Surrogacy Success Rates: Important Facts for Parents and Surrogates

All About Surrogacy 

Surrogacy is a wonderful option for people who want the experience of raising children but can’t have children by traditional means. With that said, it’s fair to say that surrogacy costs can run pretty high. If intended parents are willing to go the IVF surrogacy route, they have a right to ask about the surrogacy success rate.

As a Philadelphia Surrogate Agency, we get asked about the surrogacy success rate all the time. Based on our desire and obligation to be transparent, we always answer these questions. At the same time, we seek to educate both prospective surrogate mothers and intended parents about the factors that ultimately determine the failure or success of IVF surrogacy.

How Does Surrogacy Work?

How Does Surrogacy Work?

Before you get involved in the surrogacy process, you need to understand how surrogacy works. The surrogacy definition per The Free Dictionary By Farlex is “An agreement by a woman to undergo pregnancy so as to produce a child which will be surrendered to others.”

The process starts with deserving people who want to be parents but can’t do that by traditional means. Instead of going the adoption route, they decide to contract with a giving and caring woman who agrees to serve as their surrogate.

Of course, surrogate candidates are required to meet very strict standards. Our Philadelphia Surrogate Agency maintains some of the strictest standards in the U.S. We do this to help ensure the surrogate success rate remains as high as possible.

Note: Surrogacy costs will vary from state to state and agency to agency. With our agency, intended parents can expect to pay between $80K – $90K. Of that amount, $60 – $70K goes to the surrogate as compensation (fee, reimbursable).

After the contract is signed, the surrogate will start on fertility drugs to initiate the pregnancy.

Type of Surrogacy

Types of Surrogacy

There are two primary types of surrogacy: Traditional and gestational surrogacy.

Traditional surrogacy: The egg cells are provided by the surrogate with the sperm coming from a donor or the intended father.

Gestational Surrogacy: The egg cells come from the intended mother or a donor with the sperm coming from a donor or the intended father.

The preferred option is gestational surrogacy because it leaves the intended mother with a genetic connection to the baby.

Factors That Determine Surrogacy Success Rate

At this point, you should have a better understanding of the surrogacy process. With an eye on the expected success rate should you choose to go forward, you need to understand which factors will play a role in determining the success rates we will state later. To that end, here are some of the factors that will play a role in the chances of you getting or delivering a healthy baby.

Age of the Surrogate

Women have premium child-bearing years. These are the years that women and their bodies are assumed to be at their physical peak. At our agency, we require our surrogates to fall between 21 years old and 40 years old.

Note: As women and men age, the health of their respective egg and sperm cells will diminish. That’s why women in their premium child-bearing years are preferred. Also, the sperm of older intended males parents or donors must be scrutinized.

Age of the Surrogate
Physical and Mental Health of the Surrogate

Physical and Mental Health of the Surrogate

Healthy surrogates tend to deliver healthy babies. When we look at a surrogate’s health, we consider their “body mass index” (BMI) and whether or not they drink, smoke, or use illicit drugs. Our allowable BHI range sits at 20-32, and we will not accept surrogates with a recent history of the aforementioned bad habits.

During their pregnancy, we request that surrogates maintain a healthy diet and get exercise whenever possible. We also evaluate them in terms of mental health issues.

Living Environment

It’s important that surrogates live in a stable environment. To us, that means a family environment where at least one other small child is being raised. We value surrogates who live in stable living environments because it usually translates to them having to deal with less stress and anxiety.

Living Environment
Pregnancy History

Pregnancy History

Almost all agencies require that prospective surrogates have had at least one successful delivery of a healthy baby. They further require that prospective surrogates have no history of problems during pregnancy or the delivery process. These requirements are in place based on the premise that history is a good predictor of the future.

Surrogacy Success Rates

Surrogacy Success Rate

Evaluating surrogacy success rate mandates that the rates be viewed in two spheres: embryo transfer success rates, and the success rates of a healthy delivery.

Embryo Transfer Success Rates

During the In Vitro fertilization process, the fertility doctor will harvest multiple egg cells from the provider, be it the surrogate mother, intended mother, or donor. This is done for two reasons.

One, not all egg cells are suitable for fertilization. To increase the embryo transfer success rate, multiple healthy eggs must be available for fertilization. Two, not all attempted transfers take. Since the transfer process could take up to three or four attempts before a viable pregnancy is confirmed, multiple healthy eggs need to be available.

Generally, the success rate of the first transfer attempt is slightly above 50% per the CDC in 2019. As additional attempts are made, the percentage goes up and caps at around 90% overall.

Live Birth Success Rates

At the end of the day, all parties are looking for the delivery of a healthy baby. Assuming a surrogate falls right in the middle of our requirements, The CDC shows that the live birth success rate is about 70% per attempted embryo transfer with donor eggs, going up to 80% per embryo transfer if pre-genetic testing is implemented. Once a pregnancy is confirmed, the unborn baby has a 95%-98% chance of meeting their new parents.

We hope you find this information useful as you contemplate choosing the surrogacy option. As you can see as intended parents, there’s an excellent chance the money you will spend will result in you having a beautiful child to raise. As a prospective surrogate mother, you can now see why our requirements are strict. We do that for the protection and benefit of all parties involved in this very important process.