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Surrogacy vs. Adoption

Written by Jana Angeles

There comes a time in your life where you may need or want to choose surrogacy or adoption if you want to start a family. Unfortunately, life may have other plans due to health or personal reasons. Both surrogacy and adoption are great alternatives, and it’s really up to you to decide which process you’ll be happier with. Like with all major decisions, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each.  

Speak to professionals and immediate family members to get second opinions, but remember that the decisions you make are totally up to you. Having children is a wonderful yet crazy experience you’ll have in life, but it’s worthwhile to watch them grow and see them become their beautiful, confident selves. 


In the process of gestational surrogacy, the surrogate mother carries the baby of the parents. In this case, she becomes pregnant through an embryo transfer, carrying the genetics of one or both parents.  

Pros and Cons of Surrogacy  


  • Parents have more control over the surrogacy process compared to adoption. 
  • It’s a popular choice for parents because of the genetic link for the child, simplifying the legal process.  
  • Parents are able to choose their surrogates and they undergo a ‘matching process’. They have the opportunity to go through the profiles of surrogates, seeing if the goals and plans of the surrogates match their own. 
  • Substance abuse (alcohol and drugs) is prohibited and all surrogates require a medical screening. 
  • There are legal binding contracts required between the parents and the surrogate mother. Making it a smoother and faster transition for parents to receive their baby. 
  • Surrogacy is well-planned so there are few surprises that come up. 
  • If you are eligible for Medicare, you have the option of not paying the fees upfront associated with surrogacy.  


  • Expensive. There are not many financing options available for parents if they choose surrogacy as an option. Families could easily fall into debt because of the amount of fees that need to be paid for. 
  • There are lots of medical expenses that need to be covered. Lab testing, doctor appointments, medication (if needed) and more. 
  • Payment needs to be paid in full if you are not eligible for Medicare, which could put families in financial strain. 
  • Surrogate mother needs to take fertility medications and undergo egg transfer procedure. This could be an uncomfortable process for them. 
  • Very unlikely to keep in touch with the family once the child is born. 


Adoption is the process where a single or couple become the non-biological parent(s) of a child from a different family. People from Australia can either adopt locally or internationally, but they do have to be aware of the long wait times and expenses that come along with it. 


  • Rewarding. If you’re going to adopt overseas, especially from third-world countries like China and the Philippines, you can change a child’s life in an instant. Providing them with the basic needs and raising them in a supportive environment will help them become happy and healthier individuals. Same thing applies for adopting locally, you could help a child escape from an abusive parent or help someone who has an unplanned pregnancy. 
  • Parents are able to choose the criteria of their adopted children. This includes race, medical history, substance exposure, etc. 
  • Pregnant women who are choosing to adopt do not have to undergo thorough medical screenings, saving them from invasive procedures that surrogate mothers are required to go through. 
  • There are no legal binding contracts, making the process less intense for parents and the birth giver. 
  • Birth mothers have the option to stay in touch with their child once they are adopted.  


  • Parents have less control over the adoption process compared to surrogacy. 
  • Like surrogacy, the costs of adopting a child isn’t cheap. 
  • There is no certainty for parents, especially if they are planning on adopting a child who isn’t born yet. Birth mothers are allowed to change their minds and keep the child. 
  • Parents who plan on adopting overseas can expect to be waiting long periods of time (can vary from years to months) to be approved or to even find a birth mother in the first place. It is not uncommon either for this to happen. 
  • Though there are no legal binding contracts involved, the adoption process can be purely based on the mother’s commitment. This can vary depending on the circumstance of the mother – if the pregnancy is unplanned, there are more emotional implications to worry about. 
  • Most children who are up for adoption overseas have special needs and/or need more attention spent on their health. Some parents may not feel comfortable over this or do not have the finances to be able to support this. 

While surrogacy and adoption are both great options for people wanting to be parents, they all come with their pros and cons. Always discuss with your partner or trusted confidant before making a decision. We recommend you thoroughly research before forming your own opinion.  

Here are other sources you can take a look at if you want to learn more on surrogacy and adoption: 


IVF Australia: 

Rainbow Fertility: 

Genea Australia: 


Barnados Australia: 

You Gotta Believe: 

Intercountry Adoption Australia:

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