Making the change from infertility testing and treatment to adoption can be so hard. One moment you are finding out everything you never wanted to know about your reproductive parts and then, before you know it, you’re researching surrogacy, adoption, IVF, foster care, and child-free living simultaneously while checking your bank account and insurance coverage and praying for a miracle.
My husband and I chose adoption very early in our infertility trek. We found out that he was shooting blanks at roughly the same time we found out my eggs were getting stale and endometriosis was taking over much like the plague. The doctor laid out our options. IVF with donor sperm, IVF with donor embryo, and a few other things that just didn’t make sense to us. It wasn’t until a whole year and a total hysterectomy later that surrogacy even crossed my mind. I was sitting on the floor at my friend’s house putting together gift baskets for the Utah Infertility Awareness event when she asked me about my thoughts on surrogacy. She had friends that went that route with great success. Most had a friend or family member who offered to carry for them, thus cutting the cost down a ton.
Ultimately, we chose adoption. While my personal list is very long, here are 5 reasons we chose adoption and apply whether you are sterile and using donor embryo or if you are using your own embryo.
1 – Biology and genetics weren’t a concern for me. I already knew that, for us, blood didn’t make a family, so even before my hysterectomy, I would have chosen adoption.
2 – I tend to be very particular about what I eat. Organic, hormone free, etc, etc. I’m not to the point where I push others to do the same, but I knew if we had chosen surrogacy I’d want the surrogate to eat like I would and I’d want a lot of control that wouldn’t have been healthy for me mentally.
3 – How in the world do you approach someone and ask them to carry for you? I understand that some people are more than comfortable with this, but we were not. It kind of links into #2. I worried it could ruin a relationship. With adoption, the birth parents choose the adoptive parents and the relationship develops over time. In our case, it grew and grew and I can’t imagine being connected to another birth family.
4 – To me, surrogacy gives the feeling of “using” the woman carrying the baby. After she gives birth, what happens? If it’s a total stranger, do we maintain contact? Do we have visits? Does our baby get to meet her? How do I explain that to a child?
5 – With adoption, we weren’t only gaining a child, we also gained a family. I always envisioned us sitting together to eat or talk and watch the kids play. During our last trip we were fortunate enough to sit and watch LT play with his birth family. I don’t think we would have that kind of relationship with a surrogate.
Bottom line, we chose what we knew to be in our best interest, and it’s something my husband and I have never regretted or had second thoughts about. Adoption has truly blessed our lives and every single day I am grateful we decided to pursue adoption.