Just as IVF has experienced a surge in demand in recent years, the surrogacy market has likewise experienced significant growth, with an approximate current market size of $172M, expected to reach $245M by 2032 as more and more intended parents turn to surrogacy as a way to start or expand their families. Surrogacy is a form of assisted reproduction in which a woman carries and gives birth to a baby for another person or couple.
There are two main types of surrogacy: traditional surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. In traditional surrogacy, the surrogate provides both the egg and carries the pregnancy, while in gestational surrogacy, the surrogate, or gestational carrier, carries an embryo created using the intended parents' or donors' eggs and sperm. The latter is more common and offers more legal protections for the intended parents; however, it also involves additional medical procedures and associated costs.
The surrogacy market is a complex and expensive process, with costs ranging from $100,000 to $230,000 or more, depending on the type of surrogacy, the medical procedures involved, and the location of the gestational carrier and intended parent. Despite the high cost, demand for surrogacy services continues to grow, driven by a combination of factors, including declining fertility rates, advances in assisted reproductive technologies, and a growing acceptance of surrogacy as a legitimate family-building option.
Traditionally, surrogacy services have often been arranged through a surrogacy or traditional IVF clinic, where a large portion of the cost to intended parents are fees to the agency, screening, insurance, legal and more - and a lesser portion of the cost goes to the gestational carrier. Today, there are a number of third party reproduction startups which are working to make the surrogacy process easier, more protective and more affordable for all parties. Such start ups include matching services such as Nodal, databases of third party providers such as Expecting.ai, and patient-centric IVF chains such as Kindbody which offer streamlined surrogate services.
Overall, the surrogacy market can provide a path to parenthood for individuals and couples who might otherwise be unable to have children. However, it also presents some challenges and raises a number of ethical and legal questions, including issues related to informed consent, exploitation, legality by geography and the rights of both intended parents and surrogates.
Given the growth and complexity of the surrogacy market, it is crucial that governments, medical professionals, and intended parents alike remain informed and involved in efforts to regulate and improve the industry. This may include increased regulation, improved access to information and resources, and a commitment to ethical practices. With the help of newcomers in the space, we believe surrogacy market will remain a safe and viable option for those seeking to start or expand their families.