This is part two in a series of three on How Our Family Started.
Normally making babies the standard way is inexpensive, straightforward, and fun. Any deviation from the norm raises a number of convoluted and difficult questions.
Perhaps the most obvious question to ask next was: should we no longer plan to have a family? For some people, the answer to this is yes. For us, this was not really an option. We feel called to raise and care for children...
How do we proceed?
Medically, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) was the only remaining choice. The process is pretty straightforward scientifically, but can be a scary glimpse into human nature. IVF is expensive; depending on your insurance it can be thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. Expenses aside, it is an ethical minefield. Usually, many more eggs are fertilized than a family would ever use. Often the embryos are "discarded" based on arbitrary standards. Finally, parents are encouraged, Gattica style, to screen for "optimal" genetics and/or gender. The only fathomable reason for us to choose IVF over other options was "to carry on the family line," a selfish and prideful proposition.
Adoption was the other possible choice. It too is expensive. Depending on the type it can cost less, or much more, than IVF. The process is long; scary legal issues can crop up. Overall it is a sure ticket for an emotional roller coaster. For these and other reasons we had reservations and concerns, but nevertheless started researching...
What type of adoption?
The three main types of adoption we considered were international, birth parent, and foster-to-adopt. The names are pretty self explanatory. An excellent local organization called Antioch Adoptions facilitates birth-parent and foster adoptions. Because they are local and subsidized we started looking into their program. We attended a class and started compiling and filling out the mountain of paperwork required.
Meanwhile a relative brought to our attention another, new, adoption agency. This one was offering something we had not heard of: Embryo Adoption...
This will be continued in part 3: New Beginnings