Maybe you should look into adopting? Sorry if this is too assumptive.
Hoo boy. Where to start on this one.
(this was originally a picture of Danaerys staring into the camera, but I decided that words are better here)
So when you’re infertile, you get a LOT of questions that make your cheek twitch like mad. Most of those have to do with “when are you guys having kids?” and “when are you going to give Sammy a sibling?” When those questions exhaust themselves, then you have people who ask, “Why don’t you adopt?”
And, in truth, adoption is something that Kyle and I have considered and are considering in the long term, but it’s also something that’s a LOT more involved than even IVF. IVF just has to do with reorganizing a woman’s hormones (and making a guy jerk off into a cup; truly, men contribute so much to the furthering of the species); depending on the agency you use and the circumstances under which you’re adopting, you’ll end up having to reorganize your entire life.
Now, reorganizing your life isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but that’s before you get into a lot of the really nitpicky and arbitrary things that agencies look into when you’re trying to adopt. The obvious things include income, making sure you’re not neglecting or abusing anyone, no criminal history, that sort of thing. But some agencies won’t let you adopt if you’re over a certain BMI (which Kyle and I most assuredly are). Some won’t let you adopt if you have any debt of any kind. Some won’t let you adopt if you don’t fit their very specific lifestyle parameters (and let me tell you that even if we wouldn’t be out of the running for not being Christians, which a lot of agencies consider to be a Very Big Deal, our polyamory would most certainly be a problem. People legitimately don’t understand it). There are just so many arbitrary factors that agencies consider when you’re trying to become eligible to adopt.
The cost is another thing. We’re really fortunate in that our IVF treatments (which would typically cost in the $12,000 range per cycle) are covered by insurance. Adoption costs, however, which range from $30k-40k per kid, are not covered by any insurance whatsoever. I’ve had friends do Go Fund Me pages to pay their adoption costs, but that’s just– not something I feel right doing (hell, if we’d had to pay out of pocket for IVF, I wouldn’t have done it for that either).
And then, of course, there is the emotional toll. You can get approved on every level, you can be told that you’ll have a child… and then the birth parents change their minds. Again. And again. Kyle and I have friends who are currently fostering a little girl whom they hoped to adopt… until the girl’s birth mother showed up out of nowhere and started getting with the program. They already love this little girl, they’ve been caring for her for nearly a year, and in all likelihood, they’re going to lose her.
I’m telling you all of the above not because I don’t think people should adopt. People should absolutely adopt–but it shouldn’t be a consolation prize for not being able to have biological children for whatever reason. If you’re planning to adopt, do it because you’ve looked into what adoption involves, costs, and feels like and find that your desire to take in a child outweighs any risks or costs you discover along the way. Don’t do it because something’s funked up in your biology that’s preventing you from having biological kids and you figure, “oh well, might as well adopt.”
And (I’m going to be a little harsh here) for the love of all that is good, don’t tell random internet strangers struggling with infertility that they should look into adoption. Trust me, most of them have. Some of them will go on to adopt, some of them won’t, but they’ve all thought about it, and their decisions about it are their own business.