Deciding Between Surrogacy or Adoption
Making the choice to become parents is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make in your life. The joy, the love, and the wonderful experience of being parents is a journey that will change your life forever. But now that you’ve decided to expand your family, you’ll need to make another decision – surrogacy or adoption.
Both surrogacy and adoption are wonderful ways for you and your partner to become parents. And while these processes have some things in common, there are many differences that you’ll need to consider before you decide which is right for you.
Here are some of the key things you’ll need to think about as you decide whether surrogacy or adoption is the best way for you to plan for your expanding family.
Importance of Genetics
The top reason intended parents choose surrogacy over adoption is genetics. For some couples it’s important that their child is genetically related to at least one of them. Surrogacy makes this possible, with one or both intended parents being genetically related with their baby. With surrogacy you’ll be able to use your sperm or eggs to have a child that’s biologically related to you. Adoption doesn’t provide this genetic relationship unless you’re able to adopt from a relative within your family.
If it’s important that you continue with family genetics and see part of yourself or your partner in your baby, surrogacy provides you with this opportunity. If genetics aren’t a concern for you, adoption allows you to lovingly adopt and embrace a child that needs a caring home.
Choosing a Surrogate or Birth Mother
Part of the surrogacy process is screening for both the intended parents and the surrogate to be sure that everyone is ready for the surrogacy journey. When you choose surrogacy you go through a matching process, selecting the sperm or egg donor and then finding a surrogate that’s the right fit for all of you. You’ll know the complete medical history of your surrogate and be able to select her based on her detailed profile through your surrogate agency. This will include information about her lifestyle and her expectations throughout the pregnancy.
With adoption your match with the birth mother happens during the pregnancy. Your profile is given to the birth mother of your choosing based on your preferences and review of her profile. In adoption, the birth mother will ultimately choose you so the matching process can take longer than if you opt for adoption. With surrogacy there are already surrogates waiting to be matched with their intended parents.
Early Bonding with Your Baby
With adoption, it can be a long wait to adopt a newborn baby. If it’s important to you and your partner to bring a newborn into your life that you can bond with from day one, surrogacy makes this possible. You’ll be there the moment your baby is born so you get that early start with bonding. If you’re able to adopt a newborn, many birth mothers choose not to have the adoptive parents present during the birth.
Participation in the Pregnancy
A significant difference between surrogacy and adoption is the amount of participation you’ll have throughout the pregnancy. With adoption you won’t have much participation, if any, in the pregnancy. The birth mother is carrying her own biological child, making her own decisions throughout her pregnancy, including prenatal care. With surrogacy, you’ll be involved throughout the process from the transfer of the embryo to the first ultrasound to the birth of your own baby. You may also be able to attend doctor’s appointments, providing a support system for your surrogate mother through the pregnancy.
Uncertainty of Adoption
Choosing adoption of a newborn can mean some uncertainty that the birth mother may decide not to follow through with the adoption. With adoption, the birth mother is the baby’s biological mother and can change her mind about placing her baby up for adoption at any time during the pregnancy and after during the revocation period when she can still change her mind. For intended parents, this uncertainty is an emotional risk they need to think about before choosing adoption.
With gestational surrogacy, your surrogate mother is not biologically related to your baby. She’s entered into a legal contract with you after making her own personal decision to help you start your own family. From the start of the surrogacy process the expectations have been clear for both you and your surrogate. Her emotional involvement and legal implications are different from that of a birth mother in the adoption process.
Cost of Surrogacy vs Adoption
There are costs associated with both surrogacy and adoption, although surrogacy is usually more expensive than the adoption process. If you’re considering surrogacy over adoption, you’ll need to be prepared for the cost of the surrogacy process. Costs will include fees to the surrogacy agency, fees to the surrogate mother, legal expenses, and the cost of travel if required. The surrogacy agency will be able to assist you with financing however.
There are also costs to consider with adoption. Costs to be prepared for with adoption include adoption agency fees, legal fees, and the cost of travel depending on from where you decide to adopt your child.
Relationships After Baby’s Birth
When you enter into a contract with your surrogate you can decide how much contact, if any, she’ll have with you and your baby after the birth. If you want to stay in touch, some surrogates are open to some form of communication. Other surrogates choose to end the relationship and not have any future contact with the intended parents.
With adoption, many birth mothers want to have a relationship with their baby and the adoptive parents after the birth so they can continue to be part of their baby’s life. You’ll need to take this into consideration and decide if this continued relationship is something you want.
Deciding to become parents is a huge, life changing event. It involves making a lot of decisions based on what’s right for each couple. Now that you know some of the differences between surrogacy and adoption take some time to determine what option is right for you and your family.