I ran into a friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in awhile. She was pregnant with her second or third child. We met a few years prior, and at that time, she was recently out of university and newly married. Neither of us had children yet. When I saw her this time, she was glowing with her beautiful round belly.
We talked about our husbands and our jobs. We talked about how I couldn’t conceive after several years and that we were thinking about adopting.
Later she told me how she was exploring the idea of becoming a surrogate mother. Then she spoke the most life-giving words to me. She said, “I just need you to know that I would love to host your baby for nine months.”
What a selfless gift to offer to someone who feels desperate for a child. In the years that followed, we adopted. But I have never forgotten those words. Perhaps surrogacy could be in our future. Time will tell.
While surrogacy is not adoption, they do share some similarities. There is often what feels like a mountain of legal and financial hurdles to overcome. Then there are the tricky and sometimes embarrassing medical factors to think about. Either option requires trust, patience and, a measure of letting go. All this is helpful preparation for parenthood though, right?!
However, there are few key differences between surrogacy and adoption that may be worth considering:
1. Surrogate mothers are making the conscious choice to become pregnant.
The unborn child is not accidental. The surrogate mother is driven by her desire to help others have a baby of their own–not by fear or concern. The baby is far less likely to have a traumatic experience in utero or feel the stress of being unplanned.
2. Choosing surrogacy means you or your partner have the possibility of being genetically related.
Choosing gestational surrogacy means that the couple has the option of using their own eggs or sperm. Some need to use donors for one or both. But the possibility of having a genetically related child is there.
3. There is no chance of a surrogate mother changing her mind.
Adopting a baby through the Infant Consent program in Canada means that the birth mother has a full 21 days to change her mind. In which case the adoptive parents must give the baby over. As you can imagine this would be devastating. This legally couldn’t happen with gestational surrogacy. The surrogate mother’s eggs are not used like they are with traditional surrogacy. For that reason, traditional surrogacy is not the preferred option anymore.
Having a child is one of life’s best moments and achieving it can be one of the most difficult obstacles. My hope is that you experience joy in the journey no matter what road you find yourself on.