Which Family-Building Option is Right for You?

Whether you are a hopeful parent struggling with infertility or one that simply wants to keep their family-building options open, know that there are several different processes that are available to you. As technologies and society has changed, different ways of building a family have developed and become more popular — giving hopeful parents many paths to pursue. Families of South Dakota Surrogacy’s mission is to keep ALL family building options available in South Dakota.

How do you decide which one is right for you?

Often, research is the first step. You should identify what your personal family-building goals are and learn more about your options to determine whether your needs and wants will be met. Below, you’ll find a description of these methods to aid you in your research process.

Adoption is the process through which hopeful parents add a child (usually genetically unrelated to them) to their family. No matter what kind you choose, adoption is a regulated legal process that transfers legal parental rights from one set of parents (usually birth or biological parents) to new adoptive parents. Therefore, you will always be required to work with a lawyer if you choose this family-building process.

In general, before you choose adoption, you should make sure that you:

  • Are comfortable with raising a child who is not genetically related to you
  • Have appropriately grieved your infertility struggles, if applicable

Private Domestic Infant Adoption
In private domestic infant adoption, a pregnant woman who is unprepared or unwilling to parent chooses to place her child with a waiting adoptive family. Usually, adoptive parents and prospective birth mothers participate in open adoption contact before, during, and after the adoption process.

Private domestic infant adoption may be right for you, if:

  • You wish to adopt a newborn or infant
  • You are comfortable with an open adoption relationship
  • You are financially prepared for the costs of private infant adoption
  • You wish to adopt a baby in the United States
  • You are comfortable with a longer wait period

Foster Care Adoption
Foster care adoption involves the placement of an older child into an adoptive parents’ home. A foster care adoption can only be finalized once a biological parent’s reunification plan has failed and a court terminates that parent’s legal rights.

There are two ways you can choose to adopt a child from foster care: foster-to-adopt or adopting a waiting foster child.

Foster-to-adopt may be right for you, if:

  • You want to adopt a younger child
  • You are prepared for any special needs a child may have
  • You are comfortable with a certain degree of risk, including a child returning to their biological parent
  • You desire a cheaper adoption process
  • You are willing to wait longer for a permanent placement

On the other hand, foster care adoption might be best for you, if:

  • You are comfortable with adopting an older child
  • You are prepared for any special needs a child may have
  • You desire a cheaper adoption process
  • You want to adopt a child quickly

Assisted Reproductive Technology
Hopeful parents struggling with infertility have more infertility treatments and family-building options available to them now than ever before. If parents desire a genetically related child, fertility specialists can guide them to the assisted reproductive technology (ART) process that is best for their medical situation.

Before selecting an ART method for you, you will need to speak with an infertility counselor and locate a proper fertility clinic.

Sperm, Egg or Embryo Adoption
Gamete donations — when a donor gives a sperm, egg, or embryo to hopeful parents — are most commonly used by intended parents who cannot create healthy embryos on their own. Intended parents can either find a gamete donation through an infertility clinic or gamete bank, or they may choose an identified donor. An ART attorney will be needed to ensure a donor’s parental rights are properly terminated.

A gamete donation may be right for you, if:

  • You or your partner’s sperm or egg cells are not healthy or high-quality enough to create an embryo
  • You are a member of a same-sex couple
  • You are a single intended parent
  • You or your spouse can carry a pregnancy to term successfully
  • You are prepared to explain to your child that they had a different biological parent

Gestational Surrogacy
A process in which a woman carries and delivers a child for a couple or individual. Gestational Surrogates are impregnated through the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF). A gestational surrogate is not related to the child she carries, and the intended parents create an embryo of their own or with a combination of donor gametes to be transferred to her uterus.

Gestational surrogacy may be right for you, if:

  • You have remaining embryos from infertility treatments
  • You are comfortable with a woman carrying your unborn child and developing a close relationship with her
  • You are prepared to pay for the expenses of in vitro fertilization and any necessary egg donors

All hopeful parents to speak with a professional, like an infertility counselor or an adoption specialist, when determining the next step in their family-building journey. These counselors are knowledgeable in all of these family-building methods and will work with you to help you find the best option for your family.