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Adoption process and fertility treatment

13 replies

Flamingo2020 · 21/12/2020 21:42

Hi can anyone help us? We can't conceive a live birth. Long story (but lots of miscarriages) we've thought about and researched adoption for many years. But donor egg conception is still an option. We don't want to do that now, adoption is the first / next step for us but we wanted advice on what happens if we start the process and if after a few years we try Donor egg - would the Agency find out? What would happen, would we never be allowed to apply again? It's not on our agenda right now, but donor egg you can do til you're 50 ish. I can't rule out that is NEVER consider it and it's a bit harsh to say only start the process once fertility treatment is over. That's 50+ these days with donor egg options. Thanks in advance

OP posts:
ewright86 · 21/12/2020 21:59

I know that our adoption agency have asked what fertility treatment we have had in the past and agencies ask that you're not pursuing any fertility treatment whilst going through the process of adoption. Some agencies also ask that there be a significant gap between fertility treatment attempts and applying for an adoption.
It reads in your message though that you might be consideration further treatment in a few years time, so potentially after a child has been placed with you. In which case, that would your choice. Once the adoption is completed through the court, the child is part of your family and any decisions that you make in future to try and extend that family would be your own. However you may find that during the adoption process a social worker may ask/explore how a potential biological child may impact the relationship that you have with an adoptive child.

Ted27 · 22/12/2020 00:34

Once you have your adoption order then what you do is up to you.
However, it does sound like you haven't really let go of the idea of having a birth child.
What research have you done into the children that are looking for families. Most adopted children will have some level of additional needs, some more than others and at different times in their lives.
You could find that the level of need of your adopted child may be such that you would not be able to contemplate another child, birth or adopted. You need to consider how you would feel if an adopted child 'prevented ' you from having that birth child and how that could impact your relationship.
Personally I would finish any fertility treatments before going down the adoption route.
Your social worker will explore these issues with you in great depth. Yes you could just say you are done with fertility treatment, but 'fibs' are difficult to maintain. It won't be a one off conversation, and you will probably be asked to discuss it with the SW together and in separate interviews.
I don't agree that its harsh requirement - SWs want to be assured that you are fully committed to adoption and all that entails

Jellycatspyjamas · 22/12/2020 11:51

I can't rule out that is NEVER consider it and it's a bit harsh to say only start the process once fertility treatment is over.

An important part of coming to adoption is being able to process and grieve not having a birth child, because adoption is such a challenging way to come to parenthood and having a birth child after adoption places huge demands on the adopted child, who may feel pushed out or less preferred than the subsequent birth child.

It does happen that adopted parents go on to have birth children - usually completely unexpectedly, and social workers would (should) support parents to cope with the impact on their adopted child but I wouldn’t go into adoption planning at some point to revisit fertility treatment.

Once the adoption order is in place legally you can do as you please, but you’ll have a traumatised child to consider. They may really struggle to tolerate a younger birth sibling, resulting in resentment or potentially aggression or violence. The treatment process is incredibly demanding physically and emotionally - would you be able to be available to your adopted child during treatment and any resultant pregnancy, what if you continued to miscarry?

It’s not like a birth sibling having a new birth sibling, nor is it like adopting and then adopting another child. The dynamics are complex and need very careful management.

I’d think carefully about whether adoption is the right plan for you right now.

Flamingo2020 · 22/12/2020 11:53

Hi thanks for your updates. I agree the first and most important person (s) in all of this is the child, not us. And yes I need to consider the types of children that may be adopted (yes we've done nearly 3 years of research on this) with several conversations with other adoptive parents, kids, counselling, intro conversations and meetings as well as the usual web research).

And that's the rub. We've been TTC for 10 years with a LOT of miscarriages and the evidence suggests that i can't hold a pregnancy and we've been talking about adoption for these whole 10 years bec I knew it may be for us. I would never lie, but my honest conversation with a SW would be, I think I'll always hold that 5pc wonderment UNTIL I've met that little boy or girl and then I'd be thankful for our history, bec had it not been for that we would never have had THIS little person in our lives. But knowing this, I don't think there will ever be a point until the end when I'm 100pc NEVER going to think about all the ways to build a family. So I just don't see how i can only start the conversation once I'm menopausal bec then we wouldn't have the energy to raise a child with some level of needs...just wanted to get input from people who have experience in the field so thanks v much to you all for sharing so generously.

OP posts:
Flamingo2020 · 22/12/2020 11:57

And yes, I would be totally ok if the adopted child wasn't ok with having a sibling ...bec the point is to start a family and meet the needs of THAT family. I wouldn't go into it planning to go on to fertility treatment, but we can and do get pregnant, and I wanted to explore the implications of this

OP posts:
Jellycatspyjamas · 22/12/2020 12:06

There’s a thread from someone who unexpectedly found themselves pregnant quite soon after placement- it might be interesting for you to look at. It does happen.

I’d also maybe look at counselling/therapy to give yourself space to explore that 5% hope you talk about. It’s one thing to know it’s possible for you to get pregnant and another to look at donor processes, and you’ll be asked to use reliable contraception during the adoption process (which we lied about tbh). You need to consider what happens if you meet that little boy or girl and still feel a gap. Early adoption days are hard and there’s very little wonderment going on, in the midst of that challenge you may find yourself thinking it would be different with a birth child (and it would be). Take time to process the loss of the possibility of a birth child.

Yolande7 · 22/12/2020 16:12

To me it sounds as if you want to make sure you have a child, but then try again to have your first choice, a birth child. Very likely the child will experience your restarting fertility treatment as a rejection. The child might feel once more that something is wrong with them and they are not good enough.

I think when you choose adoption, it really needs to be your first choice and not just temporarily so. I am saying this as someone who quite likely could have had a birth child with fertility treatment.

Adoption is a different way of building a family. It is not like having a birth child and that's fine. My impression is that people who embrace that have a much easier ride.

Flamingo2020 · 22/12/2020 16:38

Thank you yolande, if you dont mind me asking, how did you come to a place of closure on the adoption route (choosing it whole heartedly as first choice) when you know you could also have gone down another route with fertility treatment? Im just wondering if it's a process of time (we've been in counseling also for 10 years with different people looking at different sides of the thinking) so I dont know if that's going to help further, or something happens or you just come to that place?

OP posts:
Flamingo2020 · 22/12/2020 16:58

Thanks for pointing to me to this thread. It explores a lot of the mixed emotions...and reassures me that only I will truly know my intentions and strength of awareness and time will tell. Very helpful indeed. Thank you all x

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LongerthanMrTicklesarms · 23/12/2020 01:57

Hello Flamingo, your thread vaguely reminded me of one I'd posted on before although that OP had some frozen embryos that she couldn't access.

You have been through a lot mentally and emotionally with many miscarriages. My practical question would be what investigations were done to find any possible causes.
For example, if it is a genetic incompatibility donor eggs might overcome that, but if it's an issue with the uterus that could be a waste of time (and money).

It sounds like you haven't given up on the idea of a biological child just yet, so if you coukd understand more about the reasons why it hasn't been possible it might help you either draw a line or it might make you think actually, you'll give fertility treatment a try.
I'm at the point where I'm prepared to do a few more rounds of IVF and then will see what next steps are. I don't want to set foot on any other paths until this door is closed but I'm certainly having a look at those paths. I'd agree with Yolande that you need to feel like adoption is your first choice. I'm not there now, but find it helpful to read about experiences of adopters.
If you do decide to find out more about adoption there are some very wise and kind people here. Good luck with the soul searching!

Yolande7 · 23/12/2020 17:10

I was lucky in that I come from a blended background, so I know what certain things feel like. Also, I have known adoptive families throughout my entire life, so although I was clueless about the realities, I was very familiar with the concept.

But most of all I wanted to be a mum. I would have gone to the end of the world for that. If the child was biologically mine or not was secondary to me. Yes, at first I would have liked to experience a full term pregnancy and have a baby, but by the time I had found my husband, I was in my mid 30s. I had spend a lot of time babysitting other people's small children and when we started looking at profiles I realised that I was actually more interested in older children. We are a transracial family, so we are very much out there as an adoptive family.

I am quite different from my (biological) mother plus my husband's family is quite different from mine, so I never had illusions about creating a mini-me. To be completely honest, I see the insistence on having a birth child in many people as narcissism. I know women who almost died just in order to have a birth child. I just cannot relate to that. My children are very much like me in many ways. In other, wonderful ways, they are different from me. I honestly don't think a biological child would be more similar to me or a better match. To me, my children are perfect.

Maybe you could read through some profiles? I think seeing photos and reading basic information on children can be very helpful in clarifying certain things. You can try to imagine yourself with certain children and explore what might work for you and why or why not.

Flamingo2020 · 04/01/2021 19:18

Thank you for sharing your story. That's how I feel, yes biological is a conventional way that's drummed into you, but my first intention is to raise a happy, healthy family and I'm not wedded to birthing. Never have been. I have read some of these profiles .... I think I'm scared of some of the most serious cases that the children may come from, but I think this is what I need to explore with my husband.

OP posts:
Yolande7 · 04/01/2021 23:39

I think that is is natural. It is a huge leap into the unknown. I read up on the effects of in utero exposure of all kinds of drugs and alcohol, I watched youtube videos of people having psychotic episodes and read stories of children threatening their parents with knives. That is not pretty. We then adopted children with a ton of ACEs. :-) It was the perfect match. My children are doing great in every aspect and are two wonderful people.

All these children will come from incredibly tough backgrounds. That is why they need to be adopted and that will have longterm effects (check out this free course: However, there is also a lot of hope and potential for change. But you will have to walk the extra mile, do the research, parent therapeutically and get help you need.

When it is your child, you will see many things differently. Your will love that child like crazy and know him or her better than anyone else. You will grow to understand their feelings and behaviours and you will grow along with them. I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

My children are MY children, even though I share them with their birth parents. That is something that many people from a traditional family background really struggle to understand.

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