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3 Things Parents Considering Adoption or Surrogacy Should Know

When prospective parents are looking to grow their family, there are a number of options available to them. One of those options that is growing in popularity is surrogacy.

Since more and more adoptive parents are also considering surrogacy as another family-building option, let’s take a look at the similarities and differences between surrogacy and adoption. There is much to consider when you are deciding which option is the right one for you and your family.


Surrogacy allows hopeful parents to raise a child who is genetically related to them. In gestational surrogacy, the surrogate is not related to the child she carries. A couple can use their sperm and egg to create an embryo that is related to both of them, and have it transferred to the surrogate mother. In adoption, the mother is carrying her biological child. In an unplanned pregnancy, prospective birth mothers also have to deal with more complicated emotions. Both methods require a different legal course of action, as well as a different set of emotions to process.


While both surrogacy and adoption can be expensive, surrogacy is the costlier of the two. In adoption, the medical expenses of the birth mother are covered by the adoptive parents. Depending on state laws, prospective birth mothers may also receive living expenses during their pregnancy. In surrogacy, intended parents pay for the surrogate’s pregnancy-related expenses, and they also pay her an additional base compensation (usually around $25,000).

Planning and control

One of the biggest differences between adoption and surrogacy is the amount of control allowed to the prospective parents. With adoption, a birth mom’s pregnancy is usually unplanned, while a surrogate pregnancy is always planned. Prospective parents’ involvement during the pregnancy will vary greatly between the two options, as will the wait time.

In adoption, prospective parents often have little control throughout the birth mom’s pregnancy. Before connecting with an adoption professional, a prospective birth mother may not have received much prenatal care. The birth mother is the one that chooses a potential family, and she can change her mind at any point in the process. Potential parents must prepare for potential doubt. Adoptive parents could wait many months before being matched with a birth mom.

In surrogacy, potential parents are involved in all parts of the process. There is no question as to who will take the baby home from the hospital. The surrogate knows from the outset that she is carrying the baby for the intended parents. There may also be more surrogates waiting to find intended parents, and the two could be matched very quickly.

This is a quick overview of some of the differences between adoption and surrogacy. There is a lot to consider when deciding between the two. Both options have their pros and cons, and they are both worthwhile ways to build a family. Before you make a decision, gather more information about both processes by contacting a professional in each field. Collecting as much information as possible will help you decide which method is best for your family.