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The Surrogacy Journey: Not Just For the Wealthy

CHICAGO, Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- While the common perception about using gestational surrogacy as a route to creating families is that it's a rich person's game, a Chicago egg donation and surrogacy agency begs to differ.

"In the eight years that we've been matching surrogates with our clients, few have done it without making financial and personal sacrifices. And nobody's ever shown regret," says Robin von Halle, president of Alternative Reproductive Resources (

"Some take out second mortgages. Others work two or three jobs. We know one couple whose family and friends held benefits for them to help cover the costs."

A typical surrogacy costs between $30,000 to $100,000, with intended parents responsible for the surrogate's compensation, clinic fees, medications, attorney and agency fees, and travel expenses. Insurance is another major issue; most surrogates are not covered under their own policies due to insurance companies inserting surrogate clauses into its documents, so intended parents take on this responsibility as well.

Last year, a writer described her experience with surrogacy birth in the New York Times Magazine that raised the ire of many readers and concern of agencies like ARR for the implications that this is a luxury solution for movie stars and the uber rich.

"This couldn't be further from the truth," said von Halle. "It's a path that ordinary people find a way to take."

Take Chicagoan John Farley (name changed), who made many tradeoffs when he and his wife prepared for their gestational surrogacy experience. This self-described blue-collar worker says, "We took out a home equity loan for the down payment and scaled back tremendously on things like dining out and vacations. Our parents also pitched in."

John also worked two extra jobs to help cover the surrogacy costs for the surrogacy. "It wasn't as hard as you would think. The emotional part was more difficult," he notes.

In considering how to finance a surrogacy birth, John stresses paying attention to the contract and being aware of additional fees that may be incurred.

Surrogacy helped John and his wife become parents of twin boys. Cost: Over $50,000. They expect to have it paid off in about four years. And it was worth, he says, "every penny."

    Contact: Robyn Velasquez

SOURCE Alternative Reproductive Resources
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