Should Your Family Pick Surrogacy or Adoption?
An estimated 2 to 4% of people in the United States have adopted, but over one-third of the population have at least given the option a thought. Many have also considered surrogacy. Both arrangements come with advantages and obstacles, and one might be the right fit for your family.
Surrogacy and adoption involve distinctly different processes. It gives intended parents a significant advantage if they know the steps they’ll have to take and everything that goes into these processes before they jump into one or the other. These are some of the main differences to bear in mind between surrogacy and adoption.
With gestational surrogacy, an embryo transfer is used to impregnate the surrogate mother with the genetic materials of the donors or parents. This means that the surrogate mother has no relation to the child even though she carries the baby to term. Rather, the baby is related to the parents or donors.
When you adopt, on the other hand, the birth mother is still biologically related to the child, and the adoptive couple is not. This may come with deep emotional implications between the birth parents and your child later on in life. All of this is on top of the potential legal challenges that this process may present as well.
Consider the genetic parents, yourselves as the adoptive couple, and the child you adopt as well. Think of how you’re going to handle the situation going forward. As the child grows up, it helps to have a plan in place for all of the difficult conversations so that there are no unpleasant surprises along the way.
With surrogacy, it’s often helpful that you are biologically connected from a legal point of view. For one thing, it gives intended parents more say over how the surrogacy process goes.
It’s possible for either one or both of the intended parents to be genetically related to their surrogate child. If a biological relation to your child is something that is important to you and your partner, it’s important to discuss the matter openly and be honest about your feelings.
Surrogacy comes with no shortage of fees and expenses. This is to cover the process of transferring the embryo as well as to compensate the surrogate mother and pay the healthcare costs associated with pregnancy and delivery. For all these reasons, surrogacy is by far the more costly option when compared to adoption.
Program fees, agency fees, and myriad professional services are inevitable no matter which of these routes you take. It’s going to be an expensive process whether you choose surrogacy or adoption, but the former comes with the most additional expenses.
Most of the time, the intended parents pay their surrogate. This is meant to compensate them for the time and effort and everything that they sacrificed throughout their pregnancy and the rest of the process. Payments from the intended parents are for living expenses, which are to cover things like rent, other bills, and groceries.
Unfortunately, couples who want to try surrogacy might not have as many opportunities to seek financing because surrogacy lacks a federal tax credit. If you choose to adopt, on the other hand, the adoption federal tax credit is a resource you may have access to. This is something that a New Jersey adoption attorney may be able to help you with.
The Matching Process
The process of matching with your child or surrogate mother is a major part of either process. As such, it can be the source of a significant amount of stress and anxiety.
In most adoptions, the intended parents decide on the kind of adoption situation they’re comfortable with. They can choose some things about what they’re looking for in a child, such as race or whether the child has been exposed to any substances. Adoptive parents should also decide if they want an arrangement with contact between the birth parents and child after they’ve been placed with the adoptive parents.
With adoption, the birth mother gets the final say as to where the child ends up. For more of a shared, reciprocal matching process, surrogacy might be what you’re looking for. Couples get to look through potential surrogates, and then the surrogates they choose have the opportunity to express mutual interest.
Call Cofsy & Zeidman for a New Jersey adoption attorney who can help you decide which of these arrangements is best for you. Contact our offices in New Jersey and Pennsylvania at (856) 429-5005.