To Continue Fertility Treatments or Adopt, That is the Question?

By: Renee A. Simon, MS, CNS

I’ve worked with many Resolve clients over the years who ponder this question, and I had to answer it myself, twelve year sago. The following are some things for you to think about if you are evaluating this decision.

First is your age and health status. Are you in tip top physical shape? Have you done everything possible to improve your diet and overall hormonal health? As a certified clinical nutritionist I always recommend that you get your body in the best possible physical state to achieve and maintain a healthy pregnancy. This usually takes about 3-9 months and usually involves a diet re-haul, a moderate exercise program, clinical testing to find any undiagnosed nutritional imbalances that might prevent you from getting pregnant, and a stress management program.

If you’ve done this type of work and you have had no success either on you own or through multiple IVF’s then it may be time to move on. Think about how many rounds of fertility drugs you have used, and what the long term effect might be on your body. If you are uncomfortable with this thought then it may a signal to pursue adoption. Your emotional state is key to your outlook on life and has a great impact on your physical wellness. If you are uncomfortable with the recommended treatments or if you cannot deal with the roller coaster of hope leading to disappointment, then it may be time to consider adoption. Adoption may not be an easy road but if you stick with it the outcome will always end up positive.

If you think you might be ready to make the switch first evaluate your own feelings about adoption:

  • Are you satisfied that you can provide a healthy family life for a child?
  • How do you and your family feel about parenting a child who is not biologically related, and may look very different than you do? Even if you feel comfortable your family may be not. Be prepared to discuss this with your extended family in depth, before deciding on the kind of child that you feel comfortable with. That is not to say that if your extended family is uncomfortable you should change your plans. It just means that you should know what opposition may be thrown your way so that you can prepare when you bring your child home. Although many family members who express displeasure with your decision may come around when they get to know the child, you cannot rely on this. It will be important to ensure that your child is exposed as little as possible to negative family members.
  • How do you feel about bringing up a child where there may be a little genetic and medical history information available?
  • Will you be able to put any fears you may have aside about the phantom birth parents coming back to claim your child? (Highly unlikely).

My husband and I made the decision to adopt after I underwent 1 laparotomy removing a cyst the size of an orange from my right ovary and subsequent laparoscopies. I had endometriosis that kept growing back and with each surgery there was scar tissue that surrounded my organs and tissues no matter how clean the job was or who performed it. I was also on a variety of meditation that made me gain weight and grow facial hair. When a new medication was suggested to me that was only clinically tested for male prostate cancer, I decided my body had enough. We began to research adoption and six months later adopted a beautiful newborn girl from Texas.

Our prayers were answers and I knew we made the right decision for us. Rebecca is almost twelve now and while there have been some adoption issues that have come up over the years, she has learned that family is far more than who your birth parents are.

A while ago one of my patients told me she was getting older, her FSH was high and she was planning to pursue adoption. She was coming to see me so she could “get healthy and feel better about herself and if she got pregnant it would be icing on the cake.” She lost 30 lbs, got her FSH down, felt younger and better than she had in years and adopted a baby girl. As an older parent, she had the energy and stamina to take care of her daughter.

The message here is to be good to yourself, heal your own body and emotions and have faith that your desires for a child will be resolved, one way or another.

Renee A. Simon is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist, writer and workshop leader. She is President of her own company, Total Wellness, which helps clients restore their body’s to natural balance using food, nutrients, movement, coaching, and breathes work. She works with each individual to address underlying physical and emotional causes that hinder wellness – not just the symptoms. She sees clients in Ridgefield, CT, South Salem and Mount Kisco, NY and can be reached at (914)763-9107. Her book Take Back Your Health will be out in the spring and will have a chapter on female hormone balance and infertility.