Next Steps: Is it Okay to Pursue ART and Adoption?

June 12, 2008 | By:

For those of you who are confused about what your next step is on your frustrating, convoluted and phenomenally expensive journey to parenthood, I’d like to share something with you that an increasing number of our clients are doing. They’re “dual tracking”. That is, while they finish up one final attempt at IVF or IVF-ED, they are simultaneously starting their adoption paperwork. It can take months to get an adoption to the place where you are waiting for an international referral or you are certified and home study ready and can begin to look for a baby. You can be finishing up your IVF stuff while you’re doing all that paperwork (just please make sure to tell your home study social worker that you’re pursuing IVF and what your plan is re: adoption if you get pregnant).

I did it myself when my husband and I were going through infertility and adoption stuff. It gave me the peace of mind of knowing I was going to be a mom no matter what! It totally took the pressure off of my last IVF cycle and when I miscarried with that cycle (and it was the earliest miscarriage of them all, thus reaffirming my decision to pursue an adoption . . . it seemed like a sign from the Universe that we had made the right decision to pursue adoption!), well I didn’t dwell on it as much. I still had a lot of grieving to do but I didn’t have that anxiety about “what if the next cycle doesn’t work?” or “am I ever going to become a mom?” I knew that because we had started a domestic adoption plan and had our paperwork started that I was steps closer to finding a birth family. In fact, I was so relieved that we had started the adoption process and I didn’t have to start something new from scratch!

We were up front with our adoption case workers and we knew that if I got pregnant and carried to the second trimester that we would put our adoption on hold and see whether I delivered a baby. Having that plan, knowing what we would do if I did get pregnant was important for our adoption professionals; and as an adoption professional now it is a question I make sure to ask. I want to know that my clients have thought through the process completely and they aren’t going to bail on a birth mother if they get pregnant. Or at least, I get assurances from them that they will be honest with any birth mother with whom they might be working and let her know they are pregnant and give her the choice about whether she will still work with them toward a successful adoption (and yes, some birth mothers will keep working with you). But then I have to ask my client if they are prepared to parent two children born very closely together? It’s a lot of work!

I know not all adoption professionals agree with me, but as a former infertility patient I think you need to pursue all avenues to parenthood that may be available to you and right for you. As long as you know where your priorities lie, you don’t lie or misrepresent your intentions, and what you will do if you get pregnant while working toward an adoption, who should judge you for trying to move things along as quickly as possible?

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