Surrogacy or Adoption – Which is Right for Me?

When facing conception through alternate means, it’s important to weigh all your options. For many, the beginning stage of this process is considering which ART (Alternate Reproductive Technology) is right for you and your budding family.

Two ART methods are compared to each other regularly: Surrogacy and Adoption. In surrogacy, an embryo is created through IVF and implanted into a surrogate unrelated to the parents. The surrogate carries the pregnancy to term, and the baby goes home with the biological parents. With Adoption, the parents find a child they are unrelated to and bring them into their household. Sometimes, the child is not born when the adoption act is drafted, but more often they have already been born.

To consider which process is right for you, it’s important to know the basic differences between the two.

Sharing Genetics

Many couples who have difficulty conceiving by traditional means, whether they are suffering from fertility issues or are in a same-sex relationship, want a child that is biologically related to them. For these people, surrogacy might be the right option, as the child will still be a combination of your genetics through IVF.

There are many parents that are uninterested in passing on their genes for one reason or another. If this is the case for you, you might be more interested in adoption! There are many babies in the world who are looking for loving parents.

The Pregnancy

Surrogacy is a mutually beneficial arrangement in which the Intended Parents have a say in how the pregnancy progresses. They can make sure that the surrogate is not involved with any harmful substances, eats healthily, and can screen for genetic conditions ahead of time.

This is not the case with adoption. Even if the child is still in gestation when the papers are signed, the birth mother usually has distance imposed between herself and the new parents to protect her privacy. This means that the new parents do not get a lot of say in how the pregnancy is treated.

Legal Processes

There is a complicated legal process involved in both cases of surrogacy and adoption that will require a fertility lawyer.

In cases of surrogacy, the lawyer hired by the Intended Parents works with the lawyer of the surrogate in order to determine how the pregnancy, birth, and transition will be handled. In this case, the baby is always going to go home with the biological parents and once signed there are no surprises down the road for an intended couple.

With adoption, the birth mother can choose to pull out before the documents are signed, and sometimes after, as well. Likewise, there is a chance that the child you are interested in has other new parents waiting to adopt them, and you may lose out on adding them to your family.

Waiting Period

There are waiting periods involved with both processes, but they are different kinds of waiting. In surrogacy, you are waiting on a match with your surrogate, and in adoption, you are waiting on a match with your child.

Surrogacy has its waiting period at the beginning of the process, where the Intended Parents make their embryos and wait for their surrogate to be matched with them. This is more like going on a series of first dates than waiting, as when you find the right surrogate the process goes fast.

In adoption, there are often waiting times between signing the documents and welcoming a child into your home as often home visits have to happen, court documents have to be signed, and the agency through which you’re adopting has to approve your application for that child.

Age of the Child

Frankly speaking, if you don’t want a newborn baby, you should look into adoption. In surrogacy, you have your own child with the help of a surrogate, meaning you see them and are their parents from day one.

If you would rather have an older child than a newborn, adoption is the route for you! There are plenty of wonderful children who are looking for new parents.

Contact with the Surrogate/Birth Mother

Court cases for adoption are sealed at the moment of adoption, which may make tracking down your child’s birth mother or family difficult, if not impossible. This can be difficult for your child, as they are likely to have a lot of questions about their birth and genetic history.

However, in surrogacy, you are welcome to stay in contact with your surrogate in whatever capacity you like after the birth, and that person can stay a part of your child’s life.


Everyone has a different idea about how to grow their family, and that’s okay! Whether adoption or surrogacy is the right choice for you, a wonderful child will be welcomed into your family and loved.

Consider the above points when trying to decide whether you would like to welcome a child via surrogacy or adoption before beginning the process. If you have more questions about surrogacy, reach out to us here.

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