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Adoption vs. Surrogacy in N.C.: Which is Right for You?

If you are planning to build your family in North Carolina in a non-traditional way, you may wonder whether adoption or surrogacy is right for you. Both of these family-building processes are great commitments, requiring time, energy and money, so it’s important to determine which one is right for you before starting.

Many intended parents, both singles and couples, find themselves choosing between adoption and surrogacy at some point in their family-building journey. However, the paths of adoption and surrogacy may not be right for everyone, and which is best for your family will depend upon your parenthood dreams and goals.

Our attorneys at the Parker Herring Law Group PLLC have helped many families through the processes of surrogacy and adoption. If you are stuck deciding between adoption vs. surrogacy in North Carolina, our professionals can explain each legal process to you, as well as surrogacy vs. adoption pros and cons as they relate to your personal situation. To learn more today, please call our law firm at 919-821-1860. We have had clients who are interested in becoming parents come in for a general adoption consultation and end up pursuing surrogacy because of their particular situation.

There are also some general pros and cons when considering adoption vs. surrogacy as a hopeful parent. Read more about them below.


Surrogacy is the process through which a woman carries a child for intended parents and, often, is provided compensation for doing so. In the most common form of surrogacy — gestational surrogacy — a surrogate is not related to the child she carries. The embryo is instead created by the intended parents to be transferred to her uterus.

However, surrogacy isn’t right for everyone, so think about these pros and cons when considering surrogacy vs. adoption:


  • Surrogacy allows intended parents to be genetically related to their child, either through their own sperm and egg or with the addition of a donor gamete.
  • Intended parents can be involved in their surrogate’s pregnancy and their unborn child’s development from day one.
  • Intended parents can be present for the birth of their child and may even be allowed in the delivery room (depending on hospital protocols).
  • Both intended parents and surrogates are screened prior to the surrogacy process to ensure they are both mentally and physically ready for its potential challenges and rewards.
  • Intended parents are legally recognized as their child’s parent before birth with a pre-birth order, and there is no risk of a gestational surrogate taking custody of the child.
  • There may be many surrogates waiting to be matched with intended parents, so this wait period may be shorter in surrogacy than in adoption.


  • While both surrogacy and adoption are expensive processes, surrogacy is often the more expensive of the two, considering that a surrogate can receive a base compensation (averaging $25,000), and there are medical and legal costs.
  • There are fewer financing options available for intended parents through surrogacy than prospective adoptive parents.
  • Insurance may or may not cover the costs of IVF and a surrogate pregnancy, which means intended parents may need to purchase an additional policy for surrogacy.
  • The medical processes of surrogacy can be long and expensive, and require a great deal of energy from the surrogate, intended parents (if using their own gametes) and any gamete donors.
  • There is always the chance of a failed embryo transfer or miscarriage in surrogacy and, when this happens, the monies spent are not recouped.


There are a few different paths you can take if you are considering adoption in North Carolina: a private domestic infant adoption, a foster care adoption and an international adoption. Most of the hopeful parents thinking about adoption vs. surrogacy consider a private domestic infant adoption, as it is often the best process for bringing a baby into their family.

There are some noticeable differences between adoption and surrogacy in North Carolina, including these pros and cons associated with the private domestic infant adoption process:



  • In adoption, hopeful parents are not genetically related to their child.
  • A prospective birth mother always has the right to change her mind during the adoption process. Only after she signs her adoption consent and her revocation period is up is an adoption safe from risk.
  • The waiting period for adoption may be longer, as a prospective birth mother is the one who ultimately chooses who she wishes to raise her child.
  • Prospective birth mothers do undergo certain screening before being matched with adoptive parents, but they often self-report any drug or alcohol usage. Whether they receive proper prenatal care is also up to them.
  • While parents may create a relationship with a prospective birth mother during her pregnancy, adoptive parents will have no control over the progression of a prospective birth mother’s pregnancy and their child’s development.

Surrogacy vs. Adoption: Which is Right for You?

When you wish to add a child to your family, it can be difficult to decide between adoption or surrogacy, as well as any other family-building processes that are available to you. To make this decision easier, it’s important that you consider what your family-building goals are.

Consider asking yourself these questions:

  • Do I want a child who is genetically related to me?
  • What is my family-building budget?
  • How long am I willing to wait for a child?
  • Do I want a relationship with the woman who is carrying my child, during the pregnancy and after he or she is born?
  • Am I comfortable with a level of risk in my family-building process?

Understanding the processes of adoption and surrogacy is also integral to your decision, and our attorneys are always available to explain the legal process involved with each family-building path. We can also refer you to additional adoption and surrogacy agencies to answer your other questions or, when you are ready, to begin your search for an adoption opportunity or surrogate.

Contact the Parker Herring Law Group PLLC today to learn more.