To Adopt, Or Not To Adopt? That Is The Question
This is a question that my husband and I have been considering for months now. Once we hit the critical 3rd consecutive miscarriage, we knew our chances of having biological children was greatly reduced. So, we started thinking about alternative ways to have children:
- Surrogacy (not recommended as a solution for us at this point)
- IVF with genetic testing (not recommended as a solution for us at this point)
- Donor egg / sperm (not recommended as a solution for us at this point)
- Foster Parenting
Right now, I’m focusing on our early thoughts on adoption. I am not going to debate the wonderful concepts of raising a child in need or providing a safe, loving family for a child that would otherwise go without.
We are seriously considering the possibility of adoption. But what we have started to learn is more complex and at times more overwhelming then miscarriage and recurrent pregnancy loss.
So, where do you begin when you start researching adoption? The most logical place in this day and age is the internet – obviously. Then you read a few websites, have a small panic attack, turn the computer off for a few hours/days, watch the Friends episode where Monica and Chandler begin researching adoption, then try to re-focus and dig into the information a bit more. Well, maybe that was just our experience.
Okay, seriously, we began by discovering there are multiple options available to adoption in our Country (Canada): Government Adoption, Direct Placement Adoption, International Adoption or Open Adoption. We would have to choose the one that best fits our desires. Then, we discovered that there are multiple agencies that manage the adoption process within our Province, so we will need to choose one. Once with an agency, there is rigorous processes that a family must go through to adopt (as there should be to weed out the crazies). The processes can take years and may include letters to potential birth parents, home study/inspection, pre-placement workshops, letters of reference, fees, etc. We are still a bit fuzzy on the process details, but we know we’d learn them all once we choose an agency and the process isn’t really a big factor in our decision. Really, once we did a bit of research on the process, we learned that the process itself really isn’t that complicated.
After we started to learn the very basics of adoption types and process, we then began to read everything we could on each type of adoption (of course we are cognizant of the fact that not everything that is posted on the internet is true, but it is still the best place to get the most information so internet reading is where we started). As two professionals, trained in data analysis and complex decision making, we love data and statistics! It might be considered by some to be a bit weird to have a love affair with data, but it’s just the way we are. So, for most major decisions (i.e. what mortgage value we are comfortable with; what dog breed fits our lifestyle, what bicycle to purchase, what car to buy, and what tent to buy for camping – you know, all the major decisions) we go through an analysis. We want to know the facts, so that we can determine the risks before we sign on the dotted line. So, we read all the statistics and data we could get our hands on. And statistics on adoption are pretty easy to find. We have read statistics on everything about the health of the children; the medical needs; the risks associated with children with special needs; the long term comparables to biological children; the statistics for different countries to adopt from; the fees; the wait times; etc. The list of facts just goes on and on and on.
Next on our investigative approach to adoption is meeting with friends of friends who have adopted. We have a tonne of questions to ask: What agency did they go through? Do you recommend that agency? What type of adoption did you use? Why did decide on that type of adoption? How did you manage telling your family about your decision? How did your family react? I’m sure before we actually meet with anyone, we will have a list of 50+ questions. (This of course means, we will likely scare these people away and they will be running to the hills before we even finish our appetizers).
Then, if we continue down the adoption route, we will begin meeting with adoption agencies to potentially initiate the process.
All I can say, in our opinion at this stage, the adoption process isn’t that bad, just takes time and money. However, the data is scary and paints a high risk picture regarding the children. But of course, this isn’t just a logical decision based solely on data and statistics. Emotion will play a substantial role and must be factored into the decision making. Lots to think about…
So, where are we today on the question of to adopt or not to adopt? For us, right now, we have no answer. Nothing about this decision is easy. It both logical and emotional. It is complicated and messy with no simple answer. We are thoroughly perplexed.