Surrogacy vs. Adoption

child drawing of a family representing surrogacy and adoption

When it comes to starting a family of your own, there is no one-size-fits-all method to use. The reality is, everyone's journey to building a family is beautifully unique, and involves doing what is best for their needs as an individual or couple. And while growing a family is one of the most special journeys of a lifetime, it does not come without its twists and turns. While many couples who are ready to start their family are able to become pregnant, others do not have that as an option.

Surrogacy and adoption are two remarkable forms of starting a family that allow individuals and couples unable to conceive on their own, the opportunity to grow their family. But how do intended parents determine which method is right for them? The short answer is that it very much depends on the needs of everyone involved.

While there is no direct answer on which method is best for everyone, we can offer some insight into the differences and essential components of each. If you're interested in learning more about surrogacy vs. adoption, you're in the right place. Here's an overview of what you need to know.


One option of having children for those unable to carry a pregnancy of their own is surrogacy. Surrogacy is a one-of-a-kind journey that grows and strengthens families for life.

What is Surrogacy?

Surrogacy is a legal and scientific process in which a woman (the gestational carrier) agrees to carry and give birth to a baby for intended parent(s) who are unable to become pregnant themselves. Most often, those seeking surrogacy as an option to have children of their own are unable to carry a pregnancy due to medical reasons, or if they are a same-sex couple. The legal process and requirements for surrogacy vary from state to state, but generally, the entire process takes about a year from match to baby.

What is the Surrogacy Process?

The surrogacy process varies greatly from one state to another, as there are no laws governing surrogacy at the national level in the United States. Some states have strict requirements for surrogacy safety, and others have none in place at all. There are also a few states in which compensated surrogacy is illegal.

At Vermont Surrogacy Network, the process of surrogacy typically consists of the following steps:

  1. Application: The process of applying to be matched with a gestational carrier.

  2. Matching Process: A series of interviews and meetings between potential gestational carriers and intended parents.

  3. Screening: A number of background checks and check-ups to ensure both parties are healthy, safe, and qualified to proceed as a match.

  4. Contracts: The legal side of surrogacy. The gestational carrier and intended parents sign paperwork and come to an agreement of terms.

  5. Embryo Transfer: The surrogate prepares for the embryo transfer and eventual pregnancy.

How Much Does Surrogacy Cost?

Similar to the surrogacy process, the cost of surrogacy also varies greatly based on the organization that you choose to work with. It's important to note that when you work with a trusted surrogacy agency, they will be upfront with you about pricing from the start, and will answer all the financial questions you may have. Typically, at Vermont Surrogacy Network the total cost for an average surrogacy process ends up being around $90,000 to $110,000. You can find more in-depth details on pricing in our blog post here!


Another popular option for having children for those unable to do so on their own is adoption. Adopting a child is also an incredibly special journey that is unique to everyone's individual circumstances. Here is some basic information on what to expect from adoption.

What is Adoption?

Adoption is the process of becoming a legal parent to a child that is not biologically your own. The adoption process can take several months to years, depending on the circumstances. Each adoption situation is unique, depending on the intended parent and birth mother's situation and preferences.

What is The Adoption Process?

The adoption process varies depending on the network parents choose to work with. Typically, the process begins with the intended parent meeting with an adoption agency to discuss their situation, what they're looking for, and to evaluate whether that agency will be able to fit their needs. After finding an adoption agency that is the right fit, the intended parent will work closely with the adoption agency to go through a matching process to find a birth mother and child that is the best fit for their circumstances. From there, the legal process of adoption will occur, and the intended parents who are adopting become the legal guardians and adoptive family of the child.

It’s important to note that adoption does not need to be done through an agency. However, a reputable agency can help make the process easier to understand for all parties, especially if all parties are not known to each other.

How Much Does Adoption Cost?

Adoption costs vary greatly depending on a number of factors: where the adoption is taking place, the birth mother's circumstances, and the adopted child's circumstances to name a few. According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, a typical adoption can cost anywhere between $5,000 - $40,000. To find out more detailed information on the cost of adoption, you'll have to connect with a trusted adoption agency that is there to answer all questions you may have.

Wrapping Up

In short, adoption and surrogacy may be different processes, but they both share the common goals of making someone's dream of having a child come true- and giving a child the gift of life and a happy family.

At Vermont Surrogacy Network, we are here to help you navigate all of your family growing options and guide you toward the best fit to grow your family. Surrogacy, in particular, is a rewarding journey and an incredibly meaningful experience for all parties involved. If you have any questions about surrogacy or would like to learn more about our process, reach out today- we can't wait to help you on this incredible journey.