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Adoption after infertility

(16 Posts)
Pinkheels Tue 03-Jan-17 16:23:24

Hi all, happy new year. We're tentatively exploring adoption following four years of ttc and 4 failed IVF cycles. DH is really keen on the idea, without any real understanding of the potential issues, and I've found it really helpful to lurk and read through some of the threads. I have to say it's given me a lot to consider and opened my eyes to some of the realities.
On our last cycle it felt like I was going through the motions, never expecting it to work yet still desperately hoping and whilst the grief is still raw, I feel I've come some way in accepting that that is it for us. We had initially discussed adoption following our second failed cycle but part of me was reluctant to not give IVF a thorough chance. In hindsight I was sucked in by the false hope offered by our clinic. It somehow feels right now to be closing the door on that chapter and I'm hoping that this year can be the year we can explore the adoption route.

I'd be really interested to hear from those who have adopted following failed fertility treatment- is there anything you wish you'd known before starting? How did you reach a stage of acceptance? Was there anything you'd suggest I do to prepare myself? I realise I will have to wait the requisite 6 months but am keen to do as much reading and preparation as possible.

Many thanks in advance!

AngelsWithSilverWings Tue 03-Jan-17 17:45:28

Hi and Happy New Year to you.

We were TTC for 7 years and had four rounds of treatment before deciding to look into adoption.

We went to an info evening and had an initial meeting with a SW but decided the time wasn't right.

We decided to stop the fertility treatment completely and see what came naturally while at the same time embracing the freedom that being child free gave us.We travelled a lot and I also decided to concentrate a bit more on advancing my career as I had let things slip a bit while having the treatment.

After a year of this I became pregnant unexpectedly but miscarried at 9 weeks.

A year after the miscarriage we realised that we absolutely wanted to be parents but couldn't put ourselves through any further fertility treatment.

We were ready to adopt.

18 months later our DS arrived aged 10 months and two years after that DD arrived.

Adoption has been wonderful for us but we waited until we were 100% certain it was right for us.

My only advice would be to be completely honest with yourselves about the age of child you wish to adopt and about the type of issues you feel able to cope with.

Stevemcqueenlikesbeans Tue 03-Jan-17 18:10:56

Hi Pink, sorry that IVF didn't work for you.

We adopted a couple of years after one successful (BC now 7) and one unsuccessful round of IVF (frozen blastocyst embryo, never expected it to work) and an unexpected natural conception ended in miscarriage.

My advice would be to work through your grief as much as you can (I don't think I gave myself enough time) and keep reading to help prepare you for the different kind of parenting adopting a child requires. Adoption UK has some helpful reading materials:

Good luck on your journey to parenthood flowers

comehomemax Tue 03-Jan-17 22:00:21

I know what you mean about going through the motions OP - we only had 2 rounds of ivf but i knew it was a very slim chance. Didn't stop the emotional rollercoaster but, like you, I was already considering my options during that time.

My advice would be to keep reading and asking questions - the adoption process is like a really hairy job interview and I found reading up on trauma, neglect and ideas on how to parent a child coming from this type if background helped us come across well to social workers.

Also, look at the type of agencies out there as well as reading up on your LA/surrounding LA's so you get an idea of who you might want to work with if you do decide to move forward.

In terms of acceptance - I had some counselling which helped. I definitely had to grieve lost children/future birth children but in some ways, the preparation for adoption prior to applying really helped me come to terms with everything as it focused me on what I really wanted - a family - rather than a birth child. It helped me realise that the genetic connection and pregnancy wasn't necessarily important to me, rather I wanted a family unit.

UnderTheNameOfSanders Wed 04-Jan-17 14:30:25

We adopted after not succeeding with IVF. We first went to an intro evening about 6 months after stopping, but it didn't feel quite right, and DH in particular wasn't ready to accept the choice wasn't birth child v adopted but was actually no child v adopted.

We waited another year, went to a neighbouring LA intro session and then proceeded with them. With hindsight the extra year was good as it enabled us to emotionally and physically recover from the IVF, and recharge our batteries ready for the adoption process which is at least as emotional as IVF.

If you are young enough to have been trying IVF you are young enough to not need to rush into adoption, whether that is 6 months or a longer wait.

We adopted nearly 10 years ago (!) and it has added so much to our lives.

Best wishes. flowers

delilabell Wed 04-Jan-17 19:16:17

I think my advice would be to give it tine. We stopped our fertility treatment in Dec 2012. Started adoption July 2013 and had our son placed June 2014. We gave ourselves time to grieve as we would never have our child from birth. We knew we wanted to adopt but needed to get over the not giving birth part.
I think I had reached the acceptance when i could openly say I was infertile. Although I'd say be prepared for theadoption process to bring things up.
(Glosses over the unplanned pregnancy last year tgat resulted in dd!)

JustHappy3 Thu 05-Jan-17 12:32:19

Another one saying go to counselling. It will help you grieve and also it will get you used to talking about personal stuff - the more open you can be with your social worker the easier the assessment process. And the better you'll be at discussing tricky feelings with your child. That's you plural by the way.
We did ivf and had a birth dc and more ivf that didn't work.

gabsdot Thu 05-Jan-17 14:30:46

We adopted after 10 years of TTC. Fertility treatment failed and we knew we would never have a biological child so we had parked that completely and had closure which was a very good thing.
I am 46 now and I worried for a long time that when it was definitely too late to bare a child would I have regrets or mourn for what I'd missed out on. However that has not been the case with me at all.
I did have some counselling before fertility treatment actually. It was helpful.

Pebbles17 Thu 05-Jan-17 14:44:11

We had 3 failed rounds of IVF (all NHS funded) Our cycles were always pretty crap so after round 2 we had already discussed adoption and really we were only doing the 3rd round as it seemed a waste not to ...

Round 3 failed and we attended an open evening 3-4 weeks later with the expectation of being asked to wait 6 months. However we felt so positive about adoption and had already accepted the loss of a birth child after round 2 that we registered our interest right away (after speaking to a SW that evening and they confirmed they were happy for us to start ) and started stage 1 just 6 weeks later.

Everyone is different, some people need more time, some less...doesn't mean that either are correct/incorrect.

Personally I have found the adoption process far less emotionally draining, far more rewarding and far easier than IVF. Our little girl came home almost a year to the day of us starting stage 1 smile

Italiangreyhound Sat 07-Jan-17 00:59:58

We have a birth dd, conceived on our second round of IUI. Then about 14 months later I naturally conceived (no assistance) but had a missed miscarriage.

We went for more IUI but we were told we would not conceive again with my own eggs. Our dd was under 2 so no one would consider us for adoption, until she was 5. After some thought we went for more IUI, (several times), an attempt at IVF and then a fresh cycle of donor egg IVF. By this time our dd was 5 and we then considered adoption afresh but decide to go for another fresh cycle of donor egg IVF.

This second cycle turned into a fresh and frozen cycle of donor egg IVF too! All this over about six and a half years.

By the end I was certainly going through the motions. I had wanted to adopt for ages, since my 20s, but just got totally hung up on having another baby.

When we stopped IVF (having run out of money and me frankly hating being injected so much) I felt relief. We waited 6 months and then went through adoption and adopted our son within 20 months. He has been with us for not too far off three years.

I would not change a thing.* (Except I would like all the money we paid back!)

I wish you all the best pink.

Italiangreyhound Sat 07-Jan-17 01:07:07

"I'd be really interested to hear from those who have adopted following failed fertility treatment- is there anything you wish you'd known before starting?"

No, but that is because I read a lot on Mumsnet before starting the journey.

"How did you reach a stage of acceptance?"

We had no more money and I just could not face any more injections, I was being injected in my stomach for imunology reasons.

"Was there anything you'd suggest I do to prepare myself?" Read some old threads here, think about what you can and cannot cope with. Get some sort of childcare experience, ideally with children not from extended family and not known to you.

"I realise I will have to wait the requisite 6 months but am keen to do as much reading and preparation as possible." Some places will expect you to wait a year, so do ask before signing up.

Plus I think we only really waited 5 months. We called at the start or emailed or something to say we had stopped treatment and would contact them in six months. But I figured if I contacted them in 6 months we would actually wait more than six months (I was keen!) and so I called after 5 months and she said she could see us quite quickly, but by this time we really were ready so away we went!

Italiangreyhound Sat 07-Jan-17 01:08:21

Mumsnet adoption threads I mean!

MrsSVN Sun 08-Jan-17 11:49:58

Hi 👋🏻

Happy new year to you all. I've been reading this thread with interest so just wanted to say hello. I feel in a similar position to you OP but for slightly different reasons. I've had recurrent miscarriages and an ectopic over the last 2.5 years. I pretty much feel as though I've accepted that our children will come to us via adoption however there are three more treatment options we can try. I have no expectations they will work but after a long chat with DH yesterday we agreed we want to make sure we've tried them so in future we can fully devote ourselves to building an adoptive family without any niggling 'what ifs' (particularly when faced with the challenges adopted children and parents can encounter!)

If we carry on at our current trajectory (2 mcs a year...this may sound a little cold but I think I've resigned myself to it) we'll be ready to start the adoption process in around 2 years (factoring in 6 months wait after last mc) which feels like forever away! We're m planning to use that time proactively to get our finances in order and complete all the unfinished DIY projects around the house...DH has a habit of enthusiastically starting a job then losing interest and starting another 😂

This is a long winded route to ask the following questions:

1) in terms of planning for finances and budgeting, when people showed their budgets etc to the SW during assessment did they factor in and plan budgets for once AC have arrived? I wouldn't even know where to start with this, any tips or am I overthinking this?

Question 2) we only have a two bed house. I was pregnant when we bought it (the day we were due to collect the keys I was in hospital having surgical management for a missed miscarriage) and the plan was always to upgrade once we were expanding the family however the plan then wasn't that we might be adopting siblings. Would only having one spare room prevent us adopting siblings?

Hope you don't mind me jumping on your thread OP?!

Thanks ladies. smile

Pinkheels Mon 16-Jan-17 21:01:54

Thanks everyone for your responses, I ended up ringing our LA to ask a few general questions, only to be told they aren't accepting any expressions of interest from those from a BME background due to a lack of children from certain ethnicities and a backlog of people approved to adopt. I was told to look into neighbouring LA's and had a really good chat with one today. We've actually been invited to an information evening next week and although I'm keen I dont think DH is quite there yet so we may wait a few months until we're both on the same page. Thanks for all of your suggestions- I feel optimistic about the future for the first time in a few years. No doubt it will be a tough journey but I hope it brings us closer to our dream. Ok, enough soppiness!

Italiangreyhound Mon 16-Jan-17 22:11:50

Pinkheels if you can find some county or authority to approve you then you may well be in demand if you are from a BME background. When we adopted almost three years ago we went to an open day in London and there were many BME background children in London etc. You could also explore a voluntary agency who may look more favorably on you.

I hope you dh will come round. But if he does not, then maybe it is not meant to be.

I love our adopted son massively, he is amazing, he is just like our birth dd in terms of position in my heart. But before we adopted I did accept that maybe if would not happen. And that gave me a sense of peace.

If your dh does come round, please, once you find an agency, look into support and especially long term post adoption support. Go with the agency you feel is best to really support you, even it takes long to find or you (or they) have to travel a bit to get to meetings etc.

The first bit, a year or two (whatever) is the short bit. So inconvenience in the early stages is not the end of the world but lack of support can be really, really hard.

We were lucky, we had a county council that have been brilliant and have totally supported us.

All the best. smile

user1497036202 Sat 08-Jul-17 09:50:18

Hi pink heels i wondered what you ended up doing? X

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