Surrogacy vs Adoption: What’s Right for You?
There are many different paths to parenthood. Some choose which path to take, and others have the decision made for them. For same-sex couples and those facing infertility or health issues, surrogacy and adoption are two of the most commonly considered options. Choosing which path to take is very individual and often determined by personal and financial restrictions. Both are life altering, rewarding pursuits. If you are trying to decide between surrogacy vs adoption, these are some points to consider.
If genetic ties are an important aspect for you and/or your partner, then surrogacy is the only way to achieve that with these two options. With a gestational surrogate your baby will be biologically connected to one or both intended parents. Depending on whether the intended parent’s egg, sperm, or both are used in the process, the child will be biologically related to one or both parents. Families who feel strongly about having a genetically related child can achieve that via surrogacy.
Adoption, on the other hand, is a result of an already present and often-times unintended pregnancy. There is no genetic connection to the child. Due to her circumstances, the biological mother may have more of an emotional connection with the growing baby and struggle with separating from the child. The legal aspects of adoption can also be more complicated than surrogacy, so keep that in mind as well.
Surrogacy vs adoption costs vary greatly, so it is challenging to make an accurate comparison. Adoption costs differ wildly depending on the type of adoption. International adoption tends to be more costly than domestic adoption, just as private adoption costs more than adopting through social services. Surrogacy does have the added expense of invasive and time consuming medical procedures, as well as payments to the surrogate, so expect to spend more with a surrogate pregnancy.
Screening and Matching
Surrogacy matching programs, as run by experienced agencies, tend to be more personal and customized. Both the intended parents and surrogate are screened by the agency to help both parties benefit from the process. Surrogacy professionals typically hand select potential matches to present to each party. The process only moves forward when all parties have a mutual interest in working together.
With adoption, prospective parents are allowed to specify some criteria about which types of adoption opportunities they are open to, but ultimately the decision making is left to the birthmother. She is typically the one who reviews many family profiles to decide who she will place her baby with.
Legal and Medical Procedures
Legally, birth parents have the option to change their minds at pretty much any point in the adoption process. This can result in a lot of unease and uncertainty for prospective parents. Surrogacy, on the other hand, is a legally binding process that clearly spells out what each party’s involvement in the process is. Since this process is negotiated and signed before the baby is even conceived there is never any question that the surrogate is carrying the baby for the intended parents.
Medically, surrogacy is much more involved than adoption. A surrogate pregnancy is the result of complex medical procedures, so there are additional steps to take and expenses to be paid. In adoption, prospective parents typically do not incur medical expenses until after the child is born.
As you can see, the differences between surrogacy vs adoption are vast. Knowing and understanding both processes well can help you make the best choice for your personal situation.