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Adoption social work ask for embryos to be destroyed

(249 Posts)
patrick80 Sun 29-Dec-19 15:55:15

My DW and I have been trying to have children for years without success. This culminated in us spending a lot of money on IVF which too was unsuccessful. We decided that the emotional stress (and financial stress) was too much and so gave up on IVF. Now a couple of years later we are going through the adoption process and obviously the IVF came up. During a discussion with the social worker, it was mentioned that we had some frozen embryos which are still being stored (not that we have any plans to use them). The SW told us it would count against us unless we had them destroyed. I am being unreasonable in thinking this request was completely unacceptable?

OP’s posts: |
Rainallnight Sun 29-Dec-19 15:56:30

Try posting on the adoption board. You’ll find lots of people who have adopted after IVF and come across the same situation. I’ve adopted but not after IVF.

GenderfreeJoe Sun 29-Dec-19 15:57:07

Why on earth would it count against you? That's appalling.

PurpleFlower1983 Sun 29-Dec-19 15:57:14


T0tallyFuckedUpFamily Sun 29-Dec-19 15:59:27

That’s horrendous. I don’t know how adoption works, but I honestly can’t see how that would go against you! Would they ask a women to tie her tubes, just in case she got pregnant?

GrumpyHoonMain Sun 29-Dec-19 16:00:57

It’s not unacceptable because the only reason you stopped IVF was financial - if you won the lottery / got a hefty inheritance or redundancy pay out, the assumption would be that you would try to use those embryos and as their priority is the child (and not you) they are right in asking you to remove the temptation. Note that in my area - we are asked upfront if there are any frozen embryos and told to delay application until we have used them up / decided to destroy them. It’s an emotive decision and probably not one to make while you’re on a tight adoption timeline.

WTCT Sun 29-Dec-19 16:01:47

SlightlySleepy Sun 29-Dec-19 16:05:03

Totally unreasonable. They are desperate for adopters, but seem to put any pretty obstacle in the way of people who would be perfectly good parents. In my experience it almost felt like they were enjoying watching us jump through all their insane hoops. One social worker would see a random issue as a make or break situation and the next would see the same issue as irrelevant.

SchrodingersBox Sun 29-Dec-19 16:07:46

Historically I think there were issues of people going through both adoption and IVF simultaneously and rejecting a child they'd agreed to adopt when the IVF worked.

Cryingoverspilttea Sun 29-Dec-19 16:09:25

I'd rather go through 36 rounds of IVF than the adoption process tbh.

Whyhaveidonethis Sun 29-Dec-19 16:15:08

I was going to adopt a friend's child. Social services wanted me to give up work until she was 5 (I didn't for my own 3 dc), and also sell my rental property to go ahead with it so I could pay for nursery!! Needless to say I declined and luckily the mother sorted herself out and kept the baby. No wonder people don't adopt.

user1493413286 Sun 29-Dec-19 16:16:19

I think the question is why are you keeping them? If the answer is that you plan to use them in the future then there’s an obvious impact on an adopted child and it’s fair for a social worker to question this. At the end of the day an adoption social worker is there to make sure that a child is provided with committed parents who can manage the trauma they’ve been through and they need to be sure that you aren’t going to decide to go through IVF again when a child isn’t fully settled and destabilise a home.

ferntwist Sun 29-Dec-19 16:17:12

That’s absolutely outrageous. Unethical and wrong of them to put that pressure on you. YANBU

patrick80 Sun 29-Dec-19 16:17:23

@GrumpyHoonMain read what I wrote finances were only a factor. The main reason we stopped was emotional stress. Unless you have been through IVF its hard to understand how emotionally draining it is when it fails.

OP’s posts: |
EL8888 Sun 29-Dec-19 16:18:45

That’s very unreasonable and playing god literally with peoples lives. Is this an official line / policy or the social workers own personal opinion?

Not going to lie, this kind of nonsense is what puts me off adoption.

ArranUpsideDown Sun 29-Dec-19 16:22:24

Is this an official line / policy or the social workers own personal opinion?

I would need to see the official policy as well to judge this.

NorthernLightsInWinter Sun 29-Dec-19 16:22:46

Very unreasonable.

SimonJT Sun 29-Dec-19 16:23:28

If you aren’t going to use them then why keep them?

I am an adoptive parent, I had to prove I was using long term reliable contraception and agree not to conceive a biological child during the process and if I did the process would be automatically stopped. I am a gay man.

As an adoptive parent, if the process is too difficult for you then you will not cope with an adopted child and all the awful things it brings due to trauma.

FruitcakeOfHate Sun 29-Dec-19 16:24:41

I wouldn't adopt if they told me that.

tillytoodles1 Sun 29-Dec-19 16:24:44

The same thing happened to a friend of mine. They don't want you to start the adoption process unless you are sure that you will go through with it, Having frozen embryos is not acceptable, it's one or the other.

GrumpyHoonMain Sun 29-Dec-19 16:25:13

@ patrick80 - I have been through IVF. Went through multiple cycles and explored adoption too which I found far more stressful despite not even getting to the application stage. I think it’s fair for them to ask you to destroy the embryos as they are thinking of the child - it’s up to you to decide what to do. In my case the need to destroy my embryos to adopt made me return to IVF and I got pregnant soon after, but I spoke to plenty of adopted parents who chose the opposite.

Tomselleckhaskindeyes Sun 29-Dec-19 16:25:17

You may be dealing with a child with attachment issues and have gone through a trauma and a number of rejections and relationships breaking down. It is not an easy option.

Mummyoflittledragon Sun 29-Dec-19 16:26:10

I agree it must be tough. I had no intention of using my embryos but it still hurt to say goodbye to them. However they only want people truly invested in the process. How would they even find out?

FenellaVelour Sun 29-Dec-19 16:27:31

Historically I think there were issues of people going through both adoption and IVF simultaneously and rejecting a child they'd agreed to adopt when the IVF worked.

Yes, this is why they would be asking.
Children who are adopted are highly likely to have specific needs linked to early trauma. The social worker will be wanting to see your commitment to the child, and not that you will continue to pursue your own biological child through IVF, which could impact on your parenting of the adopted child.
I understand it’s highly emotive though and worth deeper discussion. They should at the very least have explained this to you.

NoHummus Sun 29-Dec-19 16:28:04

It's usual to ask this of adoptive parents, and if you think it's unacceptable then you are not ready to adopt.

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