Infertility: Is it Time to Consider Other Options?Katlyn Joy |10, April 2013
After months or years of struggling to conceive, every couple will eventually ask the question, "What's next?" While pondering this question, forget the myths.
Myth #1: "If you adopt, you'll get pregnant right away."
First of all, this is not true. Of course everyone has a friend of a cousin that had that exact scenario occur. But in reality, if you have fertility issues, you know your odds of getting pregnant don't change magically because you choose adoption. That's akin to believing in the stork.
Myth #2: "If you just relax, you'll get pregnant."
Truth is, stress affects all areas of our health. But it's also true that infertility causes stress. You know your life, your limits and of course you should always take care of yourself. Don't listen to outside voices who have all the answers to how you should build your family. It's YOUR family.
Myth #3: "Kids born from donated eggs, through surrogacy or via donor sperm will never feel like a child of both parents."
It's a safe bet that whoever told you that is neither an egg donor, nor a child born from one of these methods, or especially a parent of a child born from reproductive donors. There are all kinds of ways of becoming a parent and every child that comes to your family, no matter the avenue, will be a blessing and definitely your child.
A Glimpse at Your Options
This can mean an open adoption where you meet with the birthmother, or possibly birthparents and formulate a plan for contact such as letter and picture exchanges, or even more contact such as calls or visits as your child grows. Traditional adoption through an agency still exists, but most domestic adoptions involve older children, children with special needs or sibling groups. Foreign adoptions vary widely in processes depending on the country and the agencies involved but infants to older children are available.
Depending on your reproductive needs, donor insemination may be a viable one for your family. Egg donation is by nature more complicated than donor sperm but the couple may be able to experience the whole pregnancy if an egg donation is involved. Some issues that affect donor situations are similar to those of adoptive families, but this practice has become so much more common that support groups , websites and books are readily available to help you learn about the processes.
For some surrogacy is a choice that allows a family to be formed and involved with the baby from conception. While the baby won't grow in your uterus, you will be able to go to the doctor appointments, see the sonogram and attend the birth.
Questions to Ask Yourself about Other Options
1. Have you let yourself grieve your dream of having a "regular" pregnancy? If you have mixed feelings, it's not yet time to pursue other family building options.
2. Are you and your spouse on the same page about what to do next? If one of you is gung ho on adoption while the other wants to try another round of IVF, you need to take a breather before proceeding. It's important to never resort to pressure or guilt to get to your goal of having a baby.
3. How comfortable are you with the idea of sharing a baby with another person? Anytime you have an adoption, donor or surrogacy you start your family with at least one other person, who may be a relative, friend or stranger. While you may never know the person, they will always have a history with your child and perhaps play a part in his or her entire life whether through genes or beginnings.
4. What are the financial considerations of your choices and what options are available to you? An adoption of a child may cost thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, or it may cost you nothing. Surrogacy may not cost as much if you have a relative who is willing to give you this incredible gift. Look into all the numbers, as some costs are not as obvious such as travel or insurance or medical bills.
5. Are you willing to learn about your option, reading books, talking to those with experience and meeting with experts? If you are going a non-traditional route to family building, you should become a veritable expert in order to be prepared fully for your future.
6. Do you have peace about this decision? Trust your guts and go with what you know, even if it's deep down. Intuition, the still small voice, dreams and prayers are all part of that internal wisdom that in the end, you must follow.
Always give yourself time to learn your options and discover your personal path to becoming a family.
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