Why Many Choose Alternative Family Building
In order to understand why couples and single people choose alternative family building, one must understand what alternative family building is. In a nutshell, alternative family building is creating a family outside of the normal two-parent conception. It occurs for various reasons, often depending on each family’s situation.
Choosing Surrogate Parenting
When a couple is unable to have a baby themselves, but still wish to have a baby that is made up of their own genetic traits, a surrogate parent may be the alternative family building option they choose. Basically, a surrogate parent agrees to be implanted with an embryo and carry the baby to term, at which time it is given to the biological parents. The surrogate can be a friend or family member, or even a private person who offers their services.
For surrogate parenting to be a success, the surrogate has to agree to fertility treatments and to undergo in-vitro fertilization. The process of getting pregnant may take some time, and because of the price of treatment as well as paying for the surrogate’s medical care and other costs, this option may not be financially suitable for everyone.
Choosing Egg or Sperm Donation
If one or both people in a couple have fertility issues, or if a gay couple is trying to get pregnant, then they may choose to use a donor egg or sperm (or both). This situation differs from surrogate parenting, as one or both sides of the genetic material is not theirs; however, parents may decide to also use a surrogate if they are unable to get pregnant themselves.
The mother in this case will have to undergo fertility treatments to prepare her body for pregnancy, as well as the process of in-vitro fertilization. There is also a higher possibility of becoming pregnant with multiples.
Some potential parents may decide that the cost of in-vitro or a surrogate parent is too much, or that they would rather open their homes to a child in need of a family. In this case, the alternative family building method is adoption. In order to prepare for adoption, the parent or couple will have to go through a screening process with an agency, and unless they are willing to wait a few years, they may not be able to adopt a baby, but rather a toddler or older child.
Adopting from out of the country is also an option, but it can be a long process and is rather expensive. Parents should research a reputable adoption agency that can help them with the legal work and arrangements; they should never try to arrange an adoption themselves.
Which Choice to Choose?
Potential parents should weigh the pros and cons of each option before they decide which method of family building is suitable to them. Some methods may be too time-consuming, expensive, or may disrupt the family dynamic too much. The best way to start deciding on options is to talk to others who have been through each situation and find out exactly what each process entails.