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Surrogacy vs. Adoption [Which is Right for You?]

If you’re trying to add a bundle of joy to your family, you have a couple of options to make this happen.  There are typically two main avenues hopeful parents consider taking: adoption and surrogacy.

To get more information about the difference between surrogacy and adoption, you can reach out to an adoption specialist here, and contact a surrogacy specialist here.

So, when it comes down to surrogacy vs. Adoption, which is the right option for you?

Choosing Between Surrogacy vs. Adoption

Both of these options are rewarding journeys that allow you to grow your family. However, while their end goal may be the same, there are many differences to consider when deciding which family building method is right for you.

Both are unique processes with their own advantages and challenges. You will need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of each when it comes to deciding which path is right for you.

Biological Relation

If you choose to grow your family through gestational surrogacy, your child will share one or both of you and your spouse’s genetics. Your child will share no genetic relation to the surrogate who carries them to term.

She will become pregnant through the IVF process and an embryo transfer where the intended parents' and/or a sperm or egg donor’s genetic material will be used. This is one of the biggest differences between surrogacy and adoption.

With adoption, neither of the adoptive parents will be genetically related to their adopted child. Only the birth mother. This can result in potential emotional complications. Facing an unplanned pregnancy can be emotionally difficult for expectant birth mothers, and brings about different factors to consider.

The surrogacy process allows both or one of the intended parents to be biologically related to their child. This is why many hopeful parents choose surrogacy. They want that genetic connection. Having a biological link to your child will also make the legal process easier and will give you a little more control over the surrogacy process and attaining parentage.

Compensation and Cost

When it comes to adoption vs. surrogacy, both options require a variety of services, professionals, programs and fees. In addition to the costs of the services, surrogates usually receive compensation that the intended parents pay them for their time, energy and commitment.

While birth mothers can have their pregnancy costs and living expenses covered throughout their pregnancy, they cannot legally be compensated for adoption.

The medical procedures involved in surrogacy such as the embryo transfer and fertility treatments can make surrogacy expenses add up.

Through adoption, adoptive parents can receive federal tax credit. Surrogacy also unfortunately comes with fewer financing options. However, if intended parents use their own genetic material and incur significant medical costs, they may be able to deduct IVF fees, hospital bills and medications form their taxes. Your surrogacy specialist will be able to help you figure out other potential financing options available to you.

Matching Process

With the adoption matching process, you will be able to decide which adoption situations you are open to, such as race, drug and alcohol use, medical history and post-placement contact arrangements. However, you will need to wait to be chosen by the birth mother. She ultimately decides who will adopt her child.

With surrogacy, the matching process works both ways. You will be able to pick surrogates who you will share your surrogacy goals. If the surrogate decides she wants to work with you, then it’s a match. You will have the opportunity to get to know each other before fully diving into the surrogacy process.

It may take years for adoptive parents to find an adoption opportunity. In the surrogacy vs. Adoption debate, there are typically more opportunities for surrogacy because surrogates choose to become a surrogate. It’s a planned process, not a crisis situation like an unplanned pregnancy, so the wait times tend to be shorter for intended parents.

Screening Process

Another one of the differences between surrogacy and adoption is the screening process. Both intended parents and surrogates must go through a medical screening process before the matching process can begin. In the surrogacy medical process, the surrogate’s medical requirements are stricter than that of a birth mother in adoption.

The surrogate must not have any drugs or alcohol in their system. There will then be a legal contract to ensure that the surrogate receives adequate prenatal care.

For the birth mother’s screening, there are fewer stipulations. She will be asked to disclose any past or current drug and alcohol use, as well as her medical history. This will not prevent her from placing her child for adoption. She also has the choice to receive prenatal care or not.

Legal Process

One of the biggest differences between adoption vs surrogacy is the legal process. In adoption, birth parents need to sign paperwork terminating their parental rights when the baby is born. With surrogacy, contracts are signed establishing the intended parents as the baby’s legal parents before the embryo transfer takes place.

Because the surrogate isn’t genetically related to the baby, she won’t be able to claim parental rights to the child if she changes her mind. In the adoption process, the expectant birth mother can choose to keep her baby at any point before the adoption is legally finalized.

To get more information about the differences between surrogacy and adoption, you can contact one of our surrogacy specialists today.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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