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Approved to adopt and grieving infertility(36 Posts)
Looking for some support/guidance please.
My partner and I were approved to adopt on Friday which we are delighted about but since then I've had this overwhelming grief about being infertile. I feel so guilty about it as I'm really looking forward to adopting and thought I had put being infertile to bed. When loved ones congratulate us I smile and say how pleased and excited we are (because we are, we have so much love to give and feel like I love lo already) but at the same time I'm dying inside with grief and dreading hearing of another pregnancy announcement that comes and goes full term before we get a little one.
Has anyone else experienced this?
I can only speak for me and say I can't quiite remember how I felt. We attempted to go through adoption six years ago, we have a birth dd who was 5 and we got as far as the open evening. I was not ready so we waited for another round of ivf with donor eggs (we had had one round with donor eggs, one attempt with my eggs and many attempts at iui).
Fast forward just over two years and we started the progress when dd was seven and adopted ds (3 at the time) two years later. In that two year space we had a fresh and frozen cycle donor ivf, both of which failed.
If this feeling has just suddenly popped back into your head then it may be due to stress or strain and a reaction to the enormity of what you are doing.
Are you normally the sort of person who sabotages your own plans, getting so far before stopping? Are you normally level headed and know what you want?
I can honestly say now, two and a half years into adoption, I am not sorry our treatment failed and we ended up adopting. But our situation is different to your situation and I know for some people who have not had a birth child it can be very difficult to accept. But for some accepting and moving on is absolutely the right thing to do.
If the feelings persist I would seek some specialist counselling. Because being found out doing something is more serious (in this situation) than actually admiring to doing it, IMHO I would tell the social worker you are thinking of having some counselling. As the counselling situation is private and confidential you should be able to do this without revealing too much, but you may need to put the adoption on hold to do this. So you must discuss with your partner (unless you are adopting alone) about all this before speaking to social services.
In your shoes, if I really could not get over that grief alone, I would probably speak to social services about dealing with the grief of not having a birth child and would use counselling to explore if this is right for me or not.
I don't know if you have had fertility treatment or not, and how much. We had a lot of expensive treatment and it all failed after dd (I was 39 and iui to have dd). So I am purely speaking from my perspective.
Ah bless you, we're two years into adopting, and despite having a two year gap between ivf and starting the process, sometimes it still hits me like a train. Don't get me wrong, I adore my LG and wouldn't be without her, but I watched the new Bridget Jones film last week, and welled up at the scan and birth scenes.
It does get easier, the moments get less,maybe being approved is the final stage of acceptance for you, but I'd still get some counselling now. Adoption can be tough going (but lovely), and the process isn't the romantic dream of starting a family that you'd probably hoped for. It's a new dream that you're embarking on, but give yourself a chance to grieve.
Tbh in the new adoption climate of waiting for a match, I wouldn't tell your SW, I'd just quietly get some counselling and not show interest in any matches for a few months.
My grief from infertility didn't go until we had actually adopted and had ds in our home.
The good news is that it completely disappeared for me. He healed me.
I also felt any desire to be pregnant or have a newborn evaporate once DS came home. He is my baby. But it didn't go away until then. (I didn't tell SW!)
dinky is probably right about not telling social worker. Really counselling should be private and it could be about anything.
Don't get me wrong, I adore my LG and wouldn't be without her, but I watched the new Bridget Jones film last week, and welled up at the scan and birth scenes.
I did too. particulary at the 'dad's' reactions, which my H never got to experience. I kind of had a SOH loss at that point tbh.
I wouldn't tell the SW either. No good ever came out of being 100% honest. I'm sure deep down you've done all your accepting otherwise you wouldn't have been approved. It's just the enormity of the occaison has thrown you a curve ball.
Thanks everyone for telling me your stories and normalising these feelings, I think it is the enormity of it that's hit me. Its like the final hurdle in putting the infertility to bed. I'm going to look into counselling.
I'm a few years into adopting and still have that grief. Some days it's awful, other days barely there. To me it fits the very definition of grief, as I've gone through the motions but it will never go away. I can happily live with mine, but of course if yours is affecting your happiness then counselling might make a difference
The feelings of grief are subsiding again, I think it took me for surprise as it's the first time it returned. Thanks everyone, very excited to see where the adoption journey takes us next. X
That is so great. Really hope you will feel a sense of peace about it all.
One of the things i found most helpful in our adoption training was their explanation of how you don't emotionally travel away from an awful life experience in a straight line. But rather you circle around it - in very tight circles at first but then as time passes in bigger and bigger loops, but you never leave it behind iyswim.
It made a huge amount of sense to me and stopped me beating myself up for being upset when i was upset or memories were triggered by events which in themselves are very good. Hope you find it useful.
Added a diagram as not sure i explained it well - it's a theory with a proper name but can't remember it.
Thanks Italian. Justhappy3 That actually does make sense, thanks for simplifying and for the diagram. I can apply past events to this and can see how grief applies to this theory too.
Hello, may I join this thread? Just wanted to say that I relate to your feelings. My Hubby and I now realise our best chance of a family is adoption. I have spent the last few days feeling very emotional indeed that we won't have a pregnancy or those few early years, and that I can't carry my DH's baby, even though we very much believe that adopting a child, or siblings would be an amazing and rewarding thing to do.
Hi Hillbilly73, so are you in the early stages of adopting? We explored ivf and got to top of the list at the fertility clinic and decided it wasn't for us and when we shut the door on that it was like a black cloud had lifted.
I really feel your pain. Be kind to yourself. I try to find silver linings in things. At the moment all my friends and siblings have young kids and tied at home while DH and I are good to ourselves with weekends away and holidays and nice meals etc (while we can) and in the scenario that we are matched with a child at the older end of our scale (0-4) I think how amazing to have a years adoption leave and actually do fun things to bond other than eat, sleep, poop, repeat. I also don't put myself in situations that I know are going to tip me backward if I'm not feeling strong like baby showers, christenings etc although this year I've felt more up for these events.
I hope you're okay x
Hi OP, I don't have any experience of the adoption route, but all I know is that I often think I have come to terms with infertility and our childfree life. I even find myself happy with it when I hear about the troubles and heartache and drudgery parenting can bring, and love spending time with my nephews and nieces in my role as their favourite and cool auntie. But it hits you right in the heart when you least expect it, especially now I realise that probably I am too old to be a first time mum even if a miracle should occur, and I wouldn't actually cope very well. I think I have come to realise that I will always be deeply sad I never had my own children, and learning to accept that sadness doesn't mean it hasn't gone.
All very jumbled but I can completely understand your sadness. It's as though you're putting to bed that part of your life and accepting it will not happen, even while at the same time as being excited about the next part. All the very best x
In fact, JustHappy's diagram explained it perfectly!
although i didnt suffer total infertility as i have one birth child miracle i didnt concieve again and we have a beautiful adopted second child who has been with us a year . love them both without any difference ........ but i did cry at bridget jones baby at the scan , because i wasnt there for my second childs scan obviously .....
Sukey I hear you, auntie to plenty and so proud of them all. Thanks.
Meandyouplustwo, I'll think I'll be giving Bridget Jones a miss this now!
Oh bollocks, just made a date to go and see it on Monday. Maybe I'll go to the loo at that part! My cinema going chum knows all about my fertility woe though.
We are fifteen years into the adoption process. We have two adopted boys and we adopted due to infertility. I have to be completely honest and say I wish I had never gone down this road. If you have birth children and adopt it's a completely different thing. Those parents already have a child born from them, who maybe has their looks, their ways, their mannerisms, and who has not suffered attachment issues. They don't spend the rest of their lives wondering if the birth children they could never have would have been different. Especially during the bad times and there will be plenty of them. As a man, I often feel I have surrendered my 'right' to fatherhood by sticking with a barren wife. Sorry to sound harsh but it's the truth. I also wonder, if I had the financial freedom to do so, if I should pursue my dream and find someone else. As the sole earner I work my butt off for children who aren't mine and who give me more than my fair share of trouble that other people (friends, family etc.) don't seem to have. They are so much closer to their birth children, closeness that I don't even feel entitled to have. Grandchildren won't be any more 'mine' than the children are, if it ever happens. When we go to the school because the kids have been in trouble again. they used to look at my wife and I, wondering why eloquent, intelligent parents (their words) produced such offspring. It isn't usual, they tell us. When we told them our children were adopted, they visibly relax. As if to say 'now we get it'. The disparities are more obvious than I ever thought possible. Am I supposed to love them as you'd love birth child? With your whole heart? Can you, even? Adoption benefits SS, whom you save squillions in foster care fees, but when it comes to getting help, they conveniently forget this. I still can't watch births on TV, can't bear the joy of other men granted the gift of fatherhood. Congratulations on being approved, but don't for one moment imagine that you're 'over' the idea of a birth child, or that your partner is.
Ina it's really sad to hear you feel like that but everybody's journey is different. My children are both 100% mine (one adopted one birth) as will grandchildren and I love them equally,honestly despite any issues.
It sounds like youve had a really rough time with very little support.But the comment about your "barren" wife. Jeez. Having been in those shoes the guilt is eniugh without knowing your husband resents you too.....
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