Adoption Options

March 11, 2012

A long time ago, in a land far away, Right Guy and I spoke generally of adoption. This was when I first got my diagnosis and gave him the option to walk away from my reproductively challenged self. Wrong Guy was never really open to adoption so I wanted to make sure Right Guy was if he was going to stick around. He said he was. He made jokes about babies of other races so I knew he’d be open to that as well. We didn’t talk about it after that really.

Right Guy doesn’t really give much though to the future of What Ifs. He waits until the situation is at hand to start thinking about what he wants to do. This drives me INSANE. I am a planner. My brain is always 5 miles ahead of my body. I’m always thinking about the what ifs. I have to have a contingency plan. We are opposites in this regard. Which, although it makes me crazy, is probably a good thing. It brings balance to us both by making us meet in the middle. Although I DO wish he could talk about serious topics without always making jokes.

I’m not ready yet to give up on having our own child. But the reality is that it’s not likely. So I am ready to think about adoption in the sense of: what’s right for us? Domestic? International? Infant? Toddler? Older child? There are just so many options. When/If we decide to move forward with it I want to have already determined which direction to travel.

I have thought about it A LOT. Before Right Guy came along, my plan was to adopt on my own. But I never figured out what path felt right for me. And now there’s another person’s opinions and feelings thrown in the mix.

Turns out maybe he HAS thought about it. A little. He also said none of the options “feel right” to him. This was a very enlightening statement for me since he rarely uses terminology like that. We are both very rational people and like to make logical decisions. Based on facts. But this is an emotional issue. And there are no guarantees. You can’t just order up a healthy baby that looks like you. You don’t even get that guarantee with your own biological child.

We don’t even know what we would do if I did get pregnant but the baby had Down’s or something. We both agree that we’d do the testing. And we both agree that we don’t know whether we’d terminate or continue if the test came back bad. But we do agree that we wouldn’t take that on on purpose. We’re not willing to adopt a child with a serious medical condition. For me it’s mostly because I spent so much time caring for my father. I don’t want to sign up for a lifetime of that. I want to know I’d have a child that would grow up to (potentially) become self-sufficient (yeah, I know the kid could turn into a drug-addicted shiftless layabout but I want the genetic potential). For him, it’s because he’s a pediatrician and sees families every day who spend all their time dealing with kids with horrible conditions.

He wants full disclosure. And he wants to feel that the information is reliable. He’s treated kids who were adopted from countries that did not disclose KNOWN issues. And that really scares him. So… what’s right for us? Is child-free an option? When I mentioned “child-free” to him he said, “Yes, please, I’ll take a free child.” 😉

I don’t know. This could take awhile. Which is exactly why I want to get started on it. He wants Juno. [Maybe we should put an ad in the Penny Saver] But that’s not likely to happen so we need to figure this out.

I’m kind of interested in international adoption. But the unknowns seem too large for him. At least for two areas of the world. He’s strongly against Russia/Eastern Europe (former bloc countries) and Africa for medical reasons. Latin/South America has a certain appeal to me but I’ve heard some horror stories there too (kids being sold). That leaves Asia. I’m sure each country is different. It could take a looong while to sort through it all.

We’re both open to domestic adoption but there are still many unknowns there and he hasn’t yet come to accept the price tag. Domestic or international – they’re both expensive. I’ve made my peace with that. He hasn’t yet. It’s just a reality that has to be accepted.

Surprisingly, we’re actually both open to adopting through the foster care system. Which would most likely mean an older child. And psych issues.

There’s a lot to think about. And we still have 2 frozen embryos. I fully intend to continue to investigate surrogacy for them as well. It’s not looking like a viable option at this point but… I still have more questions that need answering. It seems surrogacy laws are weird here.

And I have another AMH test result to get back. And an appointment with my RE coming up. My new insurance will apparently cover 3 IUIs. I don’t know whether I want to try that or if it’s even a viable option. I want to talk to my RE about all of this as well. I’m not ready to give up just yet. But maybe I should. I can’t decide what to do.

In the mean time, I’d love to hear from those of you who have adopted or are in the process. How did you decide what felt right? How do you sort through it all?

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