Are You Ready for Adoption?

For many, adoption after failed infertility treatment can feel like failure. It means that you won't get to feel your baby kicking. No shared hiccoughs. No speading your hands protectively around your blossoming stomach and feeling the baby move against you.
Pregnancy is a rite of passage for women. It is an outward sign to our society that the woman is passing from Maidenhood to Motherhood. And without that transition, women can drift emotionally.

So, how do you know if you're ready to move into adoption? Here are some points to consider:

1. Cost: Do you have enough money left over after that next IVF cycle to move right into adoption if you choose? Or will it take you a few more years to scrape up the money unless you raid some long-term - and as yet untouched - savings plan?

Some employers offer reimbursement for adoption expenses. Some states mandate insurance coverage for infertility treatments.

2. Time: How long have you been trying to conceive? How old are you? What's your ovarian reserve - how well do you respond to the drugs, how good is your egg quality?

Also consider how many total cycles you're willing to commit yourself to. Treatments can become addictive if you allow yourself to fall into the 'it will happen on the *next* cycle' because, unfortunately, some physicians will allow you to continue cycling long after realistic hope of conception is gone.

3. Endurance: How much does cycling take out of you, physicially and emotionally? How well are you tolerating the daily poking and prodding and ultrasounds and positive thinking that accompanies most infertility treatments?

We all like to think that we can handle anything a doctor throws at us as long as they make us pregnant, but take a moment to take a hard look at yourself in the mirror. Have you gained weight? Lost it? Are you stuck on that emotional rollercoaster with no hope of reprieve? Taking it one day at a time?

Be honest with yourself. If infertility treatment is a marathon, are you in shape to make it to the finish line - both with and without a viable pregnancy?

4. Mourning: Are you ready to give up those dreams of feeling the baby growing inside of you? Can you embrace the feelings of loss and that accompanies moving on to adoption?

It's important to give yourself time to mourn your unborn babies. Unfortunately, society doesn't recognize that when a couple give up on the possibility of conceiving a child of their own that something wonderful and unique has been lost. There may be no grave to visit. No funeral home at which family and friends can stand by you in your time of need. No Hallmark card to express condolances.

Let yourself mourn to the fullest extent you need to. And don't let anyone else tell you differently.

5. Your mate: Infertility treatment is just as difficult on your mate, although they may express it differently. Is your mate ready to move on? Has he or she considered the above points? Have you talked about how it will feel to move on to adoption?

Adoption is another path to parenthood. It may lack the glamour of pregnancy, but you're sure to experience many of the same symptoms: Moodswings from depression to euphoria and back again before anyone else has time to adjust. Fear as you wonder if you've made the right decision. Forgetfulness as you try to get everything ready for the baby while doing all the nardy paperwork. Anticipation as you count down the time until you bring your child home. Joy as you put the finishing touches on your nursery.

But, only you can decide if you're ready to take that next step.



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