Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

IVF and adoption

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  • #1098829 Reply

    Have you tried acupuncture? It may sound nuts but I was in your shoes (minus the adoption discussion) at one point, as was a friend. We heard about acupuncture for fertility and I was in full-on witch-doctor, I’ll try anything, mode. After a superovulation cycle that was so bountiful we had to switch to IVF or lose it, and several unsuccessful transfers, I was on just the pills and did acupuncture and voila. It worked for my friend too. Not to get your hopes up, but if you’re at the crying-in-the-bathroom-when-someone-announces-they’re-pregnant stage yet, I’d seriously give it a go. Kid 2, I just did the fertility pills and acupuncture. Worked within a couple of months. Kid 3 just decided to show up.)

    All the best to you. Yours is a heartbreaking journey but absolutely everyone I know personally who was on it became a parent in the end.

    Oh, I guess I do have one adoption anecdote – fertility issues led my in-laws to adopt. We all routinely forget the kid was adopted. Honestly, I don’t think how you become a parent really matters. I’m confident it feels the same no matter what.

    #1098877 Reply

    I had a pretty traumatic brith after my first (only) child. I desperately wanted a second child, but honestly wasn’t sure that I could physically or mentally handle another pregnancy. My husband and I immediately thought that adoption was the answer.
    I started doing a little bit of research and saw that the field of adoption is littered with corruption. There are so many people of color and of lower socioeconomic status (and quite often both)who are pressured into giving up their children for adoption with this notion that because of their race, age, socioeconomic situation, they can’t parent in the way that a child deserves, when that is not necessarily the case. Adoption is inherently traumatic. Traumatic to the child, and traumatic to the family of origin. That trauma will live outside that child and adoptive parents will need to help a child process that trauma without bringing in their own insecurities.
    I can see why your husband might not want to go that route. I don’t think it makes him any less committed to your journey of growing your family.
    I don’t say any of this to convince you to not adopt a child, but just offer a perspective that adopting a baby is not the cure all solution to infertility as it can sometimes be presented. Adoption is so nuanced and I urge you and your husband to explore those nuances to make the best decision for your family.

    #1098879 Reply

    I’m kind of conflicted about adoption too. My 19-y/o cousin was adopted from a third-world country. At the time, the person who adopted her was a late-30s high-income single woman with no stable relationship history, who was like, I want a baby. So she arranged to fly to this country and bring home a baby from an orphanage. Does my cousin have more opportunity and comforts here than she would have there? I mean, obviously. But like, there’s something cringe about this privileged white lady just wanting a baby and going to get one. Then she married my asshole, sexist uncle because she convinced herself her kid should have a father, and she thought the lord ordained it or something because their parents used to go to the same church. And so this little girl had to grow up in these very white communities, looking different than everyone else and being treated accordingly, and then way overcompensating with bad behavior to try and be popular.

    And my other cousin who is more my age, was adopted in some weird private adoption from a teen girl. He’s been a drug addict since his early teens. Granted, my aunt and uncle’s bad divorce didn’t help matters, but who knows.

    Anyway, sample of 2, but I share KatieM’s concerns about poor folks being taken advantage of. So many privileged white people want babies, I think, people must be engaged in shady business to give them what they want.

    #1098882 Reply

    There are a lot of drug addict biological children of poor racialized people as well…and drug addict children of well off white people… I don’t think you wanting to adopt a baby OP is contributing to whatever societal issues surround adoption in general.

    I do know people who struggled with a couple of rounds with IVF- in one of them they got pregnant and had a baby after 3 rounds, in the other they did a donor egg (but it was her sisters egg so still related to her), and in the other they went with surrogacy using their own embryos (the issue was one of carrying a viable pregnancy). If you are interested in surrogacy there are a lot of states that have comprehensive rules and legislation set out (like Connecticut) where the ultimate parents can register a birth certificate at 20 weeks of gestation. It can be expensive though – about 100k USD all in (lawyers fees for couple and surrogate, agency fees, health insurance, surrogate payment, embryo transportation).

    #1098885 Reply

    I really hope your next round of IVF works out for you. I’m not in the US, so no idea how adoption works there, but just wanted to say that two of my close friends were adopted as children, one as a baby, one at (i think ) around 6-7 and they are so so very close to their parents.They are middle aged now and still some of the most bonded families i know.

    #1098978 Reply

    I agree that you should try and focus on your upcoming IVF treatment for now, and attempt not to stress too much about what happens after that. Easier said than done, I know. You may be worrying about a situation that won’t even occur, and IVF is stressful enough as it is.

    My older sister was adopted by my Dad and his first wife, they got her when she was 3 days old. It was a closed adoption from a local agency in the US. Adoptions in the US tend to be more careful about vetting potential parents, so they did have to jump through hoops for years before finally getting my sister. There is also a waiting list for adoption, as there are more couples trying to adopt babies than there are available babies for adoption in the United States, and that is still the case today. My sister has known she’s adopted for as long as she can remember, and my Dad would get books about adoption from an early age to read to her that explain the process and how she became part of our family. We all love my sister wholeheartedly, and our family is made from bonds of love rather than bonds of blood.

    On that note, if your husband wouldn’t feel incredibly blessed to be able to adopt a baby, he shouldn’t go through with it. I know this is an ideal that isn’t always reached, but children really should only be introduced into homes where they will have parents that love them truly and absolutely. If your husband can’t do that without a biological link, it would be irresponsible to adopt a child with him. Sometimes being a good parent starts by making sure they are born into a situation that is good for them and prioritizing that over our own desperate desires.

    #1098986 Reply

    So I haven’t chimed in since I’m childless and also at an age where my friends and family only just started having babies on purpose in the past few years. My experience is limited. But I do like the advice to focus on one step of the process at a time. Anecdotally, stress does seem to play a role in conception. A friend’s sister and husband, for instance, struggled for years to conceive and only after they exhausted their agreed-upon medical intervention options/accepting that bio kids likely weren’t in the cards for them did they conceive the old fashioned way when they no longer considered themselves “trying” for kids.

    And since you asked for stories: One of my cousins and her husband also struggled to conceive for years. There were some miscarriages including a fairly devastating one at 20-something weeks. They did IVF and their second round was successful. They have a cute, chubby six-month old now and have leftover eggs (or maybe it’s embryos? sorry if I’m butchering the details, I’m not terribly familiar with the ins and outs of IVF) if they want to try again.

    Anyway, I’m sorry you’re going struggling with this and wish you the best.

    #1098998 Reply

    I’m so sorry you are going through this struggle. I will say that sharing stories of people who found success after giving up, doesn’t usually inspire confidence and hope in those struggling with fertility. Only about 5% of people who have gotten that far along in fertility treatment will go to conceive spontaneously. There has been studies that illustrate that stress does not have any major role in trying to conceive in those with an infertility diagnosis already. It can be hard to hear that somehow your feelings are to blame for your infertility when it’s also factually incorrect.

    OP. I would head over to r/infertility on Reddit as they have a wealth of resources to help guide your choices and a wealth of people who are going through what you are. Also, Resolve is an organization that has local chapters that can help you get the local support you need.

    Having gone through IVF as well, I would work with your doctor to optimize this cycle. Why did they feel the last cycle failed and what are they planning to do different? Are they planning a different stimulation plan to get better results? Using ICSI vs traditional IVF? I would ask questions about how they plan to optimize a transfer if you get that far? Will they do testing such as endometrial biopsy or receptive testing to ensure there is not inflammation or endometriosis that will interfere with transplantation?

    Regarding adoption and your feelings on that versus your husband’s, I would recommend seeing a therapist together that specializes in infertility. A regular therapist without that knowledge won’t be equipped to know what has happened/does happen on infertility. We saw one and she helped us both process our feelings in the moment and go through scenarios if things failed.

    Best of luck, I know how tough it is.

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