There’s a shockingly common question that surrogates – and intended parents – are often asked:
Why don’t the intended parents “just” adopt?
At Surrogate Parenting Services, we like to believe in the good of mankind, so we’re going to assume that most people who ask the question don’t mean to be insensitive. For the purposes of this post, we’re going to assume that those who ask this question are unfamiliar with surrogacy and are honestly working to overcome a lack of information or misinformation.
However, when you become a surrogate, you’re entrusted with sensitive, confidential information about the intended parent(s) with whom you’ve been matched. It’s essential that you protect their confidentiality, just as they will protect yours.
But that leaves those outsiders’ questions still looming in the background.
How to Choose the Best Path Forward
When faced with questions about why intended parents have chosen surrogacy over adoption, you have several choices:
- Let the person know that every intended parent’s choice is very personal, and that it’s not your place to say.
- Talk about the general reasons why people choose gestational surrogacy to start their families.
- Provide the answer you and your intended parent partner(s) have agreed was acceptable to share without breaching their confidentiality.
Your choice depends on who asked the question, whether you want to engage in the conversation or not, what you do and do not know, and the privacy agreements you’ve discussed with your case manager (and possibly the intended parents). If you feel like you need some support in navigating the questions you receive from outsider, we’re here to help. Just let your case manager or mental health professional know!
Understanding Why Intended Parents Choose Surrogacy
Every intended parent’s decision is, in fact, incredibly personal. Realistically, there are many factors that contribute to their decision, and that’s not for any of us to judge. Here are just some of the general reasons intended parents may choose surrogacy over adoption.
A Biological Connection. Parents who have never struggled with infertility often take for granted the ease in which they conceived a biologically related child and the natural connection that exists simply because of similarities in biological traits. A genetic connection is certainly not required to create strong familial bonds, but the desire to have that biological connection continues to be the most common reason intended parents choose surrogacy over adoption.
A Transparent & Safe Pregnancy. With both surrogacy and adoption, the birth mother gives intended parents the most amazing gift possible. However, when weighing the options, many hopeful parents become concerned about the “unknowns” of an adopted baby’s health history. For example, many adoptive parents aren’t able to get a complete medical history of the baby’s father, and they don’t know whether the baby was exposed to toxins or malnourishment (etc.) in-utero. While gestational surrogates always maintain control over their own bodies, they’ve agreed to a certain level of lifestyle standards (including not smoking, drinking alcohol, or traveling to regions at risk of Zika virus) that are designed to protect the developing fetus.
An Incompatibility with the Adoption Process. Neither adoption nor surrogacy are an “easy” process, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for starting a family. There are a vast number of reasons future parents may feel the adoption process isn’t right for their families, such as fearing discrimination (especially for those who identify as LGBTQ), being ineligible due to age requirements, and/or not being prepared to navigate the unique challenges associated with raising an adopted child. Also, some intended parents have tried to adopt – and had a devastating experience (like the birth mother changing her mind). With surrogacy, intended parents have their names on the birth certificate from the moment the child is born.
A Right to Choose What’s Best for Them. Those who don’t face fertility challenges rarely stop to ask themselves, “why didn’t I choose adoption over a traditional pregnancy?” And the same may be the case for intended parents. Gestational surrogacy may simply have felt like the right choice from the moment they decided to have a baby but recognized it wasn’t going to happen in the traditional way.
When you boil it down, intended parents and surrogates are making the best choices for themselves and their families, and that should be celebrated! Remember – if you want to talk more about how to answer outsiders’ questions or you simply want an enthusiastic and supportive chat, our team would love to hear from you.
Learn More About Surrogacy with Surrogate Parenting Services
Founded in 1990, Surrogate Parenting Services (SPS) is a full-service surrogacy program that offers both parties an exceptionally supportive environment throughout the surrogacy relationship. We’re passionate about creating ideal matches between surrogates and intended parents, so the journey is fulfilling for both sides and the future child is brought into this world in the best possible circumstances.
Learn more about our Surrogacy Program online or by calling (949) 363-9525.