Which ART Path is Right for You?

Becoming a parent isn’t an easy task for everyone. Sometimes, your original plans don’t work out the way you intended. Sometimes, people need some help to achieve their dream of having a family. But how will you achieve that dream?

If you are considering assisted reproduction, it’s important to evaluate all of your options before deciding how to move forward. Think about the pros and cons of surrogacy, fertility treatments, donor conception and your other family-building options so you can make the choice that’s right for your family.

For some, certain options will already be ruled out because of physical factors, financial reasons or just personal preference. Always try to keep an open mind and learn about all your options! Feel a little overwhelmed? Want to learn more about a particular option? Contact the Family Formation Law Offices now. We have years of experience representing people as they become parents, and we can help you find the option that works for you.

Here, you can find some of your options for assisted reproductive technology (ART), and the advantages and disadvantages of those options:

Fertility Treatment Pros and Cons

If you’re considering fertility treatments, the first thing you should do is consult a fertility doctor. They’ll be able to determine if this is an option for you. Fertility treatments don’t work for everyone, and there is, of course, the risk of failure or losing a pregnancy.

Some intended parents have viable eggs and sperm, but they may not be producing enough, or perhaps their bodies aren’t producing enough of the right hormones to support a pregnancy. In these circumstances, fertility drugs, IUI, IVF, or working with a donor may increase your likelihood of becoming pregnant.

But these options are more costly than many couples realize, and you’ll likely have to make more than one attempt. If fertility treatments fail, you’ll also probably want to budget for options like surrogacy or adoption.

Surrogacy Pros and Cons

Gestational surrogacy is an ART method in which the intended parents create an embryo through IVF using their own or donated egg and sperm, which is then transferred to a gestational carrier, who is also referred to as a surrogate.

There are a number of pros and cons of surrogacy in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia that you should consider as you weigh your family-building options, including:

Pros of Surrogacy

  • One of the primary benefits of surrogacy is the potential to maintain a genetic link to your child (unlike in adoption).
  • One of the advantages of surrogacy is that individuals and same-sex couples can have children who are genetically related to them with surrogacy.
  • Pros for intended parents include the ability to share in the experience of pregnancy second-hand alongside your surrogate.
  • Another one of the pros for surrogacy: surrogates are women who have already had healthy and successful births, so you may be more likely to have a successful pregnancy and birth through a surrogate than through fertility treatments.

Cons of Surrogacy

  • One of the problems with surrogacy is that when you’re a single parent, a same-sex couple, or if your eggs and/or sperm are not viable, you’ll need the additional step of working with an egg and/or sperm donor to create an embryo for surrogacy.
  • One of the risks of surrogacy, like any alternative family-building option, is that it can be costly.
  • One of the disadvantages of surrogacy is that like most pregnancy experiences, it’s an emotional time, but with added factors like the potential for you to feel jealous of your surrogate’s ability to carry your child.

Jennifer and Catelyn have helped people throughout Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia to become parents through surrogacy, and can help you weigh the pros and cons of having a surrogate mother in your circumstances. If you’d like to learn more about surrogacy advantages and disadvantages compared to your other options, contact us for more information.

More Options

When you first consider your ART options, you may feel as if you’ve already ruled out alternative family-building options. But keep your mind open. ART doesn’t work out for everyone. There are other options, including:


Some hopeful parents are not receptive to the idea of adoption while they still dream of a biological child, but the more many families learn about modern adoptions, the more excited they become about the idea of adopting a child. Jennifer and Catelyn have years of experience helping people to become parents through adoption in Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland, and we can provide you with more information about this family-building option when you contact us, if you’re curious.

Living Child-Free

In the early stages of exploring alternative family-building options, this is rarely an option that hopeful parents want to hear. This isn’t the right path for everyone, but for many, living child-free is the option that brings them the most peace.

We Can Discuss Your Options

Still unsure about which family-building option is right for you? Contact Family Formation Law Offices now. Together, we can talk about all of your options, your goals, needs and more so that we can find a path to parenthood that works for you.

In your initial consultation, we can discuss surrogacy benefits and disadvantages versus adoption, fertility treatments and other family-building options. We’ll also outline the ways in which we may be able to help you in your journey to becoming a parent. We specialize in ART and adoption law in the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland, but if you’re still searching for the right way to become a parent, we can walk you through your options and help you weigh the various ART, adoption and surrogacy pros and cons so you can make a well-informed decision that’s best for your family.

We legally represent hopeful parents through a range of family-building processes in MD, VA and DC, so contact us today to learn more about the potential pros and cons of surrogacy, methods of ART and other family-building options.

“I believe in working with each of my clients—in support of their family dynamic—to make the dreams of parenthood a reality. Whether you are single or married; or gay; a step-parent, a surrogate or intended parent or a child of adoption, it is my mission to serve as your advocate. With a dedication to the ethical and sensitive nature of each situation, I will help you understand the laws within Maryland or Washington, DC for adoption or surrogacy, and pledge to be your partner throughout the journey.” - Jennifer Fairfax