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Are You Ready to Adopt?

If you have been struggling with infertility for some time, you may come to a point in your treatment when you must make a choice: continue your current ART or try a different procedure, accept that you will remain childless, or consider adoption.

Some couples report feeling a sense of failure if they decide to adopt. The woman must come to terms with the fact that she will never feel her baby kick from within or experience childbirth; while the man may mourn the fact that his bloodline will end with his death. These feelings are normal and it's important to acknowledge and work through them before you proceed with the adoption process. Be sure you have come to terms with your loss before bringing a child into the situation.

Although you can certainly explore adoption while you are still undergoing infertility treatment, both are extremely time consuming and stressful and many experts recommend focusing your energy on only one. If you do decide to proceed with both simultaneously, you must consider what you would do if you discover that you are pregnant around the same time you receive news that you have been approved for a child. Or what if you are scheduled to undergo your next cycle of IVF at the same time you must travel across the country or internationally to adopt a baby?

There is no "right" time to stop infertility treatments and pursue adoption. Only you will know when you are ready to take the next step and bring a needy child into your family. The following is a brief outline of some important points of the adoption process to help you determine if you are read to adopt.

There are two types of adoptions:

Agency adoptions

  • Using a local, public agency (such as the welfare or foster systems).
  • Through a licensed, private agency.
  • Independent adoptions

  • The prospective adopting and birth parents locate each other through personal advertising methods (allowed in most states, and some agencies will help).
  • Using attorneys or other intermediaries allowed by state law.
  • Using adoption facilitators (allowed in only a few states and some foreign countries).
  • Adoption laws and regulations vary between states, so be sure you know what types of adoptions are legal in your state. If you decide to adopt a child in another state, you must comply with the laws in both states. If you adopt a child internationally, you must comply with the laws in both countries.

    If you want to adopt a child in the welfare or foster care systems, the child may already have been (or will shortly be) legally released for adoption, or you may accept placement of a child who may still be reunited with his or her biological family, or become a foster parent and then begin the process to adopt that child. Cost

    The cost of adoption can vary widely, depending on your geographic area and the type of adoption you choose. Domestic adoptions can cost between a few hundred dollars and $30,000, although the average is between $15,000 and $20,000. If you adopt a child in the U.S. - whether through an agency or independently - you'll probably need to pay at least some of the birth mother's expenses, which can include medical costs as well as housing and food, depending on where you live. These expenses can exceed $7,500. You can also end up paying as much as $5,000 to $10,000 in lodging, meal and travel costs, depending on the distance between you and the child.

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