Saying goodbye to the fertility merry-go-round after three rounds of IVF and one donor cycle felt strangely liberating. A long 12 months months later, we climbed aboard the slow train to adoption.
Approaching social services after my second round of fertility treatment proved fruitless. They refused to allow us to embark until we were finished with fertility treatment, AND waited for about a year from the last treatment. Being of the opinion that I just wanted to be a mum, I really didn’t care where my children came from, and I would happily have adopted a child as well as having some of my own if I could.
“They” said no. Well hello, some of us could cope with both you know. Why they always try to slot us into boxes is beyond me. There should be more room for manoeuvre than there is at the moment. There are lots of children out there who need homes, and putting barriers in the way of them finding a forever family is not the best way forward in my opinion.
Yes, I totally understand the need to make sure a family can cope with everything that might be thrown at them, and I also acknowledge that I have met potential adopters who I know would never make it past the first year if they are matched with children with high needs. BUT, if the powers that be are happy to throw three toddlers at a couple when the going gets tough, then why aren’t that same couple considered good enough to potentially have an IVF child and an adopted one? I will never understand that logic.
In the endless year between finishing IVF and being allowed to get on the train for adoption, I started researching adoption, child behaviour and potential problems with children we might be responsible for. It’s what a lot of us do. It’s all really quite clinical when you start down this path. You want children, you can’t give birth, so you go searching out other ways to be a mum. I considered surrogacy, overseas adoption and spent many many hours looking for children, researching and getting together all the information I could on it, both good and bad.
I had spent nearly 2 years looking on the internet in total. I had read all the child development books that I could lay my hands on to make sure that I knew what I was likely to be faced with. In the end, none of them made any difference.
Juggling a career that was going places, I struggled with the fact that I would be expected to give it up to adopt children. All the literature that I read pointed to having to give up work. Remember, this was nearly 10 years ago. Perhaps the rules, and guidelines have changed now.
Did the social workers appreciate that I had done so much research? Did they hell as like.
We were told afterwards that they had almost written us off as potential adopters because I had put on the feedback form that I already knew what they had covered on the initial information day, and that I felt like I had wasted 6 months waiting for the information day to get on the adoption trail, as I could have begun the assessment process much sooner. I had also said that I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the adopters at the talks, but I hadn’t learned anything new at the session because of how much research I had done.
I was also frustrated at how many people were at the information day who just wanted to “do good” by taking a child into their family. Well blow me, we all want to do good, but it doesn’t involve a lifetime commitment to be “seen” to be doing the socially acceptable thing. I really do wonder how many of the “do gooders” end up as adoption disrupters, ie they give in when the going gets tough, and send the kids back, because they expected a timid little yes child who would be at their beck and call.
Reality check. Adopters have to want to be parents, and nothing more in my opinion. How on earth is it possible to commit to x years of 24 hour days, all your finances, and increased risk of high needs children otherwise?
Coming back off my hobby soap box and back down to earth !!!!!
At the very last minute, we put in for approval for foster caring as well as adoption, as we were told that to get a young child, it would be better to foster one, and that would mean giving up work. It also meant that we could do the odd emergency weekends to get some practice in for our own children (whenever they arrived).
A couple of brief weeks after being approved to adopt, we had a phone call asking us if we wanted to know about some children, so we said yes. Three days later, we received a phone call asking us to do them a favour with three little boys who were coming into care and they had nowhere to put them. We had approval for up to 3 children so it was a little blackmail there. We said ok…… for a week or two until the social workers got themselves sorted out…………. and the fun began………….and no, it wasn’t as straightforward as it seems.
That’s all for another days blog.
If you want to read more about adoption, IVF, IVF Donor Cycles etc, leave a comment and let me know what you’d like to know.
21 thoughts on “Adoption at Heart – The Beginning”
Hello fellow Scottish Mama, this was a brave and very personal post so thanks for sharing. I was sterilized in 1994 and had it reversed in 2008. Luckily we have managed to have an amazing little boy after the reversal but our current 1 year of trying has lead to 4 positive PG’s only then to lose them. Its a very difficult thing to talk about. Fertility means different things to everyone does it not?
Good to hear you managed to be successful after so much disappointment. I only managed a pregnancy once, after IVF which didn’t make it, so I can understand the loss.
I am so looking forward to hearing more, especially as we tried for 10 years before we finally managed to get the boys. Also I can not have anymore children and we are considering fostering or even adopting
I don’t know how you do it! Funny, I thought that they would embrace people who had done a lot of research & knew what they were getting into!
Hopefully that has changed now, and I know the requirements are different now.
We were told to leave 2 years between ivf and adoption, which seems to be a figure plucked out of the air rather than based on any research that waiting 2 years means you’re more ready for adoption! It’s definitely a process full of stops and starts and my soap box is that not enough is done after approval and placement….
Thanks for posting : )
The waiting games are very frustrating and the waits for everything are so long. #after approval and placement is another story from all of us I think,. Huge issues around it everywhere.
Thank you for sharing this. My mum fostered a couple of babies who were adopted and then the adoptive parents went on to have children naturally. They stayed being wonderful parents to all their children.
I will look forward to reading more of your story.
I think both can work well as long as the personanlites all fit in well if they are differnet ages when they merge families. A lovely story of the mix.
Ugh, such ridiculous rules (barriers). Looking forward to following your story, and hoping it helps me understand my friend’s pathway better.
The rules do seem really nuts to most of us, and of course social work timescales are soo diferent to potential parents who just want to be a mum, yesterday.
Yes I do want to hear more about adoption from your point of view. I love your writing. (In the back of my head I’m considering adoption for 5 to 10 years from now, but I don’t know…)
Thank you, I’m sure there will be much much more very soon,.
What happens if you adopt and then suddenly get pregnant? Do they take away the adopted baby on that basis?
No, as if adopted and paperwork signed, then you are legal parents with parental rights, thankfully.
Didn’t want to read and run so just to say that I think you’re awesome and *parents* who choose to foster and adopt and do it properly as parents with love, education, culture, support and everything else are just amazing!
Look forward to reading more of your story!
Thanks hon. i appreciate it from you. You’re no shirker in the helping stakes yourself.
” I will never understand that logic.”
There is nothing logical about social services. It’s not any better in the States (though working moms are allowed to adopt here). My journey to adoption was insanely illogical http://www.rebeccahawkes.com/2011/07/i-should-have-been-criminal-how-my-lack.html), but worth it in the end of course.
I so identified with you reading all those books. I did that, too. 🙂
So silly actually as it doesn’;t help to do all that reading. A bit like reading all the perfect parenting mags I suppose, that tell you nothing about how parenthood actulally is