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Adoption versus ivf

(15 Posts)
lugo40 Wed 30-Dec-15 01:51:24

Hello
I'm wondering if anyone can offer and advice or wise words based on your own experience. We have male factor infertility and waiting to see a specialist to discuss options. We're researching options and just not sure ivf is for us... But feel were not trying hard enough if we don't do it. We're wondering if we should not push nature, accept our fate to not have a biological child but Persue having a family through adoption... Anyone offer any advice? Did you try fertility treatment or like us decide to go for adoption instead?

Thanks!

sarahlux Wed 30-Dec-15 10:34:00

We were in the exact same position with male factor infertility. After lots of soul searching we decided that ivf wasn't right for us and took the adoption road.
We don't regret it at all. We're both fairly young so do have plenty of time to do IVF if we want too. But I don't ever think we will.

Biology wasn't a massive issue for us, we just wanted to be a family.

You need to do what's right for you both. Look on forums and do lots of reading on adoption. Parenting an adopted child can be very different to parenting a biological child. Most children in the system will have suffered trauma in one way or another. Some authorities are not taking on adopters who want babies as there isn't any.

Good luck with what ever you decide smile

UnderTheNameOfSanders Wed 30-Dec-15 14:06:36

We had unexplained infertility and did a number of rounds of IVF.

IVF isn't easy, the medical side is stressful, tiring, and possibly expensive. With no guarantee of success. But if you do succeed you will get a baby who's medical history and genetics you know. Once you have the baby I would imagine you can 'forget' about how it was conceived.

Adoption is also stressful with no guarantee of success. Adoption is always 'there' you can never 'forget' about it.

From a biological point of view, you probably can't look at adoption, then if it doesn't pan out, go back to IVF (unless you are young). But many people do get to adoption via IVF.

Very glad we adopted. smile

mintleaf Wed 30-Dec-15 17:48:00

We had a similar dilemma to you, only as a result of recurrent miscarriages rather than infertility. We opted to go down the adoption route fairly 'early' in our journey (I.e after 3 miscarriages and without having done any investigations etc). Similarly to you we felt biology didn't matter and it was the experience of parenting/being a family that we were after. We therefore applied to adopt.

One thing I will say that we learned though our early research into adoption was how different that experience of parenting can be (from conceiving and parenting a biological child), so I'd be inclined to do loads of research before making your mind up. Some people for example are put off when they learn details regarding the difficulties adopted children often have, and even we had a wobble when we learned how much contact with biological parents is encouraged following adoption (when appropriate). How about going along to an adoption evening run by your local council - or pottering around these boards for a bit.

We were actually turned down as adopters, for reasons I accept and understand even if I don't fully agree with them. I was completely devastated - it's therefore worth noting that applying to adopt does not mean that you'll be successful and that can be really painful, particularly if you've got to the stage where you've seen childrens details and started forming little attachments.

Following our rejection we then went back to investigations re. the miscarriages and I'm now 23 weeks pregnant - keeping my fingers tightly crossed that maybe all will be ok. I think when I look at my little baby I will occasionally think to myself 'thank goodness they rejected me - imagine my life without this little child'. However I fully believe that had a child come to me through adoption I would have also occasionally thought to myself 'thank goodness for those miscarriages - imagine my life without this little child'. But that's my personal opinion based on my experiences, my understanding of adoption and my feelings towards adoption. It's hugely personal - and even you prob won't know for sure what's 'right' for you - probably because there isn't a right answer so much as what you end up doing will end up being the right decision if you see what I mean. All you can do is learn as much as you can about both processes and then follow your gut - terrifying as it is.

Wishing you all the best whatever you decide. Both journeys are tough.

GodMother78 Wed 30-Dec-15 18:15:05

Both DH and I have infertility issues. Consultant said IVF would be our best bet. However for us we felt it would be to stressful with limited sucess due to our combined fertility issues . So we have just started on our road to adoption. I think you have to think can you cope with the stresses either option brings as neither has a cast iron guarantee.

Italiangreyhound Wed 30-Dec-15 19:00:50

lugo40 we have a dd aged 11 through IUI and we tried IVF and IVF with donor eggs to have a second child. Many rounds of IUI followed by one IVF attempt with my eggs and two fresh and one frozen cycle with donor eggs all ended in failure and we adopted ds 20 months ago aged 3, nearly 4.

I am very happy things worked out for us but I would always advise you to be very sure you do not want to go down the IVF route before you reject it.

It is possible to explore adoption into your late 30s, early forties and beyond! In fact all adopters I have encountered bar about one couple were in their forties.

We adopted ds when both dh and I were 49. Normally fertility treatment works best when the 'egg supplier' (sorry but it is the age of the age that is key) is younger, so if you want to go down the IVF route then you are best to do it sooner rather than later. (May I ask how old you are, please?).

For me the treatment that worked with IUI was when I was late 30s. Having donor eggs meant that my age became much less relevant in the whole process, IYSWIM.

I am happy to answer any questions here or by pm.

Italiangreyhound Wed 30-Dec-15 19:12:43

I would say the most relevant bit in your post is when you say "...not have a biological child." The child would be your biological and genetic child. It is your dh who would not have a genetic link to the child. You know that but it sounds like you are taking on his 'role' in this or perhaps identifying with him and I wonder if this is because you feel your 'part' in it is not so relevant?

If you have a child biologically and genetically related to one of you, you would not just know half of the child's history and biology, which could be most helpful. (For me, if the treatment had worked, we would have had a child which was dh's genetic child and my biological child - so again we would have known half the medical history). But also with egg or sperm donors you usually know the history (and Likewise with our adopted child) but with a child you have had through a pregnancy you also know a fair bit more, the pregnancy history and many things relevant. You also know things about risks. Adapted children do sometimes arrive in your family with their own risk history of potential drug or alcohol abuse in vitro, and with experiences you may or may not know about. These are all things to think about and discuss with your dh.

It really is up to you and your dh, the desire to have a biological child for you, to experience pregnancy etc. Would you consider a donor embryo so you were neither of you related to the child genetically? Just a thought, dh and I considered.

If you do not go for treatment, might you resent your dh for not 'allowing' you to go through this - if you opt for adoption? Might he resent you for having a baby with donor sperm if you do go for treatment?

Please read up on all the factors and be honest with each other about how you want to proceed. It is a very big thing, a big factor, I feel, so you both need to know you are being totally honest and listening to each other.

One of the reasons you need to know you are 'over' your desire to have a child by pregnancy before you actually adopt is because adoption takes all your energy in the early days and the child's needs are paramount. So you need to be sure you are ready for the child and won't secretly be unhappy they are not your biological child. But I am sure you know that.

lugo40 good luck making this difficult decision.

Mintleaf good luck with the pregnancy, all the best.

Hels20 Thu 31-Dec-15 11:24:51

Italian, OPs DH might be genetically related to child - just because male infertility is a factor does not mean OP would definitely need donor sperm.

Lugo - we came to adoption after 7 IVF rounds (I kept on pushing the goal posts...we were only meant to have 3).

I agree with everything above - but if you want a baby rather than a toddler or even older child, then you are highly unlikely to get that from adoption. There is a severe lack of children under 3 or 4 "available" - in part because of a couple of court cases at end of 2013 re B and re B-S.

Parenting an adopted child can be v different to parenting a biological child (or so I have been led to believe). They will almost certainly have some sort of damage - DH and I adopted - on paper - a pretty straightforward child and whilst it has brought be so much joy, we have had some challenges. Even people who adopt babies have had some problems - and the younger the child you adopt - the more uncertainty it brings - what really happened in utero? (Drugs and alcohol). What is the medical history of the family? So much is unknown.

IVF is intrusive but lots of people get through it.

I think if you are serious about adoption, be prepared to be challenged by the reviewing SWs as to why you don't want to go down IVF route, how you have grieved for your loss (not having a bio child).

Good luck.

Bessborogirl1 Thu 31-Dec-15 11:45:09

wordpress.com/post/bessboroughchildwordpresscom.wordpress.com/2

Really worth having a read x

lugo40 Thu 31-Dec-15 12:23:58

Hi all, thanks so much for commenting. This is such a hard time and such a difficult decision.

We have an appointment in February to talk about icsi and risks etc. once we know if it's possible then we need to know risks and then can decide if it's risks were willing to take just to have a child genetically ours. It's something we both think is not worth pushing for if there are significant risks involved and although internet is good would rather hear from the consultant in February.

Adoption is seyhing we've always been open to even before finding out about infertility. I work with looked after children so I know about the struggles and challenges they face. We are happy to adopt siblings and older children- no real desire for a baby in that sense.

What I am very thankful for is how close this has made our marriage, we talk a lot about how we're both feeling and I don't feel I could ever resent dh for something he has no control over. So far were both on the same page regarding adoption and fertility treatment. The difficulty is knowing when you stop thinking so but Ivf in order to start the adoption process.,I guess it's just something you know and hard to predict when that may be.

Italiangreyhound Thu 31-Dec-15 13:13:22

Hels20 re Italian, OPs DH might be genetically related to child - just because male infertility is a factor does not mean OP would definitely need donor sperm. Oh yes, good point, my apologies. That was a big mistake on my part, of course. I misread it and got it fixed in my head the wrong way.

If you can use your OP's sperm, however retrieved (and maybe ICSI if necessary) I would definitely consider this as a real possibility as many of my comments were based around using donor sperm! blush

lugo you said 'just to have a child genetically ours' is that how you feel about pregnancy too, etc, that it is not a big part of the process? Re 'risks' can you explain more, if willing to, what kind of risks? All parenting has risks. But some ar more seriou, e.g. risks to health from pregnancy etc.

All the best with whatever you decide.

winterswan Thu 31-Dec-15 13:40:12

It's unclear in your opening post whether you believe that your only route to parenthood should be via adoption because of some steering (for want of a better word) of nature. Many people have this view of IVF, that it is in some way interfering with nature and what should have been.

I strongly disagree but the point is that I'm not you, so you may feel differently!

We attended an adoption open evening and retreated in terror, to be honest, so I'd suggest going on one of those! At least you'll know what you're getting yourself into!

We start IVF in 2016!

Italiangreyhound Thu 31-Dec-15 13:59:09

Good luck Winterswan.

I think the evenings are intended to make sure only those who really want to pursue adoption, do so.

I've done a selection of both - assisted conception - IUI (successful), IVF (unsuccessful), and donor IVF with Icsi I think (unsuccessful) and adoption, (successful).

It's what is right for the individual.

I agree with Winterswan. that some feel "...IVF, that it is in some way interfering with nature and what should have been." and that this view is wrong. Just like anyone having a heart op or kidney transplant to prolong their life is not 'interfering with nature' but rather making a positive change to a life that is within their control (like reading glasses, hearing aids......).

But each to their own.

GoldieGirl Thu 31-Dec-15 14:05:59

Hi Lugo: we went down the IVF route for similar reasons, after a couple of unsuccessful attempts we didn't pursue it anymore even though we could have done, we simply felt it wasn't right for us. Our journey to adoption was a lengthy one and many years after failed IVF. I think we got to the point where we wanted a family and for me, due to age and other factors carrying a child myself wasn't an issue for me any longer. It's a highly personal choice, I have no problem with IVF, but for us it wasn't going to be the way we would have a child.

I do think you need to be a place where you have moved on from the desire to be pregnant and give birth yourself, but this would be explored if you made a step towards adoption - ie had an initial consultation with an adoption agency. If you aren't sure yet then maybe continue to explore both options, take time to do a lot of research, talk to people who've done both, then ultimately you will know which path to take. Adoption is much, much more though than another way to have a child.

lugo40 Fri 01-Jan-16 12:36:52

This thread has really helped me to see I'm not ready yet to make the decision about adoption, but the door is very much open. It's on my mind as a real option but before we need to see the consultant find out more about if icsi is possible, what it involves, risks etc and then have time to process. The slow processes are actually a good thing really.

I'm definitely not anti ivf. When j say risks I'm just very nervous of it all. I am a nurse and once worked in s neonatal unit and a large proportion of the babies admitted were Ivf babies. That may be just that hospital as it has a fertility clinic attached. Or maybe as it was ten years ago and things have improved ie the one at a time campaign. We're also nervous that maybe there's a genetic reason dh has severe oats , his sperm was never meant to fertilise an egg so by forcing it to with icsi what risks are you exposing the child to? And Is that worth the risk? All things to talk to consultant about and then spend time thinking over. I'm 31 so we have some time on our side.

As I work with looked after children now I know just what risks they have given there early experiences and exposures which led to them be looked after. And so many unknown risks.

I guess I can now see I am still in the information gathering stages and not at the decision making stage. I will visit this board regularly to read posts from others which may help and when time is right will go to an adoption evening.

Thanks all and a happy new year

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