Adoption vs Surrogacy: The Pros and Cons

Parenthood is a cherished milestone in many people’s lives. However, for some, the journey to parenthood requires them to take alternative paths like adoption or surrogacy. 

Both options offer routes to help fulfill one’s dreams of parenthood, but each comes with its own set of challenges and advantages. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of adoption vs surrogacy and shed some light on the complexities of each of the processes.

Adoption vs Surrogacy: Understanding the Differences

Adoption involves legally assuming the parental rights and responsibilities for a child who is not biologically related to the adoptive parents. 

On the other hand, surrogacy entails the process of carrying and delivering a child for another person or couple, known as the intended parents. This is often done using the surrogate’s own egg or donor egg fertilized by the intended father’s sperm or a sperm donor. 

Keep in mind, however, that these are not the only cases of adoption and surrogacy. These are the most common. 

The Pros of Adoption

Adoption can be a fulfilling and profound journey for those looking to provide a loving home to a child in need. Despite its challenges, which we will also get to it, adoption offers a multitude of advantages for both the adoptive family and the child. Let’s explore the positive aspects of adoption and highlight the joy and fulfillment it brings to countless families around the world.

Providing a Loving Home

Adoption offers the opportunity to provide a loving and stable home for a child in need. It can be immensely rewarding to offer a child a chance at a better life and family environment.

Legal Security

Once the adoption process is complete, adoptive parents gain legal parental rights over the child. This offers a greater sense of security and permanence in the family unit.

Lower Costs

While adoption expenses can vary widely depending on the type of adoption (domestic, international, or foster care) it often involves fewer financial costs compared to surrogacy, especially if adopting through public agencies or foster care systems.

The Cons of Adoption

While adoption can prove to be a rewarding path toward parenthood, it isn’t without its challenges. Prospective parents often face hurdles and uncertainties throughout the adoption process, and this can test their patience and resilience. Let’s dive into the cons of adoption and address the different obstacles one may encounter.

Lengthy Process

Adoption procedures can prove to be lengthy and even bureaucratic. They involve extensive paperwork, background checks, home studies, and long waiting periods. This can test the patience of the prospective parents.


In some cases, birth parents may change their minds during the adoption process. This can lead to emotional turmoil and potential setbacks for the adoptive family.

Limited Control Over the Child’s Background

Unlike surrogacy, where genetic factors are known, adoptive parents may have limited information about the child’s medical history or genetic predispositions. This can pose challenges when it’s time to address potential health issues.

The Pros of Surrogacy

Surrogacy offers a unique pathway to parenthood that provides intended parents with a genetic connection to their child and unparalleled involvement throughout the entire pregnancy journey. Despite its challenges, surrogacy presents many advantages that appeal to those seeking to build or expand their family.

Genetic Connection

In many cases, surrogacy allows intended parents to have a genetic connection to their child, either through the intended mother’s egg or a donor egg. This provides a biological link that some may want.

Control Over Pregnancy

Intended parents have more control over the prenatal environment and can actively participate in the pregnancy journey. This includes selecting a surrogate to being involved in the prenatal care and birth planning.

International Options

With the assistance of international surrogacy agencies, intended parents have access to surrogacy services in countries where it is legally permitted. This offers a broader range of options and potentially shorter waiting times.

The Cons of Surrogacy

While it offers a promising route to parenthood, surrogacy also comes with its fair share of challenges and potential drawbacks. Let’s take a look at them and address how you may encounter these obstacles along the way.

High Costs

Surrogacy can be expensive because it involves substantial fees for medical procedures, legal services, agency fees, and compensation for the surrogate. This isn’t always financially feasible for everyone.

Legal Complexities

Surrogacy laws vary significantly across different jurisdictions. This can lead to potential legal challenges and uncertainties, especially in the case of international surrogacy, where legal frameworks may differ from the home country of the intended parents.

Emotional Risks

Surrogacy arrangements can also be emotional for everyone involved, including the intended parents, the surrogate, and even the child. There could be attachment issues, and parental rights issues may arise throughout the process.

The right international surrogacy agency will play a vital role in mitigating the potential drawbacks and setbacks associated with the surrogacy process. They have the legal expertise, knowledge, and experience needed to provide intended parents with the support and transparency they need throughout the surrogacy journey.