This comparison of adoption and surrogacy outlines some of the major practical and legal concerns in deciding to pursue parenthood through each path.
I.Pros and Cons: a comparison of adoption and surrogacy
A.Pros of Adoption
1.Time frame: most people adopt in a year or less.
2.Success rate is close to 100% if adoptive parents stick with the process and use legitimate resources.
3.Cost: adoption costs about 1/3 of the cost of Gestational Surrogacy.
4.Private and agency adoption is permitted under New Jersey and New York law.
5.Significant research, family and clinical experience have provided a clear understanding of how to communicate with children about their adoptions. These children most frequently develop healthy self-esteem.
B.Cons of Adoption
1.No genetic connection to child.
a.Loss of deep biological and emotional imperative for biological child.
b.More difficult to predict intellectual, social, and educational functioning of child.
2.Birth parent’s rights are not ended until after the birth, allowing the risk that birth parent could decide not to proceed with the adoption.
3.Often there is little control over prenatal care.
C.Pros of Gestational Surrogacy
1.Genetic connection to child.
a.Achieving deep biological and emotional imperative for biological child.
b.Easier to predict intellectual, social, and educational functioning of child.
2.Pre-birth order makes gestational surrogacy agreement enforceable and eliminates risk that gestational carrier could change her mind.
3.More direct involvement in selecting carrier and participating in the health of the pregnancy.
D.Cons of Gestational Surrogacy
1.Cost: Gestational Surrogacy costs about 3 times as much as adoption.
2.Risk that gestational carrier may not get pregnant following lengthy and costly medical process.
3.American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s bias is toward openness with children, but most IVF clinics do not currently permit disclosure of donor’s identity. There is less history, although initial studies and clinical work indicate that children are doing very well in terms of self-esteem when families are open.
II.Retaining an Attorney: comparison of adoption and surrogacy
A.Attorney is the gatekeeper in adoption and gestational surrogacy: It is critical that you retain a licensed New Jersey or New York attorney who is experienced in the area of adoption and assisted reproduction in order to keep your adoption or surrogacy safe and legal.
B.Resources for Finding Attorneys
1.American Academy of Adoption Attorneys: adoptionattorneys.org.
2.American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Attorneys: aaarta.org.
III.Screening the Legitimacy of Resources: comparison of adoption and surrogacy
A.Run all resources by your attorney to ascertain their legitimacy and legality under New York and New Jersey law.
B.Questions to ask in evaluating website:
1.Often, from the name of the site, you cannot ascertain the nature of the organization which is offering information or services, or the slant of the information given.
2.Is the author or sponsor disclosed? Is the purpose and targeted audience of the site clear? Is the information consistent with that published on other sites or in other media? Are financial or commercial interests disclosed?
3.Keep the website’s position and promises in perspective as they are marketing vehicles. Get educated about all of the options from attorney or counselor, or conferences on infertility and adoption.
IV.How to Connect with a Birth Mother or Gestational Carrier: comparison of adoption and surrogacy
1.Posting adoption website online
2.Adoption advertising online
a.Google and search engine optimization
3.Adoption advertising in newspapers is another option, but very expensive.
B.Gestational Surrogacy Networking: comparison of adoption and surrogacy
1.Websites for connecting with surrogates online
2.Advertising for gestational carriers on Google, Craigslist, and Facebook.
3.Advertising for gestational carriers in newspapers.
V.Professional and peer counseling can help.
1.Adoptive Parents Committee: adoptiveparents.org.