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Q&A: Pursue Both Adoption And IVF?

Can we continue infertility treatments while we are going through the adoption process? We very much want a child and we figure this will increase our odds of getting a child one way or the other.

Adoption experts and therapists are divided about the advisability of continuing to pursue infertility treatment and adoption at the same time. Those that oppose pursuing both are concerned that you will consider adoption second best. They view continuing treatment as a red flag that you have not come to terms with your infertility losses and may have trouble bonding with your adopted child. The financial drain of pursuing both may also put undue stress on the family.

Others do not think pursuing infertility treatment and adoption are mutually exclusive and that it is possible to pursue both without lessening your commitment to either. You must be completely honest with yourself on whether you have truly addressed your infertility grief. No child deserves to be anything but first in his parents’ eyes. If you decide to pursue both, seriously consider talking with a therapist who specializes in infertility to make sure you are really ready to parent an adopted child.

Regardless what the experts say, you may have problems doing both. Most adoption agencies do not want their prospective parents to be in treatment for infertility, and many require that parents withdraw their application if they become pregnant. If you are adopting domestically, ongoing infertility treatment may make it less likely that a birth mother will choose to place her child with you.  The concern of agencies and birth parents is that the couple will back out of the adoption if they become pregnant. They also worry that the couple will still be actively grieving the loss of their birth child when the adopted child joins the family, which could interfere with bonding. If continuing treatment is important to you, shop around for an agency that will not object and be prepared to address this issue carefully in your home study.

By Dawn Davenport