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donor eggs vs adoption

(53 Posts)
Kerrigan90 Mon 12-Nov-12 00:06:31

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

amazingmumof6 Mon 12-Nov-12 00:27:09

first of all I'm sorry you can't have a baby, no idea what you are going through! sad

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!

amazingmumof6 Mon 12-Nov-12 00:29:49

what does DH think?

Kerrigan90 Mon 12-Nov-12 00:43:02

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.

amazingmumof6 Mon 12-Nov-12 00:57:36

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"

amazingmumof6 Mon 12-Nov-12 00:59:15

point of view - sorry!

Italiangreyhound Mon 12-Nov-12 01:51:11

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.

amazingmumof6 Mon 12-Nov-12 04:08:29

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

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! smile

amazingmumof6 Mon 12-Nov-12 04:08:59

I meant thanks

FadBook Mon 12-Nov-12 06:00:41

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.

Lilka Mon 12-Nov-12 08:24:28

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

Devora Mon 12-Nov-12 10:20:24

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.

Kerrigan90 Mon 12-Nov-12 12:11:36

amazingmumof6 thanks

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!

Kewcumber Mon 12-Nov-12 12:57:23

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.

Kewcumber Mon 12-Nov-12 12:59:26

sorry that did turn into a bit of an essay blush

Kerrigan90 Mon 12-Nov-12 13:13:00

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.

Kewcumber Mon 12-Nov-12 13:14:37

you have time - I know it feels like you don't but certainly time to explore the issues a little more.

Devora Mon 12-Nov-12 13:42:26

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.

inadreamworld Mon 12-Nov-12 13:51:17

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!

readysalted Mon 12-Nov-12 14:13:30

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

Italiangreyhound Mon 12-Nov-12 16:21:04

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. thanks

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.

Italiangreyhound Mon 12-Nov-12 16:46:17

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.

Italiangreyhound Mon 12-Nov-12 16:52:19

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.

amazingmumof6 Mon 12-Nov-12 17:11:46

Italiangreyhound it's all good lovey, no hard feelings! smile
I guess I just still get sensitive about it , it was 4 years ago, but still hurts ...

KateSpade Mon 12-Nov-12 17:20:19

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

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