Having children often fulfills the desire for a family, and there may come a time in your life when you find yourself choosing between surrogacy and adoption to start that family.
Each family has different wants and needs, and although surrogacy and adoption can both be rewarding experiences, prospective parents should consider what fits the vision of their family best. Let’s look at what each process entails—their similarities and differences.
What is Surrogacy?
While there are many types of surrogacies available, each of them has one thing in common—one woman carries a child for someone who wants to have a child but cannot or will not do so on their own. This may be a same-sex couple who could not carry their own child, or this may be a heterosexual couple with fertility or other issues preventing the female from carrying her child.
Depending on the surrogacy type you choose, the surrogate can also provide the eggs as in “traditional surrogacy,” while others will not as in “gestational surrogacy.” These journeys may be compensated or altruistic, but they will always come with significant fees and expenses. The surrogate might have agency representation, or she could be independent. All of these factors will affect the fees paid during the journey.
What is Adoption?
People are generally more familiar with adoption and the basics of how it works, but let’s explore it anyway.
Unlike surrogacy, the child is often not related to the intended parents in any way. However, in some cases, a family member such as a stepparent, aunt, cousin, or sister may adopt a child or children when an unwanted pregnancy or change in family dynamics occurs.
While surrogacy and adoptions are both great options for people wanting to be parents, they all come with their benefits and disadvantages.
There may be many more benefits than listed here, but these are some of the most commonly cited reasons.
The biggest reason parents may choose surrogacy over adoption is the ability to have a biologically related child.
In addition to this, intended parents often have more say in who the carrier is and thanks to medical and psychological screening, they can be sure that the surrogate is physically and mentally able to complete the journey. Intended parents often have to complete psychological screening as well. They have all been selected for this process in advance.
Last but not least, custody is predetermined.
One reason to choose adoption is that there is no risk of a failed embryo transfer, as the birth mother is already pregnant.
The risk of the intended parents transmitting a disease is also eliminated. If the adoptive parents have a condition that would make biological parenting incompatible with life or cause a child a devastating disease, the baby would not be genetically predispositioned to those.
It costs less in most situations than surrogacy. According to Parker Herring Law Firm, if the parents use foster care to begin the process, it can be free.
Often, birth and intended parents are more likely to maintain a relationship after birth and this can create a larger support network for the child later in life. You know that you have created a home for a child who needed one.
While each option has many benefits, it is also important to consider the possible disadvantages or challenges that come with each alternative.
Cost is probably the single largest drawback to completing a surrogacy journey. Other difficulties might be concerns with genetic conditions that the parents could transmit to the child by providing sperm or eggs. Failed embryo transfers and secondary infertility on the surrogate’s part may also be factors in some cases.
Lack of control is often a concern for intended parents. In addition to the fact that they cannot control the genetic structure of the child, they cannot control the prenatal environment or care. There are some cases in which a couple may take in a birth mother for the duration of her pregnancy, but this is neither suggested nor common. The birth mother can also change her mind, or the foster situation may end, and the child is eligible to go home to his or her birth parents. Courts will often favor children returning to their birth parents if possible.
Medical histories and information could be fabricated or incomplete. In some cases, a biological mother will deny knowing the identity of the father to avoid telling him she is pregnant. This can be a simple unwillingness to involve him or out of concern for her safety. When she denies knowing him, she will not be able to provide intended parents of medical or psychological history for him. While this does not happen often, it can be something that prospective parents are able to accept.
Each journey, whether adoption or surrogacy, has its advantages and hindrances. As an intended parent, you need to decide what option is best for your family. There is a lot to consider between both options, and whatever you choose it will be the right thing for you to do.
Becoming a parent is one of the most difficult journeys anyone ever embarks on in life. It is quite possibly one of the most rewarding as well. You will be the right parent for the right child.