Surrogacy and adoption can be both exciting and overwhelming. Each journey comes with its own set of considerations and complexities. Whether you’re looking into surrogacy, where a surrogate mother carries a child for intended parents, or adoption, which involves legally becoming the parent of a child, understanding the intricacies of each path is essential. Here, we explore five things you need to know about surrogacy and adoption to help you make informed decisions on your path to parenthood.

1. Understanding the Differences

Adoption and surrogacy are two distinct processes with different legal, emotional, and financial implications. Adoption is the legal process of permanently transferring parental rights and responsibilities from a birth parent to an adoptive parent. Surrogacy involves a woman carrying a child for the intended parents, either through traditional or gestational surrogacy. While both adoption and surrogacy have many similarities, each has its own considerations and processes. 

2. Legal Considerations

Both adoption and surrogacy require careful attention to legal matters. Adoption involves a complex legal process that varies by state. It often includes home studies, background checks, and legal documentation to protect the child’s best interests. Surrogacy laws also vary by state and country, and it’s essential to understand the legal framework governing surrogacy in your jurisdiction. While traditional surrogacy often involves a transfer of parental rights through adoption, gestational surrogacy involves legal contracts that clearly define the roles and rights of all parties. Both adoption and surrogacy have complex legal processes and requirements that seek to protect all parties. 

3. Emotional Preparation

Embarking on the journey of surrogacy or adoption can be emotionally challenging. Intended parents may experience feelings of excitement, hope, and anxiety as they navigate the adoption process and start their journey with parenthood. For both adoption and surrogacy, it’s crucial to prepare emotionally and seek support from loved ones, support groups, and professionals to cope with the ups and downs. 

4. Financial Planning

Both surrogacy and adoption can involve significant financial costs. Surrogacy expenses may include compensation for the surrogate, medical expenses, legal fees, and agency fees. Adoption costs can vary depending on the type of adoption, agency fees, legal fees, and other costs. It’s essential to carefully consider your budget and explore financial options, such as adoption grants, loans, or fundraising. As you begin considering adoption or surrogacy, it’s important to consider the initial costs as well as the long-term costs of raising a child. 

5. Building Your Support System

Embarking on the journey of surrogacy or adoption requires a strong support system. Surround yourself with family, friends, and professionals who understand and support your decision. Joining support groups or online communities can provide valuable resources, guidance, and friendship with others on a similar journey. It takes a village to raise a family, and finding your village early helps foster long-lasting support. 

Surrogacy and adoption are both meaningful paths to parenthood, each with its challenges and rewards. You can start your journey with confidence and hope by understanding the differences. With decades of experience, at Herrin & Leach, we’re here to support your journey. We offer free, no-obligation consultations to help you understand the options available to your family and answer your questions regarding the adoption process.