Surrogacy or Adoption?
There are many lovely paths to parenthood. Heterosexual couples struggling with infertility, single parents, and members of the LGBTQ community have many options when deciding how to grow their family. For those who choose the path of surrogacy, a common question received is, “why not just adopt”? While we think adoption is a beautiful way to build your family we also understand that it isn’t always possible for some individuals. I hope after reading this post you will have a bit more insight as to why.
Our LGBTQ community suffer prejudices every day and when trying to adopt they also face these challenges. Althoogh joint adoption by same-sex couples is now legal in 26 countries, they are often still turned away in some parts of the world for reasons of “not fitting criteria”.
A quote in July 2018 by Pascale Lemare, head of the adoption service in the Seine-Maritime region of Normandy, Northern France, stated that same-sex couples could adopt but would likely be left with a choice of only adopting children who were ill or otherwise "atypical".
“Children that no one wants -- there are people who don't want to adopt children who are too damaged, too psychologically damaged, too big, or handicapped," Lemare said.
So, while adoption is still an option in some places it doesn’t mean people receive equal treatment or chances.
Being supportive of LGBTQ and reproductive rights is reinforcing the fact that those in the community should have the right to raise children of their own genes. Saying that anyone should not have that for themselves, because of their sexual orientation, is essentially saying that they don’t have the same rights as those who can conceive without assistance. This also goes for the rights of heterosexual couples
Not fitting the criteria
In order to be accepted into an adoption program you must fit a specific criteria; this criteria varies from country to country. .
Here are just a few of the contributing factors that determine whether or not a couple or individual is a suitable candidate to adopt:
· Age of individuals
· Marital Status
· Family Requirements (e.g. age difference between spouses)
· Health Requirements (e.g., no high cholesterol, no
· previous children
· Requirement of living in country for a certain period of time (for international adoption) (e.g., if adopting from Indonesia you have to live there for 3 years)
Not everyone fits correctly in the specific criteria boxes.
A heterosexual couple or a single woman may first turn to Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or In vitro fertilization (IVF) as an attempt to conceive. The IVF process is sometimes partially covered by insurance but otherwise is very expensive and extracting eggs and creating embryos is a journey in itself.. Sometimes after failed attempts at getting pregnant themselves, there may be embryos leftover from this process that the couple or individual could use for surrogacy.
Each path to parenthood is a journey. . The world will be a better place for it. So what are some questions we can ask people who are considering surrogacy, instead of the adoption question?
· “What made you choose surrogacy??”
· “How long will the process take??”
· “Tell me about your surrogate”
· “Have you told other family or friends yet”?
· “When did you begin the process??”
· “When did you decide you wanted to become a parent?”
Just remember to be kind, ask thoughtful questions and be mindful; we never truly know what someone has gone through and it’s not always an easy thing to discuss. Be present, hold space and listen to their story.