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Completing your family through technology or adoption

When nature lets you down, the world is turned on its head and you have to make some very hard decisions.

It is a terrible shock to discover that you cannot naturally conceive.  You whole world comes crashing down on you.  You had heard of people who couldn't have biological kids but you probably didn't think twice about it as it was never going to happen to you. And then you discover that after a year of trying to fall pregnant and failing, you now become one of the growing statistics of those experiencing fertility problems.

According to statistics an estimated 1 in 7 couples in the UK are experiencing some form of fertility problem, and this number is on the increase.  Thus approximately 1,750,000 couples in the UK have at one time or another have problems conceiving. Many will go onto naturally conceiving a child but for several thousand their dreams of becoming parents are challenged.

 When you experience failure to fall pregnant,  one often seeks the advice of your local GP whose natural cause of progression is to discover the reasons why. And then you get swept onto the giant artificial reproductive technology train.  Before you know it you have been prodded and poked and filled with drugs, and five years later you are still in the same position with an empty pocket.

At present, only 29 per cent of women under 35 have a baby following IVF and this percentage drops with age. Latest studies from California have shown that success on the third cycle drops signficantly and is calling for clinics to alert patients to this fact.


 Data extracted from the HFEA’s data warehouse on 6 October 2010 show that in 2009 a total of 53,524 cycles of IVF were performed in the UK.  These data include all IVF cycles irrespective of the method of fertilisation (i.e. including ICSI, etc.), irrespective of whether the embryos were freshly fertilised or previously frozen, and irrespective of the source of gametes (i.e. whether they were from donors or patients’ own). 


Thus approximately 37 thousand were not successful.

The word 'Adoption' has probably never been mentioned throughout this whole time. Unfortunately, in the UK it is not considered a positive option for completing ones family and is often considered a last resort.


But the US has a different story.


Adoption is considered a positive alternative for completing one's family.  Families are honoured and the government supports adoption with large tax rebates.  As a result   2.5% of all households in the United States are home to an adopted child - a  total of 1.6 million children.  A fair percentage of these children are international adoptions, in 2004 America adopted almost 23 thousand children from around the world, with this number dropping to a more realistic 12753 in 2009.  


The dilemma that arises when you cannot naturally conceive is having your own child through intervention or becoming a parent to someone elses child.


We strongly believe in the joy of adoption.  To hear your child laugh, says it all.  These children exist now and they are already laughing. But not for long.  The prognosis for institutionalised children is dire. In Russia 21 % of orphans who age out of the system at 16 will be dead before their 21st birthday.  They simply do not have the tools to become fully functioning adults and live and die at the margins of society.


They have a right to a family and a chance to lead a normal life. 


Sophie was struggling with failed IVF and the 'do we try it one more time?' or should we 'look at other alternatives?,' when the colleague she was confiding in asked 'Well do you want to have a child or do you want to be a parent?'  That was the defining moment for her - she suddenly realised that for her the most important thing was to love and bring up a child and it was not important if that child was biologically hers or not. She is now a very proud mom to her exquisite 7-year-old daughter.

There is a beautiful child out there who is dreaming of calling you mummy or dada. It is a dream they will have for the whole of their lives. 


Is it your dream to hold your child on your lap, stroke their hair and hug them? 


If you have the fortitude, committment and desire both dreams can come true.


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