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The options for surrogacy are sufficiently complicated that you need a quick guide to sorting out the costs. Here it is.

The situations in which parents use the services of surrogate mothers include:

Artificial insemination of the surrogate mother with the husband's (or male partner's) sperm to fertilize the surrogate mother's egg. Artificial insemination by donor, when both partners adopting the child are infertile, using donor sperm to fertilize the surrogate mother's egg. Egg donation, when the prospective mother is not ovulating, but can maintain a pregnancy to term if she receives a donated egg. In vitro fertilization with embryo transfer, in which the male partner's sperm is used to a donor egg resulting in an embryo which is then implanted in the surrogate.

One of the major costs of using a surrogate is the legal paperwork to establish the child's parentage. Legal costs vary greatly by method.

Using a donated egg to accomplish pregnancy in the female partner of the marriage (because she is not ovulating, but while she can still become pregnant) is relatively uncomplicated legally and usually involves legal fees of less than $5,000 in the US. Neither husband nor wife has to adopt the child the wife has carried to term in her own uterus. Artificial insemination of the surrogate mother with the male partner's sperm usually does not result in litigation, but the contract for the procedure is usually very detailed. It's not unusual to spend $20,000 on lawyer's fees for the contract, but most contracts are written in a way that avoids future court costs. Usually the wife, but not the husband, must adopt the child after the surrogate gives birth. In vitro fertilization and embryo transfer are complicated both medically and legally. If the husband donates sperm, the wife must adopt the child after the surrogate gives birth. If the surrogate is implanted with an embryo created from donated egg and sperm, both husband and wife must adopt the child.

In some states, such as Florida, payments to women who donate their eggs and to surrogate mothers are limited to direct expenses. The surrogate would not be expected to pay for visits to her OB-GYN or for the delivery, but she would not be compensated for her time or risk. In other states in the USA and other countries, parents typically pay $10,000 to $100,000 for the surrogate's services, although the surrogate herself sometimes receives only a small part of this fee. It's always important to have the legal and financial arrangements for surrogacy finalized before beginning medical procedures. And it's always essential to enlist the services of an attorney who is knowledgeable in this area of the law.

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