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to ask DH to consider turning down 'the role of a lifetime' so we can adopt?

(88 Posts)
arrivehopefully Fri 30-Sep-11 22:45:49

DH and I are 32 and 37. We have recently come to the decision to start a family and have decided on adoption (for medical reasons but it is a decision we are very very positive about).

However DH has been offered a 3-year contract heading up his company's new US office. This is a massive opportunity for him and is pretty much his dream job. We have lived abroad in the past and very much enjoyed it.

If we go to the USA we won't be able to adopt while there, so would have to wait until we returned to the UK (I had hoped this wasn't the case but it is). Adoption in the UK is a far from straightforward process anyway and it could easily be another three years or more until we did become parents.

Part of me is saying, it's only three years, we should go and enjoy the time (I would be able to work as I have done before when we've been abroad), life will be financially more comfortable when we return so we'll be better placed to be prospective adoptive parents anyway. It's a big opportunity for DH.

Part of me - my 'gut feeling' I suppose - is screaming that it would be three years of limbo for me if we went. I am so ready to begin building our family. It is at the front of my mind all the time. I have had crazy thoughts about looking again at donor gametes and surrogacy which were thoughts I thought I'd worked through years ago.

But it's not immediate; if we stayed it wouldn't guarantee us anything. Except DH's resentment sad I mentioned just briefly that we definitely couldn't adopt and although he was upset he wasn't devastated like I am.

I think that if I made it an ultimatum, he would turn down the role. But I would feel really guilty and as I say it wouldn't guarentee anything. But that's what I want to do - I want to tell him we have to stay here, and start the process.

AIBU? I am honestly shocked by the vehemence of my reaction.

LeninGrad Fri 30-Sep-11 22:49:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

helpmabob Fri 30-Sep-11 22:51:56

That is a terrible situation. I think you need to sit down and have a long talk with dh, no ultimatums, no anger if possible, just what each of you feels and see where that leads.

springydaffs Fri 30-Sep-11 22:53:38

oh gosh, this is a hard one. If you go to the US, you will feel resentful; if you don't, he will feel resentful. I don't know what to suggest and hope someone comes along with some experience to offer some wise words. I hope you sort it out and I do hope one day soon you can become parents.

I know this is a long shot but if the process normally takes about 3 years, can you get the ball rolling here, ready for when you come back? Sorry if that is a ridiculous suggestion.

rhondajean Fri 30-Sep-11 22:54:58

Being a parent is the role of a lifetime too.

I think you need to work out priorities. If this is his one and only shot at it, but you know that in 3 years time you can still adopt, then perhaps you go. I mean, you could have been TTC for that length of time anyway if you were starting your family by other means.

However if the key priority right now is starting your family, you need to stay put and do it.

Only you two know how it will work for you but either way - good luck with it.

AgentZigzag Fri 30-Sep-11 22:56:02

You could see it as three years in limbo, but then once you had decided to go ahead to America, your thoughts would be focused on what a new life there would entail.

I'm not saying you'd forget about how you feel now, but it wouldn't just be a void in your life.

What are the ages they start refusing you as adoptive parents?

I saw a story in the news yesterday about how difficult adopting a child in the UK can be.

It just seems cruel to have children longing for a family, and families out there longing for a child, and 'the state' is a wedge between them, although I understand it is for very good reasons.

arrivehopefully Fri 30-Sep-11 22:56:52

Oh thankyou for the replies. DH is out tonight (in fact he's out with work people celebrating the new US office), and I'm feeling so lonely and hopeless.

I know we need to talk about it seriously but we have had so many, many serious talks about being parents over so many years. We've been so happy having made the decision. I think that's enough for DH, he's an optimist and he thinks that it'll happen one day so why not do it in three years. But it's just more urgent for me, that's the only way I can describe it, and three years feels like a long long time on top of all the years we've been trying to be parents.

And it feels like a big difference, maybe that's silly, between 35 and 38.

I think if I told DH how I feel right now he'd turn down the role but I want to make sure I'm doing the right thing if I do that.

crappyhappybabby Fri 30-Sep-11 22:58:22

IMHO, giving a loving home to a child is more important than any career or salary. Obviously nobody can tell you what to do but I hope that you can come to a decision that you are both happy with.

LeninGrad Fri 30-Sep-11 23:00:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

arrivehopefully Fri 30-Sep-11 23:01:09

AgentZigZag I know it sounds pathetic but all I ever wanted was to be a mum - I don't have a high-powered career like DH and that was a conscious decision which is ironic now sad

If we went to the US, I'd be socialising mostly at first with DH's colleagues and their wives and if it's like it was last time they'll all have familes or be childless by choice. I worry I'd be maudlin for three years and drive DH to distraction. I probably just need more going on in my life but it's almost impossible NOT to be obsessed at this point. I know it's pathetic.

LeninGrad Fri 30-Sep-11 23:01:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

helpmabob Fri 30-Sep-11 23:03:39

As Leningrad says you may want to adopt again so you do have to have another serious conversation and literally spell out the time frame. My Dh has a habit of thinking there is all the time in the world too, I find it annoying.

Is there a possibility of going through the process while there (sorry if I am so ignorant) but there might be a way.

MissVerinder Fri 30-Sep-11 23:03:39

Would you be able to do some sort of educational/work based/volunteering "prep" in the states if you went?

Working in a childrens ward as a volunteer or training in child development or something? That would look brilliant on your paperwork when you came back.

Also, it probably depends on what age you'd like to adopt as to how long it would take you to get a placement.

Boys2mam Fri 30-Sep-11 23:05:59

There have been stories in the media this week about the pitiful rates of adoption in the uk. I'm pretty sure more informed members of MN will come along and point out some more positive points to counter this but my experience is purely anecdotel.

All I can say is a Darling Friend (age 42) of my Mams has been a Nanny for 20+ years and she is still on the emotional rollercoaster of adoption. Its very much on the downturn at present and nearing the end. I also think she went down the fostering route too.

You have to preserve the core relationship. There are, unfortunately, very high chances adoption can/will not happen.

I wish you every ounce of happiness now and in the future. I hope you can reach this decision that makes you as an individual and with your DH as a team happy.

arrivehopefully Fri 30-Sep-11 23:06:20

LeninGrad exactly, it's not like when we came back to the UK we would magically be able to adopt just like that - and who knows what extra red tape there would be (or it might be easier, that's what DH says).

So it's three years and then another who knows but probably the same again, which would make me 38 and DH well into his 40s... it's just feels wrong. But so does making DH stay here, especially since it becomes a circular argument as there's no way of knowing when we'd be able to adopt (or even if, but I can't go down that route mentally iykwim), if we were here.

The medical issues are a bit unfortunate - I can't carry a baby due to issues with my uterus and DH has kleinfelter's. For a long time we thought about ICSI and surrogacy but it turns out DH is not a candidate for ICSI and adoption 'feels' right anyway. Not judging anyone else's decisions of course.

ChippingIn Fri 30-Sep-11 23:06:53

arrivehopefully - please, please stop feeling like you shouldn't feel the way you do. It does not sound pathetic that all you ever wanted to be was a Mum... it's just not 'pc' to say it these days (unfortunately).

Would donor gametes & surrogacy be possible if you go to the US? Is this a possible solution?

AgentZigzag Fri 30-Sep-11 23:08:44

Not pathetic in the slightest arrive smile

Being a mum is the only thing I feel confident I'm OK at.

DD2 took 7 years to conceive and I was 39, so I know about the longing, people are right when they call an ache, and it's not a weakness to admit to that.

You sound as though you're trying to work out whether that urgency you feel is important and real or whether it's just a distortion of maybe other things in your life (not saying this is the case, but something like making up for a traumatic childhood you had).

It's lovely you feel you can depend on your DH not to brush off your feelings, and you're not minimising his by wondering whether you should tell him how you feel and worrying about the 'cost' to him.

With that kind of consideration between you, surely you can come to some kind of compromise? smile

arrivehopefully Fri 30-Sep-11 23:14:16

ChippingIn (and others), I don't know for sure and but I think that surrogacy would be an option in the USA. Needing donor gametes could complicate things. The main issue with that is that we want to adopt! It's taken a very long time to get to this place, mentally and in terms of other people (who seem obsessed with us having our 'own' baby). So I don't want to start thinking about surrogacy/donor gametes again just now. My gut is telling me to stick with adoption. DH has especially strong feelings on it and I don't think he'd see it as a reasonable compromise either (that we explore that avenue from the US, I mean).

Boys2mam yes you're quite right - DH seems to think we'd be shoo-ins as adoptive parents and the stories in the news mean it'll be easier to be approved etc. But it's still years and years, even if we were as lucky as it's possible to be.

ElizabethDarcy Fri 30-Sep-11 23:15:49

Oh dear, what a situation sad

As someone who tried for 10 years to conceive, then looked into adoption in the UK (will be emigrating and adopting abroad as it happens)... I have been overwhelmed at the red tape... it takes about 3 years to go through... so your 3 years away... then add on about 3 years when you return... a difficult one! My heart goes out to you xxx

ChippingIn Fri 30-Sep-11 23:17:16

It's a hard one. However, I think I would be saying to DH he cannot have his cake and eat it too. (IMO) You need to stay in the UK and start the adoption process (he's being deluded if he thinks it will be any easier in 3 years time when you are 38 & 40) OR take the job in the US and go down the surrogacy route. I don't see that you have any option tbh.

ChippingIn Fri 30-Sep-11 23:20:10

I think your DH is ridiculously deluded to think that you'll be shoo-ins as adoptive parents. It's one thing to have self confidence - it's quite another to place that above the evidence of how difficult it is to adopt in the UK and how absolutely bloody unlikely that is to change in the next 10 years - let alone 3.

Have you asked anyone if there's anyway you can start the process while living in the US (for a UK adoption).

MidsomerM Fri 30-Sep-11 23:20:12

Another thing to check are the age restrictions for adopting. I could be wrong, but I have e feeling they don't like the combined age of child + oldest parent to be more than 40. If that's the case, then going to America would make it unlikely you could adopt a baby, if that was what you were hoping for.

arrivehopefully Fri 30-Sep-11 23:21:25

Well I had a google and found this which is quoting surrogacy with donor gametes (egg in that situation), at $118,000.

I think that would be an impossibility, on a personal and financial level.

ElizabethDarcy yes it's a lot to get through isn't it. Congratulations though on your future adoption, I'm so glad for you smile

ChippingIn I'd be 35 (nearly 36) when we came back - 38 is the age I'd become a mum at if we follow DH's trajectory of returning then beginning the process (we've been told three years from starting the process to placement if we are lucky).

arrivehopefully Fri 30-Sep-11 23:23:11

We can't adopt in the UK unless we're residents with no plans to leave, they wouldn't let us start - it's local-authority led in the first instance anyway.

Whatmeworry Fri 30-Sep-11 23:23:59

You know your DH has to take the role or move onto the B track, so I would start from that as a given tbh.

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