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.