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to make a polite request about infertility threads

(160 Posts)
lavenderandrose Mon 03-Apr-17 18:28:29

I know, it's naughty, it's sort of a TAAT but it's really AT about a lot of Ts. blush MNHQ, if I really am out of line I apologise unreservedly and will accept the thread being taken down, but it really is intended in a very genuine spirit.

I am not asking anybody to change their mind about their stance or belief on IVF funding, abortion, adoption or ethics of donor conception. Please continue to discuss as passionately as before.

But, please, please, can I explain a little bit about the 'childless people should foster / they should adopt because there are so many children needing homes' and why they are irrelevant and also potentially distressing to read.

Firstly, foster carers are marvellous. Without them, children would not be living in family homes at all but in children's homes. In a children's home, privacy can be difficult, children can feel unsettled and anxious at being in close proximity to many others especially those significantly older/with very challenging behaviour and also can become institutionalised which can make their lives as adults very difficult. To grow up with foster parents in a family home, with 'ordinary" rules and, in the best cases, having a stable childhood, is the best and these people who offer that are, put simply, amazing.

But it isn't enough to be amazing. You need to have one adult who does not work outside of the home. This is because you will be required to attend meetings and to be available should the child need you. This is not like being a normal mum to an average twelve year old, say. This telegraph article is pessimistic but also more realistic than some of the rosy glasses on here.

The final point with fostering - it isn't your child. No matter how attached you get to him or her, and they to you, you are not their parent. For someone longing for their own child, fostering is not the answer. In some ways, it's like suggesting to a single person they take your husband out for a date. OK, that's a bit of a stupid example but nonetheless fostering is not what most people think of when desperate for their own child.

Adoption is slightly different because legally and in every other sense, the child becomes 'yours.' But it isn't for everyone, and more pertinently, everyone isn't for it.

You may have seen billboard posters in your town inviting you to adopt. They imply that it doesn't take much. You just need to be a loving person - single, gay, old, young, black, white - are all unimportant. I can understand how they make people think it's possibly as easy as attending a few courses, coming home with a cute toddler and that's all great. You get your longed for child, the child gets Mummy and Daddy. What could possibly go wrong?

The problem is, not everyone who applies for adoption is approved. Like being a foster carer, you need at least a spare bedroom. You also need a verifiable support network. That proved impossible for us: so out of the running. If you have a pond, fill it in. If you smoke, this severely impedes your chances even if you have given up. (This is not me!) Things that thousands of birth parents manage to be fine with: dogs, cramped house, full time demanding jobs, high BMIs, vegan, can be enough to lose you a child. (Please note adoptive parents - 'can be' - I know many will have adopted with one or more of these things but I am just trying to illustrate they can go against you.)

But let's say you are approved. Brilliant! You can take your new son or daughter home now. But no - you have to wait to be matched. You may go through the heartbreak of a match falling through. The wait is endless. But then you finally get your son or daughter. It's a deliriously happy time, but it's also for many adoptive parents a sad one. Many will notice how few the congratulations are, how little cards adorn the mantelpiece, than with a new baby.

As the years go on you may find your child is perfect in every way, or you may find that their behaviour is a challenge. Around between 10 and 16% of adoptions break down altogether. many more limp on, adoring their child but with hurt and pain on both sides.

Please, please, don't think I'm saying anything negative about adopted children or parents. I would never do that. But it's not for everyone.

For a baby, I need IVF. It will be self funded. I understand fully why the NHS cannot pay for that. I respect your view whatever it is.

But please do not assume you can cure me and tell me that if I really wanted a child I could find thousands upon thousands of pounds, or foster, or adopt.

I work with children. For years now I have had people earnestly tell me what a wonderful mother I would be and why don't I have one. I don't mind that. Occasionally, I will need to have a difficult conversation with somebody and they will tell me I don't even have children and therefore I know nothing about nothing.

I am accepting that having children may not be possible. I will be very upset. But I can reach acceptance.

But please, don't imply this is my fault.

Again, sorry if the post doesn't come across the way I intended it to. I'm just asking people gently to not put forward fostering or adoption as cure alls.

Cocklodger Mon 03-Apr-17 18:31:38

MNHQ this post MUST stay up.
Thank you OP. I'm very sorry for your issues. flowers

Sillysausages007 Mon 03-Apr-17 18:33:21

Beautifully put. I wish you all the luck in the world on your IVF journey.

Theonlywayis Mon 03-Apr-17 18:36:27

OP I totally agree with everything you said. Also really no one questions why people without infertility issues are not fostering or adopting, yet many imply that wanting your own genetic child is somehow selfish if it doesn't come easily.
FWIW my 2 dc were conceived through self funded ivf and they have made our family complete and our dreams come true. I sincerely hope for the same for you and others in your position

MycatsaPirate Mon 03-Apr-17 18:36:56

That is one of the best posts I've ever seen on here.

I wish you well and lots of luck with your IVF.

MumW Mon 03-Apr-17 18:40:06

^What SillySausage says

CantThinkOfAName89 Mon 03-Apr-17 18:41:31

This has got to be one of the best posts iv read.

Adoption isn't for everyone, I hated when people said to us 'just adopt'. Like you walk into a shop and pick out a child. The reality is far different.

We actually did end up adopting. I didn't want to go through IVF. It is a gruelling process. We were quite young when we started the process and although over the age of 21. Our age nearly stopped us.

The matching process has to be the hardest part. We were unfortunate enough to go through a failed match. That was the point when we nearly gave up. It has all worked out now though.

I wish you all the luck in the world with your IVF journey.

WhooooAmI24601 Mon 03-Apr-17 18:41:37

YANBU at all. What a thoughtful and concise post. It really does need to stay.

(I say that as someone who was adopted as a child and who fully accepts that whilst "just adopt" seems the glib/speedy answer to fertility problems, it's rarely as easy and pleasant as rom-coms on tv would have you believe. It's not simple, it's not easy and it's not right for everyone).

DoveBlue Mon 03-Apr-17 18:41:51

I posted on another thead about those 'just adopt' comments like adopting was what you automatically did if your first choice of having a birth child didn't pan out! Well said OP. Adopting should never be a second best should always be because you really want to. Lots of people have both birth children and adopted children.
Hope IVF goes well for you OP.

ghostyslovesheets Mon 03-Apr-17 18:45:04

you are absolutely not being unreasonable - at all flowers

I work with foster carers - it's a full time job and it's not like being an ordinary parent

Adoption is not an easy journey at all

good luck with your IVF x

lavenderandrose Mon 03-Apr-17 18:45:07

Bless you all flowers relieved I haven't been flamed

CantThink, a lovely lady I used to work with had a failed match. It was awful: poor woman ended up giving so many things away she'd bought for the toddler she was expecting. She did adopt a gorgeous boy and girl in the end though. It's a loss after a fashion but not one people understand.

Many congratulations to everyone who got the child they longed for flowers

Coconutty Mon 03-Apr-17 18:45:37

Good luck OP.

VintagePerfumista Mon 03-Apr-17 18:47:09

Well said.


Pigface1 Mon 03-Apr-17 18:47:29

YANBU. Everything you have said is totally fair. Best of luck with your journey. Xxx

Universitychallenging Mon 03-Apr-17 18:48:11


SpongeBobJudgeyPants Mon 03-Apr-17 18:49:08

Well said OP. flowers

Introvertedbuthappy Mon 03-Apr-17 18:51:49

Brilliant post OP. No one ever berates those who have children with relative ease about being 'selfish' for not adopting...
Also as you point out adopting is no plain sailing. It's really really not easy as 'just adopt'.

youarenotkiddingme Mon 03-Apr-17 18:51:56

Excellently put.

Good luck in your journey and I hope ivf works out for you flowers

Wolfiefan Mon 03-Apr-17 18:51:56

How on earth is any of this your "fault"?
I have two children. I have also had two miscarriages. I count myself lucky.
It is none of my bloody business whether you have no, 1 or 7 children. If you were my friend or family member I would always be available if you needed to unload but it would never be my place to tell you what you should do regarding having children or infertility.
Good luck OP.

Introvertedbuthappy Mon 03-Apr-17 18:52:30

Oh and best of luck with your IVF treatment flowers

BeaderBird Mon 03-Apr-17 18:53:52

Can I also politely request that nobody ever uses the words 'infertility isn't an illness' again. It's classified as a disease by the WHO so please educate people on this point. Fair enough if you disagree but it is a fact so good luck with that.

StarryIllusion Mon 03-Apr-17 18:54:22

Very eloquently put and I wish you all the best in your IVF and for the future.

ellesbellesxxx Mon 03-Apr-17 18:54:40

I totally agree.

When I poured my heart out about infertility and needing ivf to people, they would always come up with "why don't you adopt?"
For some that's their first option and I respect that. For us, we were mourning that at the time we would not experience me being pregnant and having our own biological child. Adoption was a few years down the line as an option.. for us.
One person got quite vehement about "why wouldn't we adopt?" Er she hadn't either so don't judge us?

Luckily ivf worked and we are weeks away from meeting our twins but it will always rankle that people couldn't get their heads around the fact that we would like to explore ivf as an option first.

flowers op

Ilovewillow Mon 03-Apr-17 18:56:09

Well said OP I have two IVF children and I was told several times "why don't you adopt?" Children who require fostering and wish to be adopted require parents who can take on the possible challenge, this is not necessarily those that simply can't have children. As we happens we did consider it but didn't feel up to the challenge then. Now some 8 yrs later I would consider it although I suspect my age would profit

ellesbellesxxx Mon 03-Apr-17 18:56:48

And hope it works xx

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