Conundrum… Adoption vs. Surrogacy
As you grow up, you envision how your life will be eventually. Many times, that vision includes children; becoming a mom or becoming a dad. Whether you are suffering from infertility or do not have all necessary pieces, today’s technology greatly expands the options for you. Because of technology, a major question people now often face is: Adoption vs Biological.
According to Adoption Network, “of the over 400,000 children in foster care in the U.S., 114,556 cannot be returned to their families and are waiting to be adopted.” That does not include international or infant births! The feeling of joy, elation when you adopt your child can’t be matched. Conversely, attempting to adopt can sometimes lead to bittersweet heartache if the mother changes her mind or if the child you are fostering is reunited with their family (yay for their happy being happy and whole, though!) Adoption is a great option to give a child a home, but it is no longer your only option.
Through IVF (in vitro fertilization) and a gestational carrier having a biological child is now a much more viable possibility. A gestational carrier merely acts as a “babysitter” for your embryos and at the end of the process, your sweet baby comes home with you!
Here are three things to consider when you are looking at starting a family:
The average the cost for adoption is $43,000, but it can vary widely depending on so many different variables. For example, agency fees, international fees, age of the child being adopted, legal, travel, and so much more.
Surrogacy costs $130,000 on average. Some variables that can affect the cost are agency vs independent, travel, legal, needing egg and/or sperm donor, medical costs of the gestational carrier and more.
I know what you are thinking... that is an $87,000 difference! However, we are talking about creating a little human who is part of you and typically came from your genetics, being a parent is never inexpensive ;-) Additionally, your gestational carrier knew from the start that she was carrying your little bundle of joy specifically for you and is happy to hand the baby over (and skip the sleepless nights!)
It is very difficult to give a timeframe, even an average, as the variables are numerous! Just a few for adoption are agency requirements, how far along the birth mother is, how specific or flexible you are on your preferences, how specific and flexible the birth mother is on *her* preferences, and the list goes on.
Surrogacy variables include waitlist for gestational carriers, birth control, embryos made or not, clinic requirements, insurance issues and many more.
In a perfect world in either situation you are likely looking at more than a year.
Once again, the variables are numerous, and a lot can depend on which state or country the process will happen in. You should always consult with a legal expert before starting either process. Something that always amazes me about surrogacy and using a gestational carrier is that typically the child is genetically related to the intended parents and, depending on the state where the gestational carrier gives birth, their names go on the birth certificate. I know we all hear those horror stories, in reality those are rare. Fertility clinics and gestational carriers are typically very cautious about this process and making sure that the process is not disturbed. Gestational carriers choose to give this incredible gift and are aware from the beginning the child is not theirs, therefore they are not giving up anything, only giving it back.
Adoption on the other hand, even with some legal in place, the adoptive mother can change her mind and decide to keep the baby.
Either way you choose to accomplish your dream of a family will be incredible!
With both adoption and gestational surrogacy there are many steps, and legalities that take place, we always recommend using an agency and a lawyer with experience in either area.