A common question we’re asked when we tell people of our fertility issue is whether we would ever consider adoption. And we both automatically always answer yes. Not only is this something we would consider, but if our IVF journey continues to be unsuccessful, it’s something we would definitely look into very seriously.
Obviously, everyone wants to have their own baby and experience the joy of seeing how they inherited Dave’s nose, or my argumentative nature. I can’t think of anything lovelier than having a mini Dave running around causing chaos. In addition I can’t imagine going through life without experiencing the feeling of carrying a baby inside me and giving birth to him or her, despite the horror stories I’ve heard from some of my friends! I feel that is something every woman should have the opportunity to experience at least once, and naturally it breaks my heart that I may never get to go through that.
However, one of the main reasons Dave and I want to have a baby is because we want to be parents. We want to experience every single thing that you do as a mum and dad venturing into the world of parenthood; the pregnancy, the birth, bringing baby home, feeding, changing nappies, first tooth, first steps, first word, starting school, riding a bike, learning to swim, birthdays, Christmas, holidays, homework, teenage rebellion, arguments, tears and tantrums, relationships, leaving school, first job etc. We want to feel and experience every single moment of life as parents. We want to soak it up, capture it in our hearts and forever know that we would go into it with love, compassion and such a willingness to be the best mum and dad that we could possibly be.
So does it matter if we experienced this with a child that wasn’t biologically our own? No, to us, it really doesn’t. I’m not passing any judgement on anyone who doesn’t agree with me. I can perfectly understand why adoption is not for everyone. However, Dave and I have so much love to give, and if we weren’t able to have our own child, we don’t see any reason why we couldn’t give that love to another child that needed it.
At present I haven’t done much research into the adoption process as we are concentrating on our IVF and trying to put all our energy and focus on that. However, I do know that the hoops you have to jump through to be considered as potential adopters are very extensive and stringent although this can only be a good thing. It certainly isn’t an area where you want to see slack acceptance criteria.
I also know that if you are open to adopting a child of any age, then the waiting list is not as long as it is for a baby, which I believe is approximately five years. If Dave and I did end up adopting we would ideally want a baby, as we would want to raise the child in our own way and unfortunately you may not be able to do this with an older child. Although that sounds terrible, that is one criteria that we are quite set on, as we want to experience being parents from as early in a child’s life as possible.
Other than that, we are open to anything. The child doesn’t need to be from this country, we don’t care if it’s a boy or a girl, all we care about is having our own child that we can love and cherish and bring up as part of our family.
A potential downside of adoption and I imagine one of the biggest fears for adoptive parents is the chance that one day the child might come to you and ask about their birth parents and want to get in touch with them. I can’t imagine how hard that must be for adoptive parents, however I heard a story recently that was so heart-warming, it made me view adoption in an even more positive light.
A man we know in his 40’s had been adopted as a child and despite always thinking of his adoptive parents as his mum and dad, he had naturally always wondered about his birth parents, where they were, if they were still alive, and why they had given him up for adoption. As he was getting older he decided that he wanted to try and trace his birth mother. He successfully tracked her down to Ireland, got in touch with her and arranged to go over to meet her. I’m not sure what he expected, but unfortunately the meeting didn’t go as well as he had thought it might. He said later that she was a nice enough woman, but he got no answers from her and felt absolutely no connection or bond to her whatsoever. He realised upon leaving Ireland that he had no desire to ever see her again. His adoptive parents were the only parents that he had ever known, and whether biological or not, they were his mum and dad. Despite always being close to them, that really made their relationship even closer, and he was so thankful that they had adopted him as a child.
This story really made me see how selfless an act adoption can be, and how you can really change a child’s life for the better. Obviously, not all adopted children will act or react as this man did; some may never express a wish to find or know their birth parents, and some may find them and form a relationship with them. However, no matter what happened, Dave and I would always treat any adopted child exactly like we would our own, and would love and support them through all their choices in life.
Whilst adoption is not something we have started investigating yet, it is definitely something we would consider in the future if IVF did not work for us. In fact, we have also said that even if we did successfully have our own child, adoption is something that we would never rule out. Whatever happens, we are determined to be parents one way or another.