Addressing Surrogacy vs. Adoption Questions

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You’re using a surrogate? Why don’t you just adopt? It’s a question you’re likely to hear both during your journey, and in the years following the birth of your child. The question is invasive, and likely brings a multitude of feelings along with it. From feelings of guilt to anger and even defensiveness, they’re all common and normal when faced with this question.

On the surface, this question seems to be a fair one. Critics of surrogacy, or even those who may not have a thorough understanding of surrogacy, will insist that there are many children in the world in need of a home and that the best thing for you to do would be to adopt one of those children rather than having one of your own. The first thing you need to assume is that this question is coming from a place of honest ignorance and not accusation.

The next thing you should remember is that while adoption is an option for family building, it is not the only option for family building. It is simply a choice. Just as your friends who were able to have children biologically had a choice in how they built their families, you had a choice as well. Your choice to choose surrogacy should be judged no differently than their choice to have children traditionally. There is no shame or guilt in wanting to build your family your way.

The reality is that surrogacy offers certain control factors that adoption often does not. From the ability to choose the woman carrying your child to the ability to pass on your own genetics; surrogacy offers the opportunity to feel connected to your child from day 1. Intended parents through surrogacy are also often allowed to be a larger part of the pregnancy process, and experience a nearly non-existent rate of the carrier changing her mind about surrendering the child at birth. In fact, no Growing Generations’ surrogate has ever changed her mind. This fact alone offers much peace to the intended parent.

You shouldn’t feel obligated to answer questions that make you uncomfortable. If you do choose to address the question, feel free to remind the person asking of your personal reasons for choosing surrogacy. You will likely develop a response that you are comfortable with over time, and find that, as time moves forward, these questions bother you less and less.

You can also feel free to reach out to Growing Generations’ Psychologist Dr. Kim Bergman at any time if you need support or help in dealing with these types of questions or forming an appropriate answer.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: An Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Red Wheel Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.