Hi, I'm new to this forum. I am a single woman, age 43, looking to adopt a girl from foster care - probably in the range of 10-14 years old. My homestudy will be approved in the next few weeks. Given all of the horror stories that I'm hearing and reading about, I'm wondering if I just shouldn't do IVF with sperm donation and have my own child? I really love the idea of providing a home to a child from foster care who truly needs stability and love but am I setting myself up for years of heartbreak and struggle? I'd love some insight from someone who decided to adopt versus having their own bio baby. Thanks.
Hi, I'm also single. I adopted my dd at birth (she's going to be 11 months old this week). For me, as a first time parent, adopting an infant was the right choice.
I know you're talking about a biological child vs. an older child from foster care. Hopefully, someone with either of those experiences can chime in. Good luck on your journey!
I'm sure you will make the choice that is right for you. Personally, having IVF was one of the decisions I regret most in my life. Not only did the IVF fail, but it wrecked havok on my body. Two years later I am still plaqued with health problems that came from the IVF meds. The hormones had a strange effect on my sinuses. I lost my sense of taste and smell after repeated sinus infections. I had to end up having major sinus surgery and my smell and taste briefly returned, but after a few really bad sinus infections they are gone again. (Note I never had a sinus issue and then my first sinus infection is within3 weeks of the IVF.) It also caused major issues with my Endometriosis which is the cause of my infertility.
Lastly, it was extremely expensive and very physically and emotionally draining for something that only had a 20% change of working for me (then at 35 years old.)
I lost way too much time, pain, and money chasing fertility and IVF and really wish I had turned to adoption sooner. Now I'm just at the beginning stages of that waiting game.
Again, I know you will make the right choice for yourself, but please research IVF before you do it so that you truly understand the risks and the actual chances of success based on your age and other circumstances.
Was your reason for choosing the 10-14 age range just based on what ages are most available, or do you have a reason for not wanting to adopt a younger child. My age range is 0-12 years, but I'm figuring I'll most likely end up with a child on the high end of that age range. I think one of the big advantages to adopting an older child is that you will likely have lots of information on them (especially if they have been in care for a long time). But I have extensive experience interpreting medical/psychological/school records because of my job, and I've met kids (and adults) with just about every type of diagnosis there is, so I can picture in my mind what a child with a specific diagnosis might be like (though each child is unique, of course).
I also considered trying to conceive via donor insemination, but I honestly have never really had a desire to be pregnant, and I'm not bothered by the prospect of missing out on the baby/toddler stages.
I don't know if you've considered becoming a foster parent first, but that may be a good way for you to get a feel for what types of kids you can handle, without having to make a permanent commitment right away. And if a child in your care becomes available for adoption, you'd usually be first choice if there are no bio relatives interested.
Also, make sure you fully explore the option of domestic infant adoption. Private adoption using an adoption attorney is a viable option for a single woman in her early 40's -- I've known several single mom's who found their babies that way.
I am not single, and I did not adopt an older child but I want to give you my experience.
My DH and I turned to doner embryo IVF after a couple of adoption situations falling through. We decided to do this after looking at the stats. With 43 year old eggs, we had less than a 15% chance (at a top clinic) of sucess. With donor egg/donor sperm we had a 75% chance. It worked on the first try. I have beautiful 2 year old twins. I did a lot of testing first to make sure it was a viable option for us and the doctors said my uterus was in good shape to carry a pregnancy to term. The chance of birth defects with this kind of pregnancy is the same risk of the age of the donor, in our case 25.
We decided to keep fostering because we enjoyed it. We have adopted a sibling pair who are related to us. We had the opportunity to adopt another beautiful child but felt five 2 1/2 and under would be too much. In retrospect I should have given fostering more time. Hindsite is 20/20 and I love my little twins and the children I adopted with all my heart so it worked out. Fostering to adopt works differently in every area. It's a very difficult but rewarding path.
I have no experience with straight adoption from foster care. It is rare where I live. Perhaps someone with more experience in that area could help.
Thanks for the replies. As for choosing that age range, I have never felt the need to go through pregnancy, infants/toddlers, diapers, daycare, lack of sleep, etc. especially without a spouse. I have always connected well with older kids and that is why I'm looking at that age range. Being a foster parent has no appeal to me as I do not want to become attached to a child only to have them taken away from me. I live in a "reunification at all costs" state. I am adopting through a private agency who works with the foster care system in every state so I believe that I would receive adequate information/diagnosis about any potential match to make an informed decision. I appreciate everyone's opinions and viewpoints and all are extremely helpful. Thank you.
Straight adoption through foster care may very well be possible in your situation. Given your age range, you can likely be matched with a child who is legally free for adoption. There would be no need to foster first.
I wouldn't have been able to adopt an infant or toddler through the foster care system but was told older children can often be legally free for adoption. If you really don't want to go through the pregnancy, infancy, diapers, daycare etc. you can most likely make your dreams happen by adopting a child in your age range through the state.
The teenage years are a time of growing independence and separation for even a healthy teen. Throw in a trauma history and lack of attachment on top of that and you (usually) end up with not much of a relationship. It can still be quite satisfying if your purpose is only to help a child in need. If you are considering an IVF as a substitute then you probably have a desire to have a relationship with the child for yourself. You are unlikely to get that from an older child out of foster care.
but am I setting myself up for years of heartbreak and struggle?
Maybe, but at least they've only got a few years left before they can move out if things turn out that bad. 2 to 4 years of life to try to save another is not really that much to give in my way of thinking.
I have/am actually doing both. I am single with fertility issues. 10 years ago I did IVF and had my bio daughter. Pregnancy was both amazing and horrible... raising my beautiful daughter has been an amazing expirence. We have a great bond that will probably never go away.
9 years after having my daughter I got my Foster licence and about a month ago took in a 10 year old boy with the intent to adopt. He is sweet and mean, and adorable and a handful... He has been through so much, and I love him already, but do not know if he will ever let me become truly attached to him and him to me.. time will tell.
There are the good and not so good of either choice. I think the purest bond would come from a child you gave birth to and raised from the beginning with that child having a stable happy childhood from the beginning... On the other hand giving a child with a difficult start a home that is stable and loving, something they may have never experienced before, will also be very rewarding...
I live in a "reunification at all costs" state. I am adopting through a private agency who works with the foster care system in every state so I believe that I would receive adequate information/diagnosis about any potential match to make an informed decision. I appreciate everyone's opinions and viewpoints and all are extremely helpful. Thank you.
I would think foster / adopt would be best if you don't want to deal with babies. I sorry to hear about the "reunification at all costs" nonsense and I hope you can find your forever child.
I'm not single but we are in the process of adopting a ten year old girl. She has been with us for one year. She is incredible and a delight to our lives, but there are times when I wish she had got here when she was 5 or 6 years old. There again, we also have biological kids, and there are times when I wish other things about them! I personally think that horror stories get more press than the good ones. We've had a number of foster kids and none of them have been horrors. Don't expect gratitude from foster children, or any others as a matter of fact. Kids are kids... self centered just as they should be. I think it's all about a good match, and giving of yourself, faking it till you feel it, (when it comes to older adopted kids). But it is possible... more than possible. There are hundreds of happy stories out there and personally, I LOVE having my daughter. Best of luck to you.
Hi! You should definiely give IVF a chance, but u have to be very careful with which clinic you get your treatment in!