Adoption Or Surrogacy: How Will You Know What Is Best For You?

Most couples who decide to start a family do so the conventional way, with a woman allowing herself to become pregnant and giving birth nine months later. Unfortunately, some couples don’t have easy access to this option. Some, for example, are same-sex couples where neither partner is biologically able to conceive and carry a child. Other couples have medical issues that make pregnancy either risky or impossible due to surgical consequences resulting from battling cancer.

Couples of the 21st century, fortunately, don’t have to resign themselves to a life without a family. It is still possible for these couples to raise children; it just requires choosing alternative means. Both of these methods are old and well-established. One is adoption, while the other is surrogacy, but when it comes to adoption or surrogacy, which is the right one for a couple?


The practice of adoption has been in use for millennia and, in theory, is very simple. Adoption is the act of taking in a child who has no parents and taking on the role of parent. Here, a couple takes on someone else’s child as their own and raises them as if they had been born to the family.

In a technical sense, adoption is the easier and simpler of the two alternatives. A child is already present and in need of a loving environment and supportive parent. Because of the various circumstances occurring throughout the world, whether that’s accidents, natural disasters, or even war, situations arise that deprive children of their parents. In some of the most tragic cases, children are taken away from parents who have proven too harmful to the child’s welfare to allow continued custody.

However, despite the relative ease of availability of children, there are some factors potential parents need to consider. Because we live in a world where child exploitation still occurs, children are not remanded out for adoption, just at the request of an adult. Couples hoping to adopt a child, whether this is an older child already speaking, with a personality and preferences, or a baby, must meet certain criteria before an adoption is approved.

Psychological Readiness

Similar to driving a car or even applying for a job, adopting a child involves an evaluation and approval process. If this process is not completed, hopeful parents will not be able to adopt a child. How the process occurs depends in large part on where a couple lives. The evaluation process in the United States, for example, is different from that in Germany.

Evaluations cover a spectrum of different requirements, such as economic preparedness and, perhaps more importantly, psychological capability. Agencies involved in managing adoption are, first and foremost, interested in the welfare of the child, so everything is tilted in the child’s favor, taking steps to see if prospective parents can give children the opportunities they deserve after starting life without birth parents the way most children do.


Adopting a child is not free. Hopeful parents must make a financial commitment, though the total cost depends on the country of residence as well. However, in most developed nations, such as the United States and Canada, prospective parents can expect to spend tens of thousands of dollars.

Part of this is tied into the administrative and bureaucratic process, while another part also has to do with ensuring parents are financially able to support a child. Another factor is providing a “barrier to entry” for people seeking to exploit children, as too high a financial requirement deters most from resorting to adoption as it is no longer cost-effective.


The other alternative, surrogacy, is where another woman agrees to become pregnant on behalf of a couple. The baby born of that pregnancy is then united with the hopeful parents. Surrogacy is very different from adoption in that this method allows hopeful parents to raise a child from the day of birth. It also provides a few other options for parents, such as:

Direct Genetic Descendants

One area where surrogacy provides options that adoption does not is gestational surrogacy. Using a technique known as in vitro fertilization, a donated egg and sperm are fertilized in a lab. This method allows hopeful parents to have a “traditional” baby in the sense that, with DNA testing, the child would be confirmed to have 50% of the DNA of the mother and 50% of the father.

Moreover, this technique also allows for screening and elimination of congenital family diseases, such as sickle cell anemia or cystic fibrosis. Through IVF, hopeful parents get more control over the outcome in some ways.

Significant Investment

It should come as no surprise, however, that the techniques employed for some kinds of surrogacy are also very expensive. People who choose this route should be prepared for major financial investments. This is especially true if the surrogacy is compensated and takes place in another country.

Ultimately, whether surrogacy or adoption is right for a couple depends on a lot of factors. However, having clear goals in mind and working with the right surrogacy center can help couples get the outcome they want.