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Sperm donor? Adoption? Or......

(37 Posts)
LockdownLiquidLunch Mon 27-Apr-20 17:46:24

........just be thankful for what we have?

Hi, I already have this running chat, but thought I'd stick it here too 🙂

First of all, I know nobody can tell us what to do and only*we*know the answer, but honestly, this decision is driving me crazy and I just can't seem to move forward, so could really just do with some outside advice.

My wife and I were pretty much dead set on sperm donation and were due to start the process this year. We are early to mid 30's and so we wanted to get a move on.

I already have a DD from a previous relationship, who has just turned 13, so there would be a big age gap. She does herself worry about this, so that's definitely something we have taken into consideration, although ultimately, this does have to be our decision.

However, after trying desperately to get our heads around the somewhat, unusual reality, that our baby will share 50% of their genetics with a stranger, (a stranger we will be incredibly grateful to, of course!) we started to really struggle and wondered if perhaps adoption was a better route for us.

If we did adopt, we would be happy to adopt an older child - perhaps siblings, but would not consider adopting a child with severe special and complex needs, as it wouldn't be fair on my DD who will soon be starting her GCSEs. As terrible as I would feel saying this, we do need to be honest and do what is best for our family, as well as the child.

Another benefit of adopting an older child would be that our adopted DC and my DD would be closer in age and my DD would be very happy about this. That's not the only reason we would be looking at adopting an older child though.

However, we do worry about how much negative reporting there seems to be around adoption. I have read so many horror stories of people's lives being torn apart. I actually did know one personally, so I would by lying if I didn't say this is a big concern for both of us.

The other option is, I suppose, keeping the status quo. My DD is finally doing well - this has been a bit of an uphill struggle to get to this stage. DW and I are in a good place, we are financially stable and enjoying having more disposable income etc. But then actually all of those positives could also be reasons we should go ahead and have another DC, one way or another.

Another positive of staying as 3, would be having more freedom I suppose. It won't be too long before DW and I aren't tied by school dates etc and that is certainly a nice thought. Oh and sleepgrinHow could I forget sleep?!

We are happy as 3, but I can't deny, something is missing and I ask myself a lot, if we decide not to go down either route, could that void be filled in another way? I.e, a new career or just generally throwing myself into something that I'm really passionate about. Something I've not done for a long time.

Anyway, I don't want to ramble on, so will leave it there for now, but I would really appreciate your thoughts and maybe experiences, if you can relate in any way.

TIA smile

OP’s posts: |
EineReiseDurchDieZeit Mon 27-Apr-20 17:51:31

Adopting older children is a minefield and should not be taken lightly. Children have generally been removed from abusive situations that leave psychological and behavioural repercussions. Often the child requires a specially designed therapeutic approach.
This could ultimately prove more disruptive to your DD's GCSE years than a newborn

EineReiseDurchDieZeit Mon 27-Apr-20 17:54:30

That is to say that regardless of saying "No" to SEN children, the children up for adoption without a specific disability, tend to be very high needs due to trauma. They won't just neatly slot in like magic.

Aquamarine1029 Mon 27-Apr-20 18:00:24

I wouldn't even consider adopting older children. I know two families that have, and it's been nothing short of a nightmare. You would have to be able to cope with all of their emotional/developmental issues, and they can be extreme. Personally, I think it's too big of a risk for your daughter's well being.

LockdownLiquidLunch Mon 27-Apr-20 18:04:15

@EineReiseDurchDieZeit, I probably should have clarified, by older I mean not necessarily a baby, so between 2&5.

OP’s posts: |
bulliedintonamechange Mon 27-Apr-20 18:06:32

I am adopted and it's the best gift you can give to an unwanted child. In return you (not always I know) will get unconditional love.

EineReiseDurchDieZeit Mon 27-Apr-20 18:09:12

Yes. Between 2-5 would/could still have trauma issues. I really think you should go to a council open day type session on adoption. In the nicest possible way, you do seem quite naive about the realities of modern adoption...

The child may have been sexually abused for example or suffered severe neglect.

Maltay Mon 27-Apr-20 18:18:26

No first hand experience but have a friend who did foster to adopt. She gets a lot of support and I believe it's becoming more common. I'm afraid I don't know much but could be worth looking into?

GrumpyHoonMain Mon 27-Apr-20 18:24:24

You need to talk to a LA. They can usually be able to give you some general info about the process and children so you can decide if you are suitable. A number of LA we spoke to before IVF said that children under 5 without SN don’t often come up for adoption - older children do but most will have special needs (whether emotional or educational or disability wise). There is also the added complication of birth families - the older the child the less likely they are to see you as a parent and the more likely they are to try and get in contact with their (often abusive and dysfunctional) birth families.

LockdownLiquidLunch Mon 27-Apr-20 18:35:20

Thanks for the replies so far.

@EineReiseDurchDieZeit, why naive? I haven't said anything that suggests I think it's easy. I haven't actually said much about it at all yet.

We have already spoken to a couple of LA. We genuinely love the idea of giving a child in need a loving and stable home. I can't think of anything nicer, but I know it's not as simple as that.

OP’s posts: |
EineReiseDurchDieZeit Mon 27-Apr-20 18:43:06

It just seems like you don't know much about the process or how it isn't that easy to find a child that slots in perfectly with your needs, when it should be the other way around.

Someone has said the same as me on your other thread, so its not just me.

I'm not being harsh, you just really need to look into more.

In answer to your overall dilemma, I would stay as you are, I think you are drastically underestimating what a significant difference a donor baby or adopted child would make to your current lifestyle.

Additionally, you think a donor baby would be harder on your DD and have more impact than an adopted child. This is very misguided, as it would likely be the reverse.

rvby Mon 27-Apr-20 18:52:10

If you're not sure that another child will be good for your family, and if you suspect that your need to "do" something could be met in another way, then please for God's sake don't throw adoption into the mix.

An older child who is looking to be adopted, needs a family that is all in, all the way. Your post is equivocal in the extreme.

I strongly urge you not to bring a vulnerable child into your family, you absolutely do sound naive and not at all in the right headspace for something so monumental.

AgentJohnson Mon 27-Apr-20 18:52:51

Children don’t come with guarantees and your aversion to upsetting your DD just makes the addition of another child riskier.

LockdownLiquidLunch Mon 27-Apr-20 18:55:03

@EineReiseDurchDieZeit, well I don't know everything, no, as we are right at the beginning of this process, but I haven't said at any point that I expect a child to perfectly slot into our lives, so I do think 'naive' is harsh. We are just right at the beginning.

However, I do believe that stating that you wouldn't consider adopting a DC with severe SN, is certainly not unusual.

And with your last point, no, that's not really correct. I said that my DD was worried about the age gap. I never said that I believed an adopted DC would be easier for my DD.

OP’s posts: |
Stinkyjellycat Mon 27-Apr-20 18:58:42

OP come over to the adoption board. We are a helpful bunch. I have an adopted 3 year old whom we adopted at 8 months. She’s the love of my life and amazing in every way. She’s bright, funny, loving and has no attachment issues. Best choice we’ve ever made.

OnlyFoolsnMothers Mon 27-Apr-20 19:01:56

Does your wife want a child with her genetics?

EineReiseDurchDieZeit Mon 27-Apr-20 19:02:53

No, I don't mean to say that saying "no SN" is unusual at all it isn't

But by that I was assuming by "no SN" you meant say children with diagnosed disability, what I was saying is, that even without a diagnosed disability, children who have been removed from families unable to care for them face complex difficulties as a result

If you are looking to adopt an older child with absolutely no difficulties at all, then I'd say you'd have a short and unsuccessful interview with your local authority

I wish you well.

LockdownLiquidLunch Mon 27-Apr-20 19:05:55

@rvby, so because I have concerns and questions, like ALL adopters at the beginning and probably throughout, I am somehow "not in the right headspace" to be an "all in" parent when it comes to adopting a DC?

I see.

OP’s posts: |
WhatWouldYouDoWhatWouldJesusDo Mon 27-Apr-20 19:08:32

Having any child is a case of Russian roulette tbh........even adopting a child that's been removed at birth could well have issues with attachment later on. You just don't know.

In the same way a birth can go wrong and you end up with a child who has life long needs......I say go for it. But weigh up the ever present risks.

lakeswimmer Mon 27-Apr-20 19:12:35

OP any child you adopt is very likely to have severe psychological needs regardless of possible disabilities. I really don't think you should consider it with another child in the house. Any kind of adverse childhood experience, even at a very early age, is likely to result in a child with a lot of challenges. (My work is connected to troubled families and children so I'm aware of the difficulties).

I read a recent thread on the MN adoption page which was heartbreaking. The poster had adopted siblings who had a very difficult start in life and by late teens the older one was uncontrollable, violent and very unhappy - despite 10 years of unconditional love from her adopted Mum. From the response of others on the thread - this isn't unusual but she didn't have other children outside the two she'd adopted.

rvby Mon 27-Apr-20 19:13:50

@LockdownLiquidLunch dude if you've already decided you are v sensible and have it all figured out, then don't ask for viewpoints.

You're talking about adopting a child of 2-5 years of age as if it will be smooth sailing? I'm really sorry, if that's your impression you're undereducated and naive. Attachment forms in the first 1-2 years of life. Attachment issues have their genesis in that time period. A child of 2 can be a ticking time bomb of special needs that you seem to be woefully uneducated on. I'm not trying to be uncompassionate to that hypothetical child. I'm say that a child of 2-5 who has been fostered etc may have very deep attachment disturbance and needs a family that puts her first and is ready for very significant challenges as she grows up.

The fact you wonder out loud if you should just change jobs etc to fill the void? Triple red flag.

But again, if you've got it figured out, then why are you here asking for viewpoints?

crispysausagerolls Mon 27-Apr-20 19:16:30

I would just do the sperm donation. You have a daughter already so let your DW be the carrier then you have both been able to experience the same/have your genetics passed down 🤷🏻‍♀️

Healthyandhappy Mon 27-Apr-20 19:19:18

Why do u not want a child with your genetics ?

Healthyandhappy Mon 27-Apr-20 19:20:35

Sorry I've missed read it not realised same sex couple. Sperm donor or family friend

Healthyandhappy Mon 27-Apr-20 19:22:55

My mums friend used to be married to a man had 5 kids. Became a lesbian and is in a relationship and the other lady didnt have kids but has health conditions so mums friend had another baby using sperm donor (turkey baster) from mums husband who doesn't have children. Works great no issues no one knows

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