Case | HBS Case Collection | August 2013 (Revised October 2013)

Modern Family Planning: The Business of Circle Surrogacy

by Ramon Casadesus-Masanell and Blake Landro


The business of surrogacy, a boutique practice with client costs upwards of $100,000, allowed couples and individuals from a variety of backgrounds, ages, and sexual orientations to build families. This case examines Circle Surrogacy (CS), one of the premier surrogacy agencies in the world, as its president and founder, John Weltman, was about to share an executive presentation with his core management team where he would recommend an option to outsource its surrogacy services. While the changing cultural and regulatory environment had made surrogacy possible for more people, it remained cost-prohibitive for the majority of its eligible audience. Weltman's proposal, if enacted, would create a new opportunity for CS, increasingly faced with competition from other agencies, to offer lower cost surrogacies to intended parents. However, the launch of an outsourced surrogacy service would threaten the company's core value proposition and challenge its prevailing high-touch, premium strategy. How should Weltman and CS best proceed?

Keywords: family planning; platform; competitive advantage; law; globalization; Competitive Strategy; United States; Ukraine;


Casadesus-Masanell, Ramon, and Blake Landro. "Modern Family Planning: The Business of Circle Surrogacy." Harvard Business School Case 714-418, August 2013. (Revised October 2013.)