Many a blog post has been written about this question. How do you know when it’s time to stop trying? How do you know when to pull the plug on treatment? How do you know when it’s over?

The answer more or less is unanimous: You just know.

Like I know now. I think it’s over for us. I have finally accepted that you really can’t fight nature beyond a point. I’m spent, tired and helpless. Yes I’ve got 4 blastocysts on ice, but for the first time in my IF journey, I don’t feel like I have any hope left. And I know I’ve been repeating this over and over again, but what can I do? It is what it is. I am feeling entirely dismal and hopeless.

So in an effort to try and focus on having a family instead of focusing on trying to get pregnant, we decided we should attend a few adoption information sessions. A local support group held the first one we went to. The moderator suggested we start attending information sessions that are held by the various adoption agencies in the area, so that we could gather information, and make our decisions on what route is best for us. So a few days ago, we attended a session by a local agency.

While it was very emotional to just be there at these sessions, they were also very informative. Some of you mentioned you’d be interested to know more about what we found out, so I thought I’d list out some of my learning here:

1) Adoption is NOT as expensive as I had believed it to be. I was under the impression the whole process could cost us somewhere in the range of $50k. But apparently not. The average cost seems to be more in the range of about $15-$20k. (Big sigh of relief here. While that is still a lot of money, it’s relatively a whole lot easier to manage than $50k)
2) The average time for an adoption to be completed is about 16 months. This is for domestic adoptions. Of course things go quicker in some cases, and in some, they don’t. International adoptions could take upwards of 2 years.
3) International adoptions are limited to some countries that have been approved by the Hague Treaty. Being of Indian origin, we were pleased to confirm that adoptions from India are allowed under the Hague Treaty. However, we are not US citizens. We are permanent residents, and that could pose a problem in the International Adoption process for us. We still need clarity on this, and are trying to find out more details on whether we would even be allowed to pursue international adoptions.
4) On average, children adopted through international adoptions are usually older in age, and most international adoptions are of children between the ages of 1 and 4. Infant adoptions are possible usually only through domestic adoptions.
5) The county adoption / foster adoption is the cheapest of all. We have not got a lot of information yet on this, and I am going to try and find out more.
6) In domestic adoptions, the trend is moving towards open adoption across the country, where the birth parent(s) are involved in the child’s life in some form or fashion. The moderator described the birth parents as “an additional set of in laws”. This is something I have to get used to. I do understand how an open adoption is good for the child, and how the child would obviously feel more secure with the knowledge of his / her roots and birth parents, and how it would be good emotionally and psychologically for the child. However, I am still trying to make myself accept this mindset and I’m not sure I know how to. I can’t really explain why I’m having trouble accepting this kind of openness. I guess my next point may explain why I’m conflicted.
7) The home study process is a 4 step process: 1) The social worker meets both of you together. 2) The social worker meets you alone 3) The social worker meets your DH alone. 4) The social worker comes home to complete the home study.

You have to have “dealt with the grief of your infertility” before you jump into the entire process. The home study part itself could be emotionally very challenging, obviously. They will want to know about your childhood, your upbringing, your values, your ideas about parenting, your idea about each other’s roles in parenting, specially in disciplining the child, why you want to adopt, your income, and possibly many more such “interrogatory” questions. And that is where my conflict comes in. We have already been dealt a rough deal in life, and the “surrendering of ourselves” to this kind of exposure / questioning feels unfair to me right now.

For so many fertiles, the criteria for qualifying as a parent is oftentimes just a faulty condom, or an extra drink or two, or at most – a playful romp in the bed. Do they ever need to prove that they are capable of bringing up the child they are producing? Obviously not.

It bothers me that we would have to go through a validation like this, and then also have to have the birth parents involved in the child’s life. (I’m not judging the process here, and I’m not saying it’s right or wrong. I’m just saying that at this point, this concept is hard for me to process.)

Perhaps I’m so torn and conflicted because I’m not done “grieving my infertility”. So it brings me back to the question in the beginning of my post.

How do you know when you are done? How do you know when it’s over? How do you know when you are done grieving your infertility? When do you accept the loss of your biological children? Any thoughts?

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