Advice on adoption

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I am hoping you can help me.

I am currently trying to find out more about adoption.

In the last 18 months my husband and I have unfortunately had 2 unsuccessful attempts at IVF. We were told that I only realistically had between a 2-5% chance with my own eggs. However, they did advise me of other options, donor egg which would provide a 50% chance, but still no guarantees, or adoption. The fertility clinic were able to provide me with information about donor eggs.

Following this, we decided to have a holiday to try to relax and think about our options. I would be happy to progress with donor eggs, but when I think of this, I then think of all those babies/ young children/toddlers in care, through no fault of their own and all they want is a loving home (one we have to give, and are lucky enough to still have two sets of parents who have so much love to give to a grandchild) and the money we continue to invest in IVF, could be invested in a child’s future if we were to adopt.

I have advised the fertility clinic that we need more time to make this very important decision, and in the mean time I am trying to find out as much as I can about adoption to help us to ensure we make the right decision. Any advice anyone can give, would be much appreciated.

6 users have supported this.

Firstly Hi...

You've come to the right place to ask questions - probably a good idea to have a general read of the boards and look at the experiences of everyone at the different stages.

A few thoughts just now

- The process to application and approval is quite long and intrusive. One of things they would need to be sure of is that you had moved on from your infertility journey and there is usually a waiting time from ending treatment to starting the adoption process (when we were approved it was a year). There are also age cut offs for adoption, so if you are nearing these, its wise not to delay.

- Children will not be tiny when you adopt them - generally the youngest children available are about 12 months old.

- At the moment, there is a shortage of children available to adopt and many that are "hard to place" ie older children, sibling groups, disabilities so competition even to go through the approval process is huge. This could change - the opposite was true when we applied nearly ten years ago.

- Most of the children who are adopted will come with additional needs due to their birth family medical histories and their in utero and early life experiences. All of this can mean they are especially challenging to parent and issues such as violence, eating, sleeping, soiling and defiance are fairly common - although there are more positive stories too....

The next thing I would recommend is to contact your LA and go to an adoption information evening and see how you feel after that...it will give you more information on which to make a decision, although you don't need to then use your LA as your adoption agency - before doing that I'd recommend getting in touch with a few locally and see what suits you best.

Good luck - I remember making a similar decision - we decided enough was enough and chose to adopt, but its a very personal choice.


9 users have supported this.

Ditto Bop.

Also please be aware that these children waiting in care have very uncertain futures. It is entirely possible that a child you adopt at 9-12 months old, who seems happy and thriving, may go on to display learning difficulties, a disability that you had previously said you wouldn't consider (autism and ADHD are prevalent in adopted children as, increasingly, is foetal alcohol spectrum disorder). Persistent behavioral and psychological difficulties are so common in adopted children it is easier to count up those without difficulties than with.

You will always have another family in the shadows, and as a teen your child may seek them out and even attempt to return to them at 16+.

In otherwords it WILL NOT be anything like parenting a child who has been born to you, who you have nurtured from conception. These children are neglected and abused from conception and the impacts are lasting. You need to be able to accept a huge amount of uncertainty and be a very robust couple and be ready to be robust parents.

It's a great thing to do, and I think most of us love our AC immensely, but they make our lives challenging. It's a very different way to make a family, many of our kids will continue to need support into adulthood when our peers are waving their kids off to uni and beyond. Certainly for two of my friends with adopted kids who are now pushing 30 with kids of their own, their parents in their 70s are still providing significant levels of emotional, practical and financial support to them.

I would exhaust the options you are undecided about first personally.

Good luck

4 users have supported this.

Having been through the whole assisted fertility rigmarole I know how hard and stressful it can be. However it pales into insignificance when it comes to the adoption journey which is even longer and more arduous.

I adopted because I wanted to be a mum. Not for any altruistic reasons. I just wanted to be a mum - the method wasn't that much of a big deal. I wasn't too bothered about the whole pregnancy and childbirth thing. Are you?

I was fortunate. I had three babies. All healthy. Meeting milestones. Easy to place etc.

Well easy to place babies do not translate into easy to parent children! Two are now diagnosed asd, one with ADHD and none of them have been easy.

If you want a healthy, easy to parent baby/child then I'd exhaust all your fertility options first. Adoption is a very dufferent type of parenting - all children will have suffered loss and trauma, most - if not all - will come from families with a long history of dysfunctional behaviour. Lots will have a rather dodgy genetic history. Drug/alcohol abuse in utero. Think Jeremy Kyle and you won't be too wrong.

I adore my kids but many, many years in and still a sahm. They're brilliant but their needs extend waaaay beyond a loving home and loving parents!

Read and research. Good luck

8 users have supported this.

Hi, I would also suggest you exhaust all the fertility options first - or at least come to the point where you no longer want to continue with them and then give yourself some time to research and think about adoption. We too contemplated the egg donation route, although I wasn't 100% happy about it for various reasons.

Fortunately we spent two years considering it after our last IVF failure and were really seeing whether we could cope with never becoming parents, whilst at the same time being technically on the waiting list for egg donation. Realising not being a parent wasn't an option I wanted, I talked to my DH about adoption and almost immediately, coincidentally, we were offered a route to egg donation - one visit to our old clinic convinced me that it was definitely not the way forward for us - I couldn't wait to get out of the place. So then we knew we wanted to pursue adoption.

So I think you need to be sure. Personally, I found the road to becoming adoptive parents a much more hopeful and easy journey than IVF etc - it gave me back my long-lost self esteem and confidence. But it is true that it is not simply an alternative to having your own children and you need to consider it all carefully, not least the types of children / challenges you are likely to face. We have never found them insurmountable (except for the odd bleak moment) but parenting has thrown up many challenges we never expected to have. (But I consider us lucky when I hear of the troubles of others, in spite of the stresses)

So I would advise you make up your mind one way or another re the egg donation first.

2 users have supported this.