stepping off infertility treadmill: lesbians consider adoption

“We go through what we go through to help others go through what
we went through.” – Emily Perl Kingsley

Jeanine and I found out last week that our third attempt with IVF
was unsuccessful. It was painfully hard to hear the news since this
try had a certain finality attached to it. We’re out of money. Or
at least the money set aside to make a baby. $55,000 later and we
still don’t have a baby.

As much as I’ve written and stressed out about the
financial part
of this journey, our sadness has nothing to do
with the money. The money was well spent since we wanted
our baby. Technically, it would have been Jeanine’s
bio-baby, but I had romanticized the importance of Jeanine’s
flesh and blood in our baby. Multiply these feelings 1000 times and
you have an idea about the loss she’s mourning at the moment.
It’s a heartbreaking time and I’m not sure how long it takes to
get over something like this.

Prior to this latest IVF procedure, we planned ahead and signed up
for an open adoption seminar this past weekend. Ever since reading

Dan Savage’s
The Kid
, I’ve thought open adoption is the way to go when it
comes to adoption methods. Jeanine needs more convincing.

We still haven’t ruled out a try with
donor eggs
, but we wanted to start looking at adoption if our
final try with IVF didn’t work. As we were sitting in a meeting
room at a nondescript South Orange County hotel, we realized
perhaps that the wounds were too raw to be participating in a
public forum that encouraged sharing. During the video segment,
Jeanine and I were the only ones teary-eyed… didn’t anyone else
find the pleas from wannabe mothers to be heart wrenching?
Apparently not.

After the video, the social worker passed out materials and one
article was written by Bruce M. Rappaport, PhD, the Founder of the

Independent Adoption Center
: His words, albeit written, were
the most poignant of the day:

People outside of adoption are often surprised by how
difficult it is for most couples to switch from receiving medical
treatments to pursuing parenthood through adoption. After all, the
medical treatments are usually protracted, expensive, and even
humiliating. Once the treatment has proceeded for over a year or
more, the chances of a success are slight. Yet, after spending
thousands of dollars on medical treatments, and many hours of time
and energy, couples are hesitant to write off the investment. They
may still believe that somehow, some way, they can have their own
biological child. Besides, many couples are so exhausted from the
ups and downs of the medical treatments that trying a whole new
approach, like adoption, seems out of the question.

If any or all of these feelings or experiences seem
familiar to you, they were also familiar to most of the thousands
of people who have since become parents through adoption. Almost
all of them found themselves on one form or other of the medical
treadmill… for most people, the turning point came when they
realized that, although they would mourn the loss of a pregnancy
and childbirth, the joy of being a mother or father, no matter how
that happened, was far more important.

Jeanine and I want to be parents. It’s important to us. The
seminar was free but the total estimated costs for open adoption
are $15,000 – $20,000. We didn’t commit with a check. We need
more time and want to do additional due diligence. But the time
will come and I’m sure I’ll write about the experience and the
money we’ll be spending.

This post originally appeared on