This theme has been weighing heavily on my mind of late.
We are done with fertility treatments, but no matter how much we try to say we are done at one we know that this is not true. More specifically it isn’t necessarily true for me. It is something I need to work through, it will take time and I don’t know if it is something you can ever fully reconcile yourself to. The fact that your family making journey is over before you want it to be finished.
I posted this a few months ago and I meant every word. I am done with IVF, drugs, needles, doctors, surgeries, ultrasounds and vitamins. I feel a sense of relief that I don’t need to schedule my life around these anymore. Yet I still grieve and long for another child. I just know that I can’t have one that is biologically mine. Jes asked the question had I considered adoption and it struck a chord in me. It got me thinking.
The thing is, I have consider adoption. Probably not so much Chippie, but yes I have. Before we fell pregnant with Molly I rang the domestic adoption agency and spoke with them and to be honest I didn’t feel very heartened. For a start, we needed to completely give up fertility treatments. Something I wasn’t ready to do back then. There was also the sobering reality that in our state there is an average of 20 adoptions per year. Twenty. It isn’t very much is it. There was a concept called permanent care but it wasn’t sold very well to me. The fear that the child could be returned to it’s parents, that they wouldn’t take your last name. It wasn’t something that I wanted to consider.
Adoption in this country is vastly different to other places. It is one roadblock after another.
After Jes asked the question I made the call again. However I was not in the right place. I couldn’t even talk to the lady without crying. She phoned me at work and I asked if she could call me back on a Thursday or Friday when I was at home. She called but I was in the car with my aunt and I didn’t take the call. They never called back and I left it. I clearly wasn’t ready.
The other day there was a news article that sparked a conversation between Chippie and I. I broached the concept of adoption and said that it was a field we hadn’t looked at but before we completely close the door on family building, perhaps we should investigate before dismissing it entirely. Surprisingly he agreed. He hasn’t been particularly for it but with Molly getting older we are both mourning the loss of the baby years. It just went too quickly, was over too soon.
I made the call again and when they returned my call this time I was in a better place. For a start, it has been six months since we did IVF and apparently Molly is at the right age. She went through a long list of caveats. There needs to be a two year age gap. You need to take 12 months off work. It is all open adoption, a concept I completely support. You have had to have at least 6 months off fertility treatments. I asked to be put down for the information nights, there are a lot of unanswered questions for us and I need to be in a room where I can listen and ask questions. Snap, this is when all of those reasons why people don’t adopt in this country came out. There was a three month wait list for adoption and the first available session for a permanent care session was in February. Already you can’t even move forward for a few months. I felt a little flat and I thought to myself here we go again. I just want to move forward with information and it is already too hard.
Then, completely unrelated there was an article in our newspaper talking about the adoption process in this country that deflated me that little bit more. I have attached the full article here.
While the number of children growing up in care is increasing, the number of children adopted in Australia is at an all-time low. With a 76 per cent decline over the past 25 years, there were only 317 children adopted in Australia in 2013-14.
That is 317 across a country with a population of 22 million. You can bet there are a lot children that need a home and care but there is no access to them. Further, we are a very NON religious country compared to that of the USA, therefore if a person becomes pregnant these days and doesn’t want the baby then they will have an abortion. Simple as that. That is a whole other issue in itself. There isn’t a need or a desire to go through with the pregnancy only to give it up. I understand that. I’ve been there. In fact, at times it is presented as the only option.
The research shows that people perceive the Australian adoption process as negative, with overly restrictive barriers and a process that is designed to make people fail. Of the more than 1000 Australians surveyed, 17 per cent had looked into adopting a child, but 87 per cent had pulled out.
This is so true. Already in my tiny, minuscule entry into this world I have found it to be difficult. There is one avenue for domestic adoption and already it takes months for an information session. Let alone the entire process.
But one significant factor that is contributing to the decline in adoptions, and is not well understood, is how the system itself is broken and is effectively working against the best interests of children.
There are 100’s if not 1000’s of people out there that would make amazing wonderful parents. There are thousands, thousands of children out there who are currently living with abusive, absentee parents that do need somewhere to live. That deserve to be happy and healthy and given all the opportunities that my biological child could. But more than that could provide me with an amazing chance to be the best that I could be. That will make my life so much MORE and show me things that I couldn’t see in other ways. Our system is so tied up in red tape and bureaucracy and indecision that those that exist in the system are powerless to do anything. And there is always the belief the child’s best place is with it’s birth mother. We all know though that the ability to bear a child or create a child doesn’t make you a parent. That’s just biology. Parenting, being a MUM is so much more than that.
This is where I am at the moment, why I have been focusing on fluffy happy posts because this, all of this brings out the EMOTIONS that I can’t deal with all the time. Infertility showed me the blackest part of my soul. It destroyed me in ways that I have only just begun to recover from. Having Molly, that fixed me for a short time but venturing back into the world of IVF, it really knocked me down. With this new chance, I felt a glimmer of hope and it has already flicked back out. If we are successful, if we do move forward, if it does work for me I could be nearly 40. Molly will be nearly 6. I don’t know if I have the energy anymore for more failure, heartbreak and disappointment. I don’t expect it to be easy yet I want it to be realistic. I also feel Molly is too young at this stage for me to consider fostering. I need to get her through her developmental years. I don’t want to upset our status quo with instability. I want her to have a brother or sister for life. I want to be a mother for life. Chippie deserves to be a parent again. Am I strong enough and brave enough to do this all again, albeit through a different medium.
Before you even ask about surrogacy and donor eggs. Yes. I have thought about it but that is going to be a post for another time. Another month.
I am very very new and fresh to this idea. I don’t even know if we are going to move forward. I don’t even know what we are going to feel in a few months. This may not be our destiny. It may not be our path. I could change my whole perspective on everything.
To be honest, writing about what I wore is so much more freeing.