Surrogacy vs Adoption: The Basics That You Should Know

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Surrogacy vs Adoption

There are many options for people that are unable to have kids of their own. Whether they are unable due to fertility issues, or they are an LGBT couple, it is nice to know that there is always a way to have a family of their own if they want one. There are options like IVF, adoption, and surrogacy to consider. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages and none are a one size fits all scenario.

It is good to understand the difference between two of the options that are there if IVF is not a possibility. Surrogacy and adoption are a bit confusing to those that have never gone through the process. In this article, we will take a look at the basic differences between these scenarios so you can decide for yourself what the better option is for your circumstances.


Both surrogacy and adoption have costs associated with them and the final costs that parents can expect in either case will vary greatly. In the case of adoption through an agency, there are a lot of fees to pay to get through the entire process and it can be quite lengthy as far as time to complete goes. It is more straightforward when the baby has already been placed with an agency.

There are times when an agreement is made with the birth mother before the baby is born and this includes some expenses for the mother.

This is very similar to a surrogate situation. In this type of scenario, you will want to go through an agency so that everything is done legally and in the proper way. There are fees that will be paid to the agency. There could also be fees for an IVF treatment if you plan to have an egg donated to the birth mother. In addition to that, you will likely be covering the costs for the birth mother to have doctor visits, compensate for the time she will miss work, and other living expenses. However, she can’t profit from the agreement.

There may be the possibility to deduct some of these expenses from your taxes but you will need to keep your receipts and talk to a tax professional that has experience with this.

How you’re matched

Parents who choose to adopt usually have some criteria according to what they are looking for. This can create long wait times as their criteria may be a bit stringent. There is also the possibility that the parents themselves are not what the birth mother is looking for and may not be chosen. The matching process is more complicated when going the adoption route.

In contrast, the matching process is a bit more straightforward since things are agreed upon in advance so it’s just a matter of finding a willing birth mother and then hashing things out from there. When using an agency, intended parents can pick a person based on a profile that matches their criteria for what they are looking for in a mother and child.

Medical process

The medical process is more complex with a surrogate than when adopting. Things have to be panned to every last detail and many factors have to be agreed upon beforehand. With adoption, the mother is likely already pregnant or the baby has already been given up to an agency. In either case, the process is much different than dealing with a surrogate situation in which the intended parents, as well as the birth mother, get a say on how to proceed.

With surrogacy, the mother has to go through an In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) as well as treatments during the pregnancy.

The legalities

The legalities are actually more straightforward for a surrogate procedure than with adoptions. For instance, a mother that has decided to give her child up for adoption and has chosen intended parents is able to suddenly change her mind at any time and decide to keep the baby.

With surrogacy, there are agreements drawn up ahead of time. Since there is no biological connection for the mother, there is no possibility for her to decide to keep the baby and nullify the contract. The embryo transfer doesn’t happen until all of the contracts are signed at which point there is no turning back.


With such a monumental decision as these, it is something to make sure is fully understood before embarking on either journey. However, once the stress of the process is over, intended parents will have the family they always dreamed of making it all worth it.

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