When couples begin examining their options to extend a family, the future can seem overwhelming. Between the options of international adoption, private adoption or agency adoption, couples might not be able to choose the best option for them. In addition, couples might seek counsel regarding surrogacy as an option.
The defining characteristic of surrogacy lies in the fact that a third party agrees to the carrying of a pregnancy for the intended parents. For the intended parents, however, certain factors will typically determine what type of surrogacy will be chosen. There are two types of surrogacy that must be evaluated - gestational or genetic.
Florida law recognizes two different types of surrogacy, genetic surrogacy and gestational surrogacy. The difference lies in whether the surrogate mother has provided her own genetic material to the creation of the embryo.
- Genetic surrogacy is also referred to as traditional surrogacy. The surrogate mother carries the biological child of the intended father and, upon birth, the intended couple obtains custody and adopts the child. In genetic surrogacy, the mother is typically impregnated via artificial insemination and she contributes her own egg in the creation of the embryo.
- Gestational surrogacy differs from genetic surrogacy in one crucial factor. The intended mother and father both provide genetic material to the gestational surrogate. For this reason, the surrogate does not have a direct genetic investment.
The decision to adopt a child through traditional means or explore the option of surrogacy can be overwhelming. It is wise to consider all options with the help of experienced legal and medical professionals.