donor eggs vs adoption(53 Posts)
Help, my husband and I are faced with infertility. We have two options to pursue our own little family. IVF using donor eggs or adoption. At the moment I'm confused as to the "best" route to take as my children from either route would not be biologically mine. (that sounds awful and don't look to offend, please excuse my 'still getting used to being infertile head and poor wording!!). Does anyone out there have experience of this choice. Pro's and cons?? Not really sure what I'm looking for or asking just putting it out there for some opinions/advice/support?! xx
first of all I'm sorry you can't have a baby, no idea what you are going through!
I have no experience but happy to offer my opinion, as DH and I talked about this before we got married
If that had happened to me/us , I knew I would not have wouldn't have liked my DH to father a baby that is not mine as well (selfish, I know) He agreed. it would have felt like he cheated on me, for both of us.
Adoption on the other hand to me is like this - baby needing parents meets parents wanting baby.
it would have felt like not only getting incredibly lucky, but doing something that was perhaps meant to be (I'll spare you my philosophical outlook)
IVF with own eggs & sperm seems like not an option for you - and I just don't know if I could ever go through it emotionally/mentally/physically.
Again for me that would have felt like it was not supposed to be or it would have happened naturally, but I know lots of friends with IVF babies and I'm so happy for everyone of them!
Initially my cousin was going to donate her egg as we are so similar but we decided against this. DH felt quite strongly due to how this would transpire in the future as my cousin and I were brought up like sisters and I'm god mother to my niece. I do agree with him. I do feel like it's not my egg but it would be DH sperm. DH is more for adoption but he does have two biological teenage kids from a previous relationship. We would also have to go private and he feels it's a lot of money we could invest on providing a good start for our adopted kids rather than gambling on ivf.
Sometimes wonder is the only difference for me a pregnancy?? I really want the baby experience but led to believe it's difficult to adopt a baby. I also think it would be my blood and nutrients using a donor egg but uncomfortable with the law giving the child the right to know where it's came from, so it could find its biological egg donor. So would the baby I give birth to ever really be mine?!
Its a mine field of what ifs.
I think DH is quite sensible on the financial side, but I understand about the "pregnancy experience"!
I think if you start the adoption process right away, you will get the ball rolling, but you'll still have time to think if you want to go down the IVF route - unless you are not allowed to do both at the same time or have to sign things ...I don't know legal side.
Also from the emotional point of you if you start the adoption process now you might feel a lot more positive as "you are doing something"
Kerrigan90 I am so sorry that you have found out this sad information for yourself and your husband. I don't want to pry but have you been told by a fertility clinic that you will not get pregnant with your own eggs or do you not have eggs (no need to reply I am just thinking out loud.).
We are not yet adoptive parents but are parents to a DD aged 8 born from IUI fertility treatment. I was told by a clinic years ago we would never have another child with my own eggs. Despite this I did try treatment with my own eggs (which failed) and eventually treatment with donor eggs, which also failed.
I think fertility treatment (even with donor eggs) is very different from adoption. It does take a while to get used to the idea that the child will not be genetically linked to you if you mother a child with a donor egg, although they would biologically linked as you would carry the baby and give birth. I think one question is how important the whole pregnancy and birth thing is, and for some people it is very important, for some not so much. For me it was not so much of an issue but I must admit I did still want to attempt treatment with donor eggs.
In the UK the donor is annoymous, unless it is a friend or relative of course, and the child has the opportunity to trace the donor who donated the egg. For this reason we chose to have treatment in the UK, because we felt it was better for the child to have the chance to know who the donor was when they were older. In some other countries it is not something that a child born of donor eggs has the right to do.
I know three children born from donor eggs in real life, and their mothers think of them (rightly) fully as their children. I also speak to people on line who are going through treatment/have children by donor eggs, and they are also very comfortable with the process. So I don't think for me or for others in general who have treatment with donor eggs that there is any sense of their children not being their own. All the people I know of went with anonymous donors. I don't know anyone who had a donor they knew.
Personally, I do not think there is any sense that if I were not to get pregnant naturally that in any way that was 'meant to be'. I tried very hard to get pregnant many times, once I got lucky and it worked with my own egg, and many times with my eggs and donor eggs it did not.
There may be threads on here under fertility and assisted conception on this.
As far as adoption goes I will let others wiser than I am answer your questions. My husband and I decided to give up on fertility treatment after our money ran out. I don't really regret doing it; I wanted to do it and was lucky enough to be able to do it. It didn't work. But for many others it does. I have wanted to adopt for about 20 years and now seems the right time. I think my head is in a better place than when I was in the middle of all the treatment. I think adoption is very different thing to fertility treatment but I know there are some on here who have experienced both so should be able to tell you more.
You can't pursue adoption and treatment at the same time, at least you can't in my area. I think it would be very hard/impossible to be having treatment and putting your mind into adoption and all that entails.
All best wishes with whatever course you pursue and whatever you do, please do get lots of support in real life (and on here) to help you with deal with this very sad news about your own fertility. However things work out, you will need to grieve for this and get support.
All the best.
itallian I'm sorry also for your struggles.
If you are referring to things I said - I did say I didn't know legal point of trying both - but now I do, thank you.
the "meant to be" thing is entirely my opinion about how I would have felt, so please don't say there's no sense in it!
there might not be any sense in it for you, which I appreciate, but OP asked for opinions and that was mine, regarding to how I'd feel.
I didn't say how anyone else should feel...
we lost a baby and I do feel that she wasn't supposed to be born for one reason or another...I think that's a valid opinion.
And you are right that it's best if advice is given by qualified people or people with experience!
I just wanted to show my support, however perhaps I could have phrased it better. apologies for any hurt feelings to either of you!! [thank]
best of luck to both of you, I do hope you'll end up with lovely little babies!
you'll be amazing parents no doubt, your strength and determination admirable!
I had known egg donation, pm me if you'd like to hear my story. As a side note, if you went with your cousin, you would have to have compulsory counselling together, with your DH and hers.
I made the right choice for us going down the ED route and not adoption but I remember only too well how difficult the decision was.
Well, I'll let others talk about egg donation more, but I think they are very different options personally. If ED is successful that will give you a pregnancy and a newborn baby and all that goes with that. Of course it is a risk in that it might not be successful
There are some babies under 1 available for adoption but no one can guaruntee you'll be able to adopt one of them, you would have to be comfortable with a child aged at least up to 2 as well.
Bearing in mind you said that you are worried about a child going to trace their egg donor as an adult.....are you aware that adoption is even more open than that? Obviously the child can find their original parents as an adult, or nowadays as a teenager by using facebook etc, but that most adoptive families try maintain some form of contact throughout the childs childhood as well. Mostly this is by one or two letters a year updating the birth parents and they hopefully write back. Sometimes there's more contact than that. And you have to br very comfortable with having an open dialogue with the child and being able to talk very openly about their past and adoption and birth parents any time they need you to
You do have to wait six months at least from the last fertility treatment before starting the adoption process. It is a very intense and emotional process and before starting you do need to be feeling that adoption is definitely right for you, so if you aren't sure take some more time to have a think and explore what it is you want
I'm very sorry you're in this position; I know it's a very tough road and there are no easy answers.
First, you need to know that you can't pursue fertility treatment and adoption concurrently. And most agencies won't let you pursue adoption until you're at least a year away from pursuing pregnancy. They may even ask you to go for counselling to make sure you are ready to move forward with adoption. Many adopters go through a delayed grief reaction when they finally adopt and have to come to terms with what they have lost - it is really worth taking seriously how you resolve any closing of the door to bearing a child.
You also need to know, as Lilka says, that you won't get a little baby. I adopted a child of 11 months, and she was one of only 70 children THAT YEAR to be adopted under the age of 1. Nearly all of those 70, I'll bet, were nearly 1.
I completely understand the desire to do the pregnancy and baby thing. I had this too, very strongly, and though it took me 6 years to conceive my first child, I am still glad that I held out for it as it was hugely fulfilling. Having said that, I only needed to do it once and it was a kind of standalone experience, quite disconnected to the experience of parenthood. Having done it once, I was very happy to adopt my second child, and I love my children not just equally but in the same kind of way.
My first instinct on reading your post is that your first step is not deciding between IVF and adoption, but getting some counselling to help you work out whether a child who is not genetically connected to you is going to work for you at all. Then you can decide on the best way forward.
You don't say how old you are, but it's really important to remember that IVF is something to do sooner rather than later, as it gets markedly harder to conceive with age, whereas you can adopt into your 40s. So you could try IVF and move on to adoption, whereas the other way round is probably only a goer if you are very young.
Italiengreyhound yes fertility clinic told me my eggs were of too poor quality and low reserve. I like the way you differed between genetics and biology I guess that makes sense.
Lilka I agree that children should know where they come from, I guess my concern was am I choosing Ivf so the baby is fully mine when technically whichever route I choose the children still have a right to know where they've came from and just sad that it won't be me! I know I'd be a great mum and provide a happy family home I guess I'm just voicing out loud.
Devora I think you have hit the nail on the head as it's all still very raw and difficult to process. Also your words 'genetically connected' is all part of that and hadn't realised. So thanks! I am 31 and my DH is 39 so time isn't really on our side. We don't qualify for NHS so have to save save save for 1 round of IVF that may not be successful then by that stage DH may be too old to adopt a baby! So many hurdles!
I have counselled (in the informal sense) many people about adoption vs egg donation vs embryo adoption so I'll try to summarise what I think by addressing some of the points already made as I don't have much time just now...
You can't pursue adoption and treatment at the same time, at least you can't in my area you can't anywhere that I know of (assuming you're in the UK) but more to the point - you really don;t want to. It sounds tempting but as someone who has been through both, they are both incredibly hard and emotionally and sometimes physically draining. I just can't imagine what kind of basket case you'd be trying to do both.
Sometimes wonder is the only difference for me a pregnancy?? - no it isn't. With a home grown baby you can control their prenatal care, you can bond with them from birth (and before) you have no gaps in their life which are unfillable and often unexplainable.
The genetics thing is in my personal view a red herring. In terms of difficulty, explaining to your child that they didn't grow in your tummy/have your genes isn't at the foothills of being as difficult as explaining that you have no idea what happened to them before they were 1, no idea if they were well treated, no idea when they walked and talked (though DS was a late walker and talker so I do!), that you have no photos of them before a certain age etc etc.
I chose not to have donor eggs/embryos for practical reasons - my eggs were decent quality and IVF had failed for several different reasons each time and there was considered no particular advantage to trying in my case.
When considering whether you feel awkward about your child having the DNA of one of you needs to be set against never being able to say to your child "you have your fathers eyes/nose etc), of having to parent a "child that hurts" (to use a famous adoption phrase), dealing with the unknown impact of prenatal drug or alcohol abuse or post natal neglect and/or abuse.
If you are still at the point of thinking that having a child with only one set of your DNA as being something not quite nice then you really need to spend a little more time thinking together about the implication of adoption today because there is very little about the circumstances of adoption that are nice or right or easy to deal with for a child (never mind the parents).
I don;t say this all lightly as I am the adoptive parent of the most wonderful boy who have few issues and is the centre of my world. But parenting a child who has such a huge difference to the norm is heartbreaking at times - and this is a child adopted under one with no known history of drug or alcohol abuse with a parent who relinquished. And still we have to face issues every week (just about) that other families don't - its part of our world now and I don't for one second regret it - but if I had the perfect choice of adopting DS as an embryo and growing him myself and being with him from birth I'd take it like a shot.
sorry that did turn into a bit of an essay
Thanx kewcumber, you pretty much summed up a conversation DH and myself had this morning!!!
Your DS sounds like a little delight. As a mum you must face hurdles with your little man. There's so much to think about my heads in a spin.
you have time - I know it feels like you don't but certainly time to explore the issues a little more.
Adoption has worked wonderfully well for me and I am blessed with a beautiful little girl. BUT it has huge difficulties and risks and you need to be really up for it. IVF is stressful and expensive but still a time limited experience that is much more within your control. If you are torn between the two, and if genetic connection is important to you (and you shouldn't be ashamed of that; it's important for a great many people, just happens not to be for me) then I suspect the lower risk route is to go for IVF.
Incidentally, don't get panicked about age in relation to adoption just yet. I adopted a baby girl when I was 46 and my dp was 48. Many, many people adopt in their 40s. I know a lovely woman (ex-MNetter) who had her first child with donor eggs at the age of 43, and adopted her second (18 months old) at the age of 48.
So don't panic. You have time to take this calmly, and to be gentle with yourself and not try to rush through how you handle your grief and loss.
Very best of luck to you.
Firstly I don't know what it is like to go through infertility and am sorry you are having to deal with it. If I was faced with this decision I would much much rather adopt. Adoption is helping a child without parents wheras IVF is a medical procedure that I don't like the idea of (not meaning to offend - I have friends who have had IVF). I have often thought that if DH and I miraculously made loads of money in 10 years time when I am too old to have more kids I would love to adopt/foster if we could afford a place big enough!
we adopted a baby girl she was 4.5 months old when she came home she is now 9years old and the light of our lives it has been the most wonderful joyful fulfilling part of my life but if i could wish a different start in life for her i would in a heartbeat adoption is so vast you never know when it can become a issue from the most simplest of everyday things
Hi amazingmumof6 I am sorry if I have offended you. I did not say you could not have your opinion and I did not say there was no sense in what you said. I said Personally, I do not think there is any sense that if I were not to get pregnant naturally that in any way that was 'meant to be'. I tried very hard to get pregnant many times, once I got lucky and it worked with my own egg, and many times with my eggs and donor eggs it did not." It was all my own opinion about my own situation to try and give the OP some context from someone who had tried fertility treatment with donor eggs. I also gave what I think are the opinons of real people I know who have got pregnant with donor eggs. simply trying to give the OP some context for what that kind of treatment is like and how some people feel at the end of it. I don't know how the OP or you feel but I wanted to share my experiences and my opion.
I am sorry to hear of you loss of baby * amazingmumof6*. Of course many peopel feel there is a reason why the baby is not born or not meant to be.
If you have fertility problems it can be hard to hear that it is meant to be. I speak from my person expereience but I don't for a minute deny you your right to feel however you feel about your experiences.
Op Kerrigan90 I am just in the middle of something and will read on and add more if I wish to. I really did do a lot of research about donor eggs so feel happy to asnwer your questions (if any) from own expereince even though that treatment was not succesful (I think I have immunology issues).
Also, the age at conception thing is the age of the egg and donors are usually younger than recipients so delaying treatment might not be an issue but I agree Devora that it is best to explore birth child before adoption, but maybe someone else can say why aside from any biological issues.
And in my area you can adopt up to a 50 year age gap so depending where you are your Dhs age may not be an issue at all.
oh op just thought, it's not three babies, it's three families, one has twins so 4 babies! I forgot who had babies by donor eggs!
A good organisation to provide more info is
There is also a thing called 'embryo adoption' or rather more normally called fertility treatment with donated embryos. That is just another option and would mean neither you nor your dh would be genetically related to the child.
OK got a minute - I'm sorry, reading my earlier post back it looks a bit bolshey! amazingmumof6 and Kerrigan90 sorry - I guess even talking about fertility treatment brings up lots of memories! Sorry!
Actually it is not all hard, there were good times and it was good because I chose to do it. I am sorry it did not work out but it did not. I am now excited about adoption. I think I am making it sound all very simple but actually I have been thinking about adoption for years and my fertility experience was around 7 years so it's been a long road for me but many others have a much simpler experience.
All the best.
Italiangreyhound it's all good lovey, no hard feelings!
I guess I just still get sensitive about it , it was 4 years ago, but still hurts ...
I would just like to say, I am adopted 24 now & as I do realise it was a lot different when I was a baby than it is now, it's an amazing opportunity for anyone & I probably am a best case scenario as I have grown up without any 'adoption issues' people mention adopted children suffer from and feel privileged that I am adopted & how different it makes my life.
I just wanted to put a personal view forward. It does annoy me slightly when people think of adoption because the money for Ivf has run out, but I suppose adoptions would be less all round if that wasn't the case.
Good luck OP
Thank you amazingmumof6 I'm sorry it is still painful, my friend had a still birth about 5 years ago and it has so affected her but she is finally (I hope) a bit better from the grieving.
Kate that's wondeful that you have such a great story. I am sure your parents are thrilled to have you. I have a very good friend who was adopted as a baby and when we talk about adoption together (and I say things about the whole process) she always reasures me she had a wonderful upbringing and is very positive.
Kate that's a good point about money - although I said our money had run out there was something else, I had become a pin cushion! I was getting needle in my tummy for a special drug for immunology issues and I was just so tired of it. It's normal for IVF to get needles there! I've wanted to adopt for about 20 years but something about the 'fertility rollercoaster' is that once you are on it is very hard to get off! I guess the money is one thing that does stop you, because for us we got no free treatment at all. I now feel totally ready for adoption, very positive, much more aware of the reality of adoption in this current time and very optimistic about how it will work out but not in a totally unrealistic way (I hope!). I feel that for me another pregnancy would never be a reality and the further I get away from it being a reality the more at home I feel about it!
But that is very different from the OP who is at the start of the process and I do feel it is important to explore the avenues, even if one does not go down them. For some being ready for adoption is feeling the door has shut on one thing but I know that won't be the same for everyone.
Kerrigan90 sorry I am totally waffling on your thread! Apologies. If you want to ask me anything about fertility treatment with donor eggs, costs etc or anything else, please pm me. ALSO you may wish to go and post in the fertility on the assisted conception thread and ask questions there as there are people who have had a lot of experiences and would know a lot about current treatment, including treatment for people who have 'eggs ... of too poor quality and low reserve' (sorry I hate to type that but you said that was the diagnosis). I must say the low reserve thing is strange because all it takes is one egg and so even if you have not got many eggs then it might be possible to have treatment with your own eggs at another place. There are clinics that might specialise in more 'difficult cases' - just pm if you want to talk more.
All the very best.
KateSpade thanks for your view point. Adoption/fostering is something I've always hoped to do just thought it would alongside birth children. I can see why it would annoy you, it does sound like last resort sometimes. It's just very difficult to accept that I can't as a woman do something that should be very natural although the maternal instinct is very strong. It's a real dilemma to make sure the choice we make is the right one because its not all about our lives. I also have friends that have been adopted, one who has happy positive feelings towards adopting like yourself and another who thinks I should avoid adopting and pursue donor eggs.
Italiengreyhound, thank you for your support I may come back to you at a later date! x
kate I'm so glad you have been adopted by such loving people!
I've just remembered that a good friend of mine had a horrible time giving birth to DD1 (baby was ok, but it was very traumatic for her, long recovery time, possible PND although never diagnosed) and she swore that was the end of it
then a few years later she had a strange feeling that they should just adopt. DH agreed.
people thought they were bonkers, why don't they just have another baby blah blah blah
they said they felt their son was waiting for them
the first child they were to meet was a 6 year old boy they'd never seen before (and vica versa) who spotted them walking through the door and quietly said to his carer that his parents came to take him home! (there were other children in the room and adults coming and going so it was far from obvious that they came to see him)
when they were introduced to each other it was love at first sight and they have never referred to him in any other way than" our son".
he knows about his biological parents, but calls my friends my "real dad & mum"
Also after the first meeting of their DD and the little boy they asked DD what she thought and she said "well, he is my brother and I love him!"
I find it very interesting that pretty much without exception the adopters on here have said think very carefully before dismissing egg or embryo donation as an option as the pregnancy and newborn advantages are too huge to dismiss them lightly and the non-adopters have said they would go for adoption over IVF!
BTW anyone who thinks that IVF is the nasty medical horrid intervention and adoption is the lovely matching of needy child with doting parents really hasn't been through both!
IVF was certainly more within my control and less public though physically more draining than the adoption process. On the other hand adoption provided you are single minded enough will result in you bringing a child home.
I took the decision (and it was a chronological one Kate rather than a preferential one) that my chance for IVF was immediate and due to my age unlikely to be something I could come back to later, so I did that first in the knowledge that I would move onto adoption if IVF failed.
I don't doubt I would have cherished a child who came to me through any route - but to be honest I was so desperate by the end of the 6 year journey that I would have cherished a puppy!
Kewcumber " hasn't been through both!" actually as I said in my first comment I haven't been through either, but we know enough people with experiences of either/both that I could form a basic foggy idea of what DH &I would have done, possibly.
What I think about IVF/adoption/surrogacy/egg& sperm donor/ embryo donor situations are not only differ greatly depending on whether it's what I or others would/should/could/want etc to do, but also it clearly cannot be based on my experience if I hadn't been through it!
what I hear, see, read etc shape my opinion. personal experience is not required to form an opinion about any subject!
(I mean for example I haven't experienced deep sea diving, but know enough about it to know that I'd love to try it. Also I never experienced becoming an Olympic champion and I never will, but even if I could I don't think I'd be interested. I've heard enough about all the dedicated hard work and applaud it, but it wouldn't be for me )
OP was asking about opinions and support as well as advice!
she didn't say she wanted only people with experience to reply, but I do apologize if I irritated you in any way
also this friend of mine (story above) wanted to adopt despite the fact that she easily could have had another child,
then out of the blue and only 4 years after the said adopting she decided that she wanted to get pregnant again, had a boy...go figure!
Some positive adoption stories. I think SW must avise of extreme worst case scenarios.
Kewcumber I noticed that myself and it's something we are taking on board with our decision. I think we'd regret never trying DE and always wonder would it have worked. Oh and DH got me a puppy it's no substitute for a baby don't do it!!! Crazy man thought it would be a good distraction!! Lol.
No you didn't irritate me amazing - and I didn't say that everyone wasn't entitled to an opinion. Believe me, when you adopt the world and his wife feel entitled to an opinion about it and don't hesitate to express it to you so you do get quite accustomed to it.
My comment was that anyone who thinks IVF is horrid and adoption lovely (paraphrasing) clearly hasn't been through both not that they weren't entitled to an opinion. Many many people think adoption is a lovely idea and they think they would prefer to adopt than have IVF because their view of adoption is largely informed by adoptions pre 1980's which tended on the whole to be a very different kettle of fish.
Yes social workers advise of worst case scenarios because they happen far more often than you would anticipate with a birth child and you need to be as prepared as possible for what you are taking on.
I took a child who was a 26 week premmie with significant delays and a high risk of cerebral palsy. It would have been irresponsible of me not to be aware of the potential problems but as it turns out (so far, touch wood!) DS's issues have been very manageable.
amazingmum, it didn't read to me that you had narked off kew. What I heard her pointing out was how interesting it was the discrepancy in viewpoint between adopters and non-adopters, even though the adoptive parents on here have generally found adoption a blessing.
I would definitely have thought adoption was a better option 10 years ago. Now I would advise trying IVF first, even though I never wanted to do IVF myself (and it took me many years to get pg) and I have had an unusually easy adoption experience so far. That's worth thinking about, isn't it? And no, it doesn't make your contribution invalid, but it's still worth exploring.
A friend of mine recently told me that she thought adoption was just like having a baby except without the pregnancy! I think a few years ago I probably have felt the same! The more I look into it the more I see how complex it is! I do feel so much more ready for it now but as I say I am at the end of a very long journey and the OP is at the start of hers.
I think with fertility treatment it is different, it is hard at the start but once the baby is conceived you are in the same boat as other pregnant women! Our DD was IUI conceived. I did have a friend who said something like IVF seemed so difficult, the idea of having to do all the tests etc really put her off. For me it was a real drive to do it, and although it was difficult it kind of prepared me to the birth, which was very difficult! I guess sometimes 'getting the child' however you do it, is a kind of preparation for parenting! I mean it can be hard but then parenting can be hard!
Kerrigan90 it's really good you are talking about all this though. Working out what you would like to do and how you feel. I would also really encourage you if you can afford it to get a second opinion, because fertility treatment with donor eggs is more expensive than normal IVF. I know it is not all about money but IVF is expensive and you want to put your money into the best thing for you if you are going to go down that route.
There is a lot of information out there, don't want to send you down a blind alley but have you explored low ovarian reserve on line? Just one example Kerrigan90.
OP, I'm sorry that you're in this situation.
Just a quick note to urge you to think about the feelings of the potential baby if pursuing donor conception.
I'm donor conceived (sperm donor) and I find it extremely hard to be denied any knowledge of my genetic background. It's a bit different now that donors are traceable but even so it's a very weird thing not to know your own parent. Adoption is different IMO because the child already exists and hasn't been created with the knowledge that he /she won't know his/her parent.
There are lots of other donor conceived adults who feel the same -- google donor conceived blog and you'll find them. The fertility industry don't like it, but it's true.
charlottewasboth, hi thanks. Yeah it is something I've thought about and worry about. My cousin has never known who her dad is or had a father figure and that has raised it own worries at special times like the birth of her DD and wedding day. Can I ask did you have a dad although not genetically linked? Although I'd be using a DE I'd like to think my baby would still think of me as mum. I'll definitely have a look at the website you suggested, thanx.
CharlotteWasBoth interesting reading some of those blogs and the longing to find their 'biological' dad. One that I read does concern me - she has been searching for years and has this desire to know and understand who her father is. Obviously, I'm not in that situation but she has 2 parents who brought her up and are her 'mother' and 'father'. I wonder what the parents must feel, knowing that their daughter is unhappy coming in to the world this way?
Fortunately, my DD will not have this issue as a close relative was my egg donor, however it has worried me in the past (during my pregnancy) that she may have a closer bond with that person over me. But once she arrived, that went out of the window - she is my world and I am hers, the love is unconditional. We plan to be very open about where she came from and what we went through to conceive her. Having a known donor over unknown donor has its advantages, so just another thing to think about I suppose Kerrigan?
Here's my 10 cents Kerrigan ....
I think there are many people who 'have done both' in the sense of tried assisted conception before 'moving on' to adoption. I know that adoption is viewed has a 'last resort' in many people's planning though I, personally, find it an uncomfortable idea. I'm not adopted but was interested to read your comments katespade I'm annoyed when people assume that my adopted son is with us following failed IVF etc. It's silly really, I don't mean to disrespect anyone who followed that route.
I have never been pregnant and choose to adopt without exploring assisted conception at all, I didn't even know about donor eggs until very recently. I love my son's lack of biological connection to me, I find it interesting and exciting, how I would feel in the case of donor eggs I just can't say.
My son is 3 now (adopted as an infant) and my current circumstance preclude a second adoption. I'm doing IVF now (own eggs) and large part of what makes my chance of success low is that I'm doing it later on. But it's just the way things worked out for me and I'm ok with that. I wish you the very best at finding the path that's right for you.
"it's a very weird thing not to know your own parent" - charlotte this isn't necessarily different to adoption (though I accept that in many cases it is). I have no information about either birth parent and there is no possibility of tracing either one of them and even in the UK it really isn't uncommon to have no information at all about the birth father. If it bothers DS as he gets older, I'm not sure he will take any consolation in the idea that his lack of information wasn't my "fault" but someone else's additionally those I know who have children by DI or DE have significantly more information about the genetic parent that I do about DS and moreover the possibility of contact at some point in the future.
You have the added complication with adoption that children are often removed for a reason and sometimes those reasons are traumatic - sexual or physical abuse which the child can remember. Is it easier to deal with the absence of a genetic parent or the knowledge that one of your genetic parents stubbed out cigarettes on you? I don't know I suspect its different for each child. i know that our job as parents is to help our children process their start in life whether by donor or adoption both of which bring an added dimension to parenting above the norm.
In some ways being an adoptive parent is simpler because you can hold up your hands and say "well it wasn't my fault, I rescued you. Blame your birth parents" which of course you can't do with DI or DE! But I don't know one adoptive parent who has done/said this because (apart from the fact we don't actually feel this way) it doesn't actually change anything for your child. Not being able to "blame" me for his situation doesn't help DS work through how he feels about a total lack of a link with his birth family and culture. In fact I am part of the problem, I chose to adopt him into a single parent family, into a different country - he could so easily have had better parents, more traditional, better off etc.
I don't dispute your right to feel how you do about being a child of DI however I'd be surprised if on average children who were adopted feel any less conflicted about their birth/DNA.
akuabadoll - * I'm annoyed when people assume that my adopted son is with us following failed IVF etc.* I know its a bit irrelevant because what irritates you just does and can't be explained away but I'm sure you know that people assume this because in the UK it is more common to do IVF then adoption becasue of the sheer ease (if you have the money) with which you can embark upon IVF vs adoption.
My IVF - "I'd like to have IVF" OK please see our counsellor Then a couple of weeks later I'd started and had done 3 IVF attempts within 6 months.
My adoption - "I'd like to adopt" OK well we'll come and visit you then we'd like you to go on a consultation course then we'll visit you again then you need to do a prep course then you'll wait some time for a home study to start then you'll spend 6 months talking to a social worker who will also interview friends, family and ex-partner then we'd like a financial statement and a letter from your employer, a CRB check and a medical. Then we'd like you to appear in front of 12 strangers who will ask you questions and decide whether its possible, then in your case because you have chosen another country you will need to do most of that again then you will wait in limbo whilst you are waiting to be matched and your fingernails may never be the same again then you will be expected to love a total stranger devotedly. Then 3 years later I brought a child home.
In my case I adopted internationally about the same time as Madonna and Angelina Jolie - what fresh hell that was! People made the assumption that I did it to guarantee a cute little baby, particularly as thats what I got. But I was approved for a child up to two and didn't "choose" DS and small and cute meant in reality a massively delayed, high risk 26 week premmie. Still, you just smile and nod don't you!
Charlotte I am so sorry that you feel this pain about not knowing. I know that not knowing who donated eggs or sperm can be very hard for some people. I understand in America there seems to be a lot more opportunity for people to trace those who donated to help create them, a kind of voluntary way of people registering, I believe. I am sure such things do exist here and if they do not yet they will in time, for all those conceived before the laws changed here in 2005. I am sure the donor conception network know about these things.
We chose to have treatment in the UK because we wanted the child (if there had been one) to have the chance to know who provided the eggs, I knew that might be important for them.
I know for those who do not have fertility issues donor eggs or sperm seem like a rather unusual solution and before I found myself in this boat I would have felt it was somewhere I did not want to go. I so much remember being told that a donor had been found and going out and buying a gift for a woman that I might never meet. Because our treatment never resulted in a pregnancy I will never meet the two women who donated eggs for me, or the other women who was set to be our donor but was not able to. I will always be grateful to all three of them for giving me that opportunity. It is funny now remembering it. It is a very unusual thing, but even though it was not successful I am grateful.
It's interesting the fact that most people who are seeking a family and are challenged in the fertility stakes then go on to have treatment first and then explore adoption. Ironically, for me, I have wanted to adopt for the past 20 years but I always assumed I would have birth children too, and because age is a factor for women (and at that stage I did not know we would try with donor eggs - and even had we been successful a pregnancy for older women is more of a concern for the woman - I think), so anyway, we tried the treatment first.
Now that is all over and finished I do feel genuinely very excited about adoption and so much that it is the right thing, but it took a long while to get here. Not because fertility treatment is better than adoption but because I did want to do both it did have to be in that order (for me).
Kew it is very moving to read about your journey. Thank you for sharing. hard to say anything meaningful without sounding crass! But your determination is admirable (please don't feel patronised!
Yes ladies so so much to think about and consider. I'm worrying about how DE or adoption will affect my children in the future and not even began the journey on either path!! It's difficult when everything is so raw and heartbroken. Thanx so much for sharing your stories. This is definitely been the most painstakingly toughest decision of my life. (sorry for the dramatics but it is!) At the moment I'm swinging towards IVF but not ruling out adoption just yet. Will be embarking on plenty more research and some counselling. xx
Thanks all for your openness. I've found in the past that those pursuing donor conception don't want to hear the viewpoints of DC adults because it doesn't fit with the path they've chosen -- and for that reason, I'd take any advice from the donor conception network with a very large pinch of salt.
In my own birth family, my social father sexually abused all of us, my brother most severely, and ended up in prison. My mother was neglectful all along -- it's a wonder we weren't taken into care, but given the stories I hear I'm glad we weren't. After my 'father' was released she stuck by him, dividing her time between him and us. We kept the dysfunctional relationship with our mother going for many years, but now neither my brother, sister nor I have a real relationship with our mother -- we exchange Christmas cards, that's it.
My situation is clearly extreme, but I do gather that abuse and family breakdown are much more common in DC families
Charlotte you've been so badly let down by the people who so badly wanted you. What a bastard shame they didn't throw away the key! I will look at these sites and seriously consider what affect it would have on my kids if it's successful. It is something I have given thought to because with adoption it's so open but where would you even begin to put it into terms for a kid to understand. I'm so sorry your family experience has been so shit and only hope ur future is better with your own family unit be it friends, family or your own children.
Thanks Kerrigan, that's very kind.
My brother and sister are wonderful and I have a happy family of my own now.
"I've found in the past that those pursuing donor conception don't want to hear the viewpoints of DC adults because it doesn't fit with the path they've chosen" I can imagine that - having children is such a selfish process however you do it, sometimes it can be hard to hear the downsides of something you have chosen when you probably realise in the back of your mind you 're probably going to do it anyway.
I know it was something I felt very strongly about even at the time as I thought about how I would feel in your position (donor conception) and knew it would have left me feeling really like something was missing. For that reason (In the days when donors were anonymous in the UK) I imported (legally through a fertility clinic) known donor sperm from the US.
Sadly horrible people want children too (though sometimes you have to ask why?) and though its rarer, even with all the safeguards in adoption children sometimes end up with parents who are good deal less than perfect.
In my experience how children deal with adoption and or donor conception is down to a few simple things - the personality of the child (some people just naturally feel a stronger need to connect to their DNA if that makes sense), how open and supportive parents have been in helping them explore their start in life and probably how stable and secure their upbringing has been. How can you expect your child to act as if their as a real and valued part of your family if you don;t treat them like a real and valued part of the family?
I'm sure its no consolation Charlotte but your parents sound like the kind of parents whose children should have been adopted
judgy pants firmly on.
I do understand it from both sides, i know how totally different it is now, as i was under the impression getting a baby in an adoption now isn't normally the case, there are a lot more 1/2 year olds than babies.
I just wish more people would adopt, but then i can understand everyone wanting the pregnancy experience.
Charlotte I am so sorry for the horrible things that happened in your childhood and for the way your mother dealt with the awful situation.