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Adopting after fertility treatment cancelled

11 replies

amb319 · 19/08/2020 09:19

Hi all,
DH and I have been TTC for 5 years. Adoption has always been on the cards for us, but we decided first to pursue fertility treatment using donor embryos in the US (DH is American, and we didn't want anonymous donation). We were due to travel in March for transfer, but that was cancelled due to COVID. Since then, it's become clear we won't be able to travel again until there's a reliable vaccine in widespread use, which we think is at least a year away (and then obviously there's no guarantee the transfer will work). So we're wondering if we should cut our losses and move on to adoption in the UK sooner rather than later.
We know this is a fairly unique situation, but we're wondering how a UK adoption agency might view this? I know they usually say to wait 6 months after finishing fertility treatment, but we still technically have embryos with our name on them in the US, so we don't know whether that would be a concern for an agency here.
We feel like we're in total limbo - we have no idea when travel might be a possibility, but are also afraid that an adoption agency won't work with us until we've fully closed that door.
Any help would be appreciated!

OP posts:
Ted27 · 19/08/2020 09:42

Hi, thats bad luck

I think all you can is ask and see what they say, but be prepared to be asked to wait the 6 months, particularly as it hasnt been your choice at this point to suspend the fertility treatment.

There was a very heated debate on here in the last few months where an SW had suggested to a family that because they still had embryos they weren't fully committed to adoption.

I would try a couple of agencies because even within agencies SWs will differ and answers can depend on who you get on the day.
Good luck

amb319 · 19/08/2020 10:13

@Ted27 - thanks, that's really helpful. I've looked up those threads you were referring to, and they're really helpful too.

OP posts:
EG88 · 20/08/2020 23:45

I would certainly second @Ted27 advice to speak to a number of agencies.
Over and over we read about waiting 6 months before moving forward with the adoption process, following fertility treatment. It felt so generic as every family is different. We made contact with SW a week after withdrawing from IVF treatment. We had a long phone conversation during which they established where we were emotionally and whether we were committed to moving forward with adoption. We ended that first phone call with a SW home visit planned and began prep group the following month.
What mattered to our SW was our commitment to the adoption process not the time lapse since IVF.
Wishing you well.

melon301 · 08/09/2020 08:19

Hi! We are also looking into adoption as our IVF didn't respond/work at all. My suggestion would be to spend a bit more time researching, there are podcasts and great books to read (I'm reading 'How I Met My Son'). It took me a whole to come to terms with the ivf not working, and then the adoption agency info evenings tend to be spread out. So it could be that you spend six months or so just doing research and getting more used to the idea, whilst at the same time processing how you feel about the IVF not being an immediate option. Good luck! X

Teacher12345 · 10/09/2020 21:01

I did read about a couple being told they should destroy their frozen embyro to show committment to adoption. Not sure what the outcome was but many agencies ask you to proof you are using contraception to show committment so I imagine this would concern some.
They will probably want to know if you intend to use it in the future.

Jellycatspyjamas · 11/09/2020 08:35

I’d echo the advice to talk to a number of different agencies about it. Some will be totally fine and some might express concerns and others will not want to take you forward without a period of reflection. You might also find that views between social workers in the same agency differ quite a bit (which is to be expected really).

Do have a think about your plans for those embryos - I don’t think it’s reasonable to be expected to destroy them (for example), but I would want to know your thoughts about what might happen there.

LongerthanMrTicklesarms · 11/09/2020 17:09

Have you enquired about the possibility of having your embryos transported to the UK and having transfer here?
If it were possible (not sure if it is) would you do it? Not for you to answer here, just to talk over with DH.

Do you know much about the adoption process? I expect that agencies would want to know your plans, like will you start the process but always have an eye on the news for travel restrictions lifting?
Personally I'd want to have the transfer(s) and draw a line under whatever outcome but I realise you've already been waiting a while.
The adoption agencies will obviously be looking after the interests of any children and it's right that they will ask your intentions, it's often said here they find families for children not children for familie
Only you and DH know in your hearts how you feel about the embryos. If you adopt a child and for some reason life means that it wouldn't be a good idea to try with the embryos in future would you be okay with that? Again just for you to consider.
Good luck with it all.

LongerthanMrTicklesarms · 11/09/2020 17:18

I should have added @amb319 that I have been TTC for a similar time, having treatment and lurking on adoption boards, not just randomly chipping in!

allfallsdown · 12/09/2020 07:24

Have you considered that waiting for the transfer might mean that you are able to have a child with no experience of developmental trauma? Even a child removed at birth has experienced loss and trauma and with that comes a range of needs. Ask yourself honestly which you would prefer?

RHOBHfan · 14/09/2020 22:36

There was a very heated debate on here in the last few months where an SW had suggested to a family that because they still had embryos they weren't fully committed to adoption

There was a thread on here some time ago where a prospective adopter was told to get rid of banked sperm (not ‘even‘ embryos - they hadn’t attempted IVF); the agency refused to take them to panel if they kept it (they said to keep it suggested they weren’t committed to adoption).

They ‘took on’ the adoption agency and ‘won’...

Shop around, OP.

amb319 · 28/09/2020 17:14

Thank you all for these thoughtful suggestions! I think for us it's very much a question of whether we stop the process with the embryos completely, not putting it off for another day. We came very close to going down the adoption route (in fact, it was originally the fact we were going to need to wait for a couple of years until we moved before an agency would accept us that made us look down other avenues and decide to pursue the embryo adoption).

At the moment, we think we're going to give the transfer one more go (once travel becomes possible) and then re-think.

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