Regarding choosing adoption after giving up on conceiving a child, it appears that all the screening in the world isn’t going to heal infertility grief. It isn’t going to magically turn a stranger’s child into the one you couldn’t have. It can’t predict how well you can actually love an adopted kid, even though you *really, really* think you can. It’s not going to account for a genetic mismatch between adoptee and adopter. Most importantly it doesn’t turn the adoptee into a robot, capable of bonding to any old genetic stranger at will. That’s the one thing I find never, ever gets talked about.
My husband and I tried and failed and did consider whether adoption was the way to go. At that time I knew nothing about the wounds associated with adoption. Yet, we felt we would rather begin from scratch than take on the unknowns of a pre-exiting child. So we turned to assisted reproduction.
I will always believe that this was a better choice than adoption. I already had a child that was genetically related to me and grandchildren too. My husband wanted that for his own self and I was sympathetic and understanding to his own need to become a father – even if he really waited way too long.
The advent of inexpensive DNA testing has brought it’s own unique reality to deal with but I am okay with it. My sons seem to be okay with it. They simply would not exist otherwise. Any other children that my husband might have conceived would not be these children. I believe in dealing with realities.
Turning to assisted reproduction meant these children were implanted and grew within my womb. The bonding of mother and child begins in the womb. These children nursed at my own breast for just over a year each. No one can be more their mother than I am.
I do see our donor and her own genetic children mirrored in my sons and we do not withhold access to that family though our sons seem disinterested in pursuing it at this time. Since we are older parents, someday they may reach out to establish a new genetic connection, just as I have in discovering my own.
I remember encountering my own infertility grief when I fully realized the natural method simply was not going to happen for us. I regretted my husband had married such an old woman. Even so, we have a good marriage and it would not have made good sense to simply throw that away to allow him to become a father. He is a good one because he waited until he was actually ready to commit himself to parenting.