The Role Of A Financial Coordinator


The surrogacy process can be a complex and emotional journey for both intended parents and surrogates.  The task of a Financial Coordinator is to help intended parents and surrogates navigate the often-confusing financial aspects of the process.  This includes explaining the various costs involved, including medical expenses, legal fees, and compensation for the surrogate.  IVF treatment packages can be confusing to understand, and the Financial Coordinator can be invaluable in explaining and verifying the financial aspects of IVF treatment.  Their excellent customer service and interpersonal and communication skills will often reduce the stress caused by misunderstanding this important area.


A Financial Consultant will


  1. Consult with and advise the Intended Parents regarding creating a team of professionals to navigate this journey. E.g., Will an agency be involved? What IVF facility will be providing services? Who will undertake the legal aspects of the case?  Is there a full-time or as-needed mental health professional on the case?  Once all these details are understood and decided upon, the Financial Coordinator can gather financial figures to prepare a budget or estimated surrogacy/donor cost for this proposed journey.


  1. Consult with the surrogate, egg/sperm donor, regarding their financial expectations of this journey and what expenses must be reimbursed.  The Financial Coordinator can ensure that the surrogate is fairly compensated for her time and effort while ensuring the intended parents are not overburdened with excessive costs.


  1. Consult with the IVF clinic on behalf of the intended parents to see what package deals are offered and all associated costs. The financial aspects of an IVF cycle can be challenging to understand as there are frequently so many options, each with limitations and an associated cost.  Often, IVF clinics offer financial packages, but determining if this option will benefit you versus an a la carte service frequently requires a deeper understanding of all the options.


  1. If an Escrow or Trust Account service provider is involved, then the Financial Coordinator needs to understand their costs, the limits of their services, and their process.


  1. The coordinator will also monitor all payments made to ensure they are done promptly and accurately. Where applicable, they will also double-check that bills are correctly submitted to the insurance company before payment is made to cover any medical invoices.   The costs and complexity of insurance coverage can be overwhelming.  Financial Coordinators deal with these daily and will know the way through the insurance maze, so we recommend employing one.





One of the most important responsibilities of a financial coordinator is ensuring that all financial agreements follow legal and ethical guidelines.  This includes ensuring the surrogate is fairly compensated for her time and effort.   The Financial Coordinator will prepare a surrogacy budget and payment schedule considering all expenses incurred.  The following are some of the questions that will need answering:


  1. Is there a need to cover the costs of childcare? If yes, what budget is needed?
  2. Will there be any lost wages for the surrogate/donor? If yes, what are the usual working hours and which days of the week?   Is regular overtime needed?  Does a provision need to be made for commissions earned?
  3. Travel: mileage reimbursements, parking (valet vs. self-park), hotels, if needed, and who will determine which hotel, food allowances, flights, etc.
  4. If there is to be a monthly stipend paid to the surrogate. What is the amount, the start and end dates, and what is covered by this stipend?
  5. Budget for a Maternity clothing allowance.
  6. Lost wages for husband/significant other: amount and terms.
  7. Compensation for invasive procedures such as D&C, cerclage, amniocentesis, reduction, termination, etc.
  8. Will there be additional compensation for a cesarean section?
  9. Payment for a loss of reproductive organ: fallopian tube(s), uterus.
  10. The Financial Coordinator will evaluate the surrogate’s insurance policy to determine what expenses will be covered and what must be paid out of pocket.
  11. Payments are offered for medical complications such as miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy.
  12. What additional compensation will be paid for multiple pregnancies?
  13. If the surrogate is hospitalized or on bedrest due to a high-risk pregnancy, what additional services will she and her family need?
  14. Consult with professionals involved: consultations with legal counsel(s), mental health professionals, case managers, etc., and gathering information on their professional fees.


Once the Financial Coordinator comprehends all expenses, they can compile a budget or an estimated surrogacy cost sheet, which will be presented to the Intended Parents and the surrogate/donor for approval.   The parties must also reach an agreement on payment schedules. This important document will be provided to the legal team to incorporate these terms into the legal paperwork.  The legal team will also ensure that all payments comply with the laws governing the surrogate’s residence, the delivery location, and the intended parents’ jurisdiction.



The Benefits


As you can no doubt see, their unique skills can help everyone understand the often confusing and sometimes uncertain world of finances in the field of infertility.  The most challenging part of a Coordinator’s job is tactfully evaluating, approving, or declining reimbursement for certain expenses or requests made for advances from the trust/escrow account.   However, their training and professionalism make this task more humane by relying on their experience to offer alternatives.


Inviting a Financial Coordinator to your team will almost certainly reduce the stress felt by any intended parent(s) and, by default, the chances of a potential strain on the relationship with their surrogate.   Access to a Coordinator also lets the surrogate feel she has someone to speak to and ask about reimbursements.   That may prove invaluable – e.g., if she was going through some unforeseen financial problems that she felt unnecessarily embarrassed or uncomfortable about – she might be wary about discussing them directly with her intended parents.


In short, a Financial Coordinator plays a vital role in ensuring that all financial aspects of surrogacy are handled efficiently and ethically, and they provide critical support and communication throughout the process.


Below is a sample Estimated Surrogacy Cost Sheet you should expect to receive from your Financial Coordinator.



Author: Karen Synesiou, Infertility Portal, Inc.

Estimated cost sheet 3
Estimated cost sheet 2
Estimated cost sheet