The definition of a traditional family is changing in so many ways. One of them is the fact that those who were once unable to have children can now do so thanks to surrogacy. Adoption has long been a standard as well, and for many couples the choice comes down to these two options.
Which is right for you – adoption or surrogacy? It’s a question that each family will have to answer for themselves, but taking a look at some of the pros and cons can help you make a better determination of which one to use when you’re ready to become a parent.
The Two Options
Adoption needs no real introduction or explanation. It’s become a key part of how families are created for decades. With adoption, parents are able to find a child that they can love and raise as their own, introducing it to their family and often helping change its life for the better.
Surrogacy is a bit more complex. With surrogacy, fertilized eggs are implanted into a gestational mother who carries the child to term. Upon birth, the intended parents take the child home as theirs – because it is. There are more things to consider with surrogacy, but the end result has made many couples proud parents.
With the basics in mind, which is right for you? Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons as they relate to each option. This way, you can determine what the best choice for you and your family will be.
Adoptive parents aren’t genetically related to their child. Of course, that child is truly theirs and very few adopted children would ever argue that their adoptive parents aren’t their real parents. But, with surrogacy the eggs and sperm of the parents can be used, which in turn means that there is a genetic link between parents and child.
A ‘Good Deed’
Adoption has one huge benefit over surrogacy – the fact that you’re helping a child find a loving home instead of being left in the ‘system’. Surrogacy does provide a strong bond with the child, but for some would-be parents knowing that they helped a child in a bad situation makes their love for that child and their pride in them that much stronger.
Put simply, surrogacy is expensive. Yes, adoption can be very costly as well, but with the average surrogacy process costing nearly $100,000 in most cases, the price of surrogacy will far exceed that of adoption. It’s up to parents to determine just what kind of costs are acceptable for them and their situation.
Adoption is a legal process, with plenty of paperwork for you to sign. But surrogacy is even more complex from a legal standpoint, and that means that you should prepare for a tremendous amount of legal work. But, those legal steps are often much more favorable for parents than those in adoptions, which means that you don’t have to worry about losing your child for any reason once the process is done.
Length of Process
Both adoption and surrogacy can be a lengthy process. Some adoption waitlists are very long, and just proving that you are fit for adoption can take a tremendous amount of time. With surrogacy, you still have wait times as well since you’re waiting for your child to actually be born.
Both adoption and surrogacy can be stressful. With surrogacy, parents worry that the gestational mother is healthy and that their child will be born healthy as well. With adoption, stress that the adoption may fall through, that a birth mother may want an open adoption, and more can all be present. As such, each option carries some stress – determining which you can manage more is important.
Some birth mothers may request that they be able to contact their child if it’s adopted, others may request an open adoption arrangement. There is a chance that surrogate mothers may want to stay in touch with intended parents, but they generally have much less in terms of rights to do so than some adoption situations. As such, adoption may mean that the birth mother becomes a part of your life as well.
So Which Is Right For You?
Each parent will have to think about the above points and weigh their importance when planning their family. For some, adoption may be a better fit while for others the chance to have a child through surrogacy offers the solution they prefer.
Either way, becoming a parent is more possible than ever before – for anyone. Whether you’re struggling with infertility, are a single person who wants to become a parent, or are a gay couple ready to become parents, there are options out there. Think about the above points and you’ll find the path that works best for you.