Deciding What Path is Best: Surrogacy vs. Adoption

Surrogacy vs. Adoption

When you are thinking about growing your family, there are several options available. For instance, prospective parents who struggle with infertility often want to know the comparison between surrogacy vs. adoption. Each selection has its own amount of risks and benefits, and depends on what kind of family you’re hoping to have. It’s important to learn all you can about the options out there, and weigh both the good and bad, so you can fully understand everything they entail. This, in turn, will help you determine which option is best for you and your family.

At Virginia Frank, we understand the struggle to decide, and we hope to put your mind at ease. To begin, there is no right way to grow your family. Just what best fits you and the family you hope to have. While gestational surrogacy is growing in popularity, we want to give you a balanced look at both options. Following are the three most basic areas where the surrogacy and adoption choices share similarities and differences.


Envision the family you want. Hold that picture in your mind. Now, let’s break it down together. Are your children biologically related to you? Or is there a mix? This is an important question that helps you distinguish between surrogacy vs. adoption.

If you want children who share a genetic connection to you, gestational surrogacy would be the road you’d want to pursue. Why is this? With gestational surrogacy, you can use your own sperm and eggs to create an embryo. The embryo is then fertilized in a lab, and implanted into your chosen gestational carrier via IVF. For same sex couples or single parents, sperm and egg donors are often used.With adoption, the baby is genetically related to his or her birth mother.


When comparing surrogacy vs. adoption finances and expenditures, surrogacy is definitely the more expensive choice. Intended parents are expected to pay all medical expenses, which includes but is not limited to: the IVF procedure for your gestational carrier, doctor appointments, and the overall cost for the pregnancy and delivery. On top of that, there are legal fees, and the out of pocket expenses of the carrier herself. Individual circumstances are also taken into account. For an estimated quote, be sure to contact your lawyer or chosen surrogacy agency.

That said, this can make adoption look much more affordable. In an adoption journey, prospective adoptive parents cover the cost of: the home study, and any and all birth mother expenses, but have the option of the Adoption Tax Credit. Gestational surrogacy only offers a potential tax deduction for the IVF process.

Planning and Control

Perhaps one of the biggest differences between surrogacy vs. adoption is the amount of control you have as a prospective parent. With adoption, the birth mother chooses to make a plan for her baby when she’s already pregnant. So, that part is never planned. When it comes to surrogacy, however, the pregnancy is always planned. Intended parents also tend to have more involvement with the pregnancy journey in gestational surrogacy than prospective adoptive parents do with adoption.

In adoption, the birth mother selects which adoptive family she’d like to adopt her baby, but is still allowed to change her mind at any point during the process, state law depending. This poses a greater risk to prospective adoptive parents, and adds a sense of uncertainty and stress to the adoption journey.With surrogacy, though, as aforementioned, intended parents are involved in all aspects of the pregnancy. As an added benefit, there is no doubt or question who the baby will go home with post delivery. The gestational carrier knows from day one that she is helping the intended parents grow their family, and has no intention of keeping the baby.

Surrogacy vs. Adoption

Each option has their own pros and cons, and it takes careful consideration to determine which option is best for you and your family. Remember that, again, there is no right way for you to have a family. Parenthood is available with either of these journeys. It all comes down to what you are looking for in a family, and which path fits those needs.

About the Author

Rachel RobertsonRachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.

In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history as an adoptee, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Virginia Frank.

When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and a book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.