost of surrogacy, which can range from $97,000 to $305,000
  • Insurance options as well as financial aid offerings
  • Location (Are there multiple, or just one you’ll have to travel to? Do they offer some remote services?
  • Services offered, such as surrogacy, sperm donation, or egg donation
  • Criteria for gestational carriers, such as height, weight, mental well-being, and financial stability
  • Extensiveness of the gestational carrier database
  • Matching success rates
  • Implantation success rates
  • Legal counsel and support
  • Ratings by prospective parents as well as current or past gestational carrier

How to Compare Surrogacy Agencies If You’re a Prospective Gestational Carrier

As a prospective gestational carrier, you will want to understand the experience that each surrogacy agency can offer you when comparing multiple agencies. Important factors to consider in each agency include:

  • Reputation
  • How the agency got started and its history
  • Values or mission statement
  • Base compensation, which can range from $30,000 to $70,000
  • Additional benefits or expense reimbursements offered
  • Application and screening process
  • Required health checks or screenings
  • Interviews or contact with prospective parents
  • Support during the legal process
  • Location
  • Ratings by prospective parents as well as current or past gestational carriers
  • How the agency supports gestational carriers during and after the process

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Should You Expect to Pay a Surrogacy Agency?

Agency fees range between 20% to 25% of the total cost of surrogacy. With the average cost of surrogacy ranging from $120,000 to $150,000, you can expect to pay a surrogacy agency a fee anywhere between $24,000 and $37,500.

What Is the Screening Process Like to Become a Gestational Carrier?

“To plan for an embryo transfer to a gestational carrier, the gestational carrier is first screened very carefully,” says Iris Insogna, MD, of the Columbia University Fertility Center. “They must undergo screening required by the FDA and recommended by ASRM. This involves a physical exam, extensive questionnaire, psychological clearance, clearance from an obstetrics provider (ideally a maternal-fetal medicine specialist), blood work including infectious disease screening, etc. The intended parent or parents also must undergo FDA-mandated screening.”  

How Does Implantation With a Gestational Carrier Work?

Implantation with a gestational carrier is an elaborate process that can take 15 to 18 months.

Each party, the intended parents and the gestational carrier, will have legal counsel to manage the finances and legal contracts during the surrogacy process. Then, the medical team begins preparing the gestational carrier for the embryo transfer, which involves the gestational carrier taking some combination of estrogen and progesterone (injected and oral ingestion) over about a week to two weeks. Once doctors deem them ready for implantation, the previously agreed-upon number of embryos are implanted into the gestational carrier's uterus via a minor, outpatient surgical procedure which typically involves mild sedation. 

What Are the Current Surrogacy Laws in the U.S.? What Protections Do Parents and Gestational Carriers Have?

Surrogacy is governed at the state level and laws vary widely. It is important to familiarize yourself with your state's laws regarding surrogacy and seek out appropriate legal counsel when applicable.

“Generally, the law of the state in which the [gestational carrier] resides controls the contracting and determines whether a pre-birth order is available to intended parents, whether an adoption is required, or whether the surrogacy arrangement is entirely banned,” says Janene Oleaga, an attorney who specializes in family formation law. “For example, some states permit international intended parents to obtain pre-birth orders for their children born through surrogacy, meaning the intended parents are recognized as legal parents from the moment of birth.”  

Can a Friend Be a Gestational Carrier for Free?

A friend can offer to be a gestational carrier and not receive direct compensation, but there are still important factors in the surrogacy process that could become costs you’re responsible for. These factors might include the cost of prenatal care and delivery, coverage of lost wages if applicable, and IVF clinic costs. 

Are Legal Protections Necessary When Using a Friend as a Gestational Carrier ?

You will need to consider how to legally protect your parental rights as intended parents as well as your gestational carrier's rights. Legal contracts and separate attorneys will cost an additional fee. It’s also important to consider whether your friend meets standard criteria for surrogacy, such as age, health status, and history of a previous pregnancy.

How Can I Be Considered to Be a Gestational Carrier by a Surrogacy Agency?

Start by researching multiple surrogacy agencies and noting what they require in their gestational carriers, as well as what sort of care and protections they offer. “For anyone considering becoming a gestational carrier, it is important to find an agency that has their best interest in mind,” adds Dr. Iris Insogna. Once you find the right agency match, you should review its gestational carrier criteria to make sure you are eligible to apply. Such criteria might include: BMI, number of pregnancies and C-sections, mental health and physical health history, and established financial and social support.

Methodology

We evaluated data from 31 companies that offer fertility services, such as egg donation, surrogacy, sperm donation, and artificial insemination, to create this roundup,. We assessed each agency’s affordability, size, and availability. We also looked at patterns in customer reviews to assess client satisfaction. Other considerations included each agency’s gestational carrier criteria, screening and matching processes, and additional offerings for gestational carriers and intended parents.

In addition to evaluating each agency, we interviewed three sets of intended parents, one lawyer specializing in reproductive laws, and two leading fertility experts. We also reached out for direct comments from three surrogacy agencies but did not receive responses.

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Sources
Parents uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Worldwide Surrogacy. "The History of Surrogacy."

  2. Sensible Surrogacy. "Surrogacy Costs."

  3. ConceiveAbilities. “Surrogacy process.”

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