Adoption vs Surrogacy

Posted on: February 28th 2017

What’s the difference between adoption vs surrogacy?

There are several differences between adoption vs surrogacy.  In an adoption, the potential parents are called adoptive parents.  In a surrogacy, the potential parents are called intended parents.  Here are some main differences between adoption vs surrogacy:

baby through adoption or surrogacy

  • Adoption involves bringing a child into your life who is not biologically related to you.
  • In a surrogacy, a woman becomes pregnant through in vitro fertilization (IVF) using the intended parents’ sperm and egg (or the sperm and/or egg of a donor).
  • Intended parents have a legally binding contract with the surrogate.  The surrogate cannot change her mind and keep the baby after it is born.
  • There are no legally binding “adoption contracts” that say who the parents will be. The birth mother can change her mind and keep the baby after it is born.
  • Adopting parents become the legal parents of their child several months after the child is placed with them.
  • Intended parents become legal parents before the child is born.

Adoption versus Surrogacy: Pros and Consbaby through adoption or surrogacy

Adoption involves a lot of uncertainty.   Surrogacy is much more certain, and the intended parents have much more control over the process than in an adoption.   Here are some of the pros and cons:

  • A child born via surrogacy is biologically related to the intended parents.
  • The legal status of the intended parents is certain in surrogacy.
  • The surrogate might not be able to get pregnant.  The intended parents may worry that that IVF will fail.
  • Adoption makes a stable home possible for a child who needs it.
  • A woman chooses adoption when she is already pregnant.  Adoptive parents do not have to worry whether the birth mother will get pregnant.  There is already a baby in utero.  
  • The birth mother can change her mind after the baby is born.
  • Adoptive parents have no control over the prenatal environment.  Adoptive parents may know little about their child’s medical history.

Adoption versus Surrogacy: Cost

Adoption and surrogacy both have various costs and fees.  Generally speaking, an adoption is a fraction of the cost of a surrogacy.  Here are typical expenses associated with each.

  • Surrogacy is expensive. The costs include medical expenses for IVF, out of pocket expenses incurred by the surrogate, possibly compensation to the surrogate.  Surrogacy also includes medical expenses for pregnancy and delivery, and legal costs.  The total for cost for surrogacy is typically at least $100,000.

Adoption is less expensive. It includes at least the cost of a home study.  A home study usually costs less than $5,000.   Most people need help finding a baby to adopt.  The cost to find a baby to adopt also ranges widely from $5,000 to $15,000.   A birth mother might also need help with expenses.   Most states allow adopting parents to help birth mothers with expenses.

family through adoption versus surrogacy

The laws around adoption and surrogacy are different in every state.  For instance, there are laws that determine whether you can compensate your surrogate.  There are also laws that determine who can get a court order before the baby is born.  The costs will vary from state to state and from doctor to doctor.  It’s important to research your options before committing to either process.  We are experts in adoption and surrogacy.  Call today to schedule a free 15 minute consultation with an attorney.