As a surrogacy industry professional, I have many times been posed the question: “Why don’t parents just adopt instead of using surrogacy to have children?”
Opponents to surrogacy often feel that adoption is the “best way” to build your family if you are unable to conceive yourself. I believe that there are many amazing ways to build a family, and no one should be telling other people what is the correct way for them. Adoption is a great option for some parents, while others feel that natural conception or surrogacy is right for them.
Below I will outline some of the pro-surrogacy arguments I have heard from intended parents, and hopefully give openminded readers the chance to hear another side of the story.
The Unaddressed Obstacles to Adopting a Child
You will often hear supporters of adoption make the claim that there are many unwanted children and it is unethical to create new babies when so many children need homes. There’s no doubt that children in orphanages and foster care need forever homes, and they are just as worthy of a loving home as any other child.
What this argument doesn’t address is the fact that many intended parents of surrogacy born children are not eligible to adopt. Gay fathers for example are often discriminated against when it comes to adopting children. Same goes for single parents, older parents, parents with illness, etc.
The Challenges with Fostering to Adopt Children
Many intended parents will go down the route of fostering children with the hopes to eventually legally adopt them. There’s often custody battles and conflict with the biological families of the foster child. The courts will often side with the biological family of a child, leaving the foster parents unable to adopt a child they have cared for. This is truly a heartbreaking scenario for both the child and the foster family who had intentions of adopting a child into a forever home.
The Unfair Bias Towards Parents of Surrogacy Born Babies
Parents who naturally conceived their own children often don’t have to answer to hostile adoption activists, or be asked to defend their right to conceive their own children. So it is baffling that parents of surrogacy born babies have to be on the defense and justify their parenting choices. Why is one method considered unethical when they are both creating new life versus adopting a child?
The Right to Your Own DNA
Another common criticism of parents who have their children through surrogacy is the abrasive question: “Do you think your own DNA is so special that you need to have a biological child?”. Well the answer to that is simple… yes! Everyone’s DNA is special in their own way. Maybe the parents of surro babies would like to pass along their traits and abilities to their offspring. The parents may have creative and musical talents, a sweet disposition, attractive features, etc.
The parents could also be very proud of their heritage and want to pass it along to their children. Family legacy has a lot of meaning for some, and there’s no crime in being proud of where you come from.
Kindness to All Intended Parents is the Answer
Again, the parents of naturally conceived children rarely need to justify any of these feelings or decisions. So why must we put parents to surro babies through the wringer? Especially after all the obstacles they’ve had to face just to bring their children into this world. I hope to see a movement where we just practice some kindness and understanding to everyone hoping to become a parent.