I got to hold and love on the sweetest little 3 1/2 month old baby boy the other day... And my nonexistent uterus started to go all whompy. :( I've got baby fever BAD, y'all!
I mentioned the other day that I had some decisions to make as far as foster care and parenthood goes. I've pretty much decided to hold off on fostering for now because I want to focus on saving money for either a private adoption or IVF. If I end up getting a second job, I won't be able to dedicate the amount of time and attention that my foster kiddos deserve and that wouldn't be fair to them. I'm certain I will start fostering again in 2-3 years. It means too much to me not to, but I'm not getting any younger, and if I hope to adopt an infant or try IVF using a surrogate, I need to do it sooner rather than later.
Here is where I'm torn, and could really use some input... I realize there's some pretty personal information in here, but I figure "why not?" I might as well share and get some good, informed opinions. I am 35 years old and single. I had to have a hysterectomy when I was 30, but I still have one ovary. I could have a biological child if I use a surrogate. I know I'll end up adopting through foster care at some point, but I desperately want the experience of being a mother to a child from day one at least once. I don't want to miss a single day of his or her life, so if I adopt, I'd want to do a domestic infant adoption verses international. There are pros and cons to both adoption and surrogacy, so I am completely torn as to which route to go.
Adoption - Because I'm single, it could takes years to get matched. Birth mothers tend to want a two parent family for their babies, so singles adopting can be waiting for years unless they already know someone who wants them to adopt their child. I've even had some difficulty finding and agency that will work with singles wanting to adopt domestically verses internationally. We all know that patience is not one of my virtues when it comes to waiting. I could be waiting until I'm 40-years-old or longer, but I most likely would get a placement eventually. There is always the chance that the birthmother could change her mind at the last minute though. In which case, I would have to start all over and continue waiting. Then again, I could also get an adoption credit on my taxes after the adoption is finalized, which would mean that I would get quite a bit of the total cost back. It's just a matter of coming up with the $25K or so beforehand.
Surrogacy - If I go the surrogacy route, the timing would be much faster. If I financed it, I could conceiveably start trying by the end of the year (provided I could find someone willing to lend me her uterus by then :-). Cost-wise, IVF and adoption would likely be about the same depending on how many cycles I try. There is always the risk with IVF, however, that it wouldn't work at all. In that case, I would have to start all over saving money for adoption. On the other hand, there is also a pretty good chance of twins with IVF. Could I handle twins on my own? My sister did a great job with the twins when my brother-in-law was travelling and she was states away from any kind of help. I would at least be close to family and friends and would have some back up if I needed it. Then again, could I afford twins on my own? Considering my medical history and the fact that I only have one ovary, I would have less to work with from the get go. (Although Christy's specialist always pointed out that it's "quality, not quantity" that matters.) With surrogacy, even though I wouldn't have the whole personal experience with pregnancy, I could be involved from the very beginning. I also wouldn't have to worry about whether or not the birthmother would change her mind because the child would biologically and legally be mine (although I'd have to double-check the laws in my state to be certain).
So... Any thoughts? I know that a lot of people who foster have been through it all. Infertility, matched adoption, adoption through the state, international adoption... Any advice or personal experience with any or all of the possibilities that you'd be willing to share would be greatly appreciated. And if you happen to have a uterus that you'd be willing to let me borrow for a while, that would be grrrrreat! :-)