By Ellen Glazer
Ellen Glazer, LICSW, Family Building Counselor and Coach, is Co-author of “Having Your Baby through Egg Donation” and author of “The Long Awaited Stork.” Her session at the 21st Annual Conference is Infertility to Adoption – Honoring Endings and New Beginnings.
I am looking forward to being part of the Resolve conference and am especially pleased to be talking about moving from infertility treatment to adoption. It’s a topic that I have been thinking about for decades and one that has become more challenging in recent years. The more approaches there are for treating infertility and the better they get, the more hesitant people are to move on to adoption. That said, I have known many who wait “too long” to consider adoption and later look back with regret.
My Resolve workshop will focus on when and how people begin to consider adoption. In my experience, this can happen in all sorts of ways. For some people, the first “push” comes from a physician who –hopefully gently—suggests you consider other paths. For others, it begins when an insurance company (not so gently) says “you’re done.” Still others are inspired when an infertile friend adopts or when they discover that someone they really admire was admitted or is an adoptive mom or dad. Whatever the initial impetus, considering adoption means putting one foot in front of the other and –at your own pace—moving forward.
Adoption is shrouded in all sorts of myths. My workshop will do some “myth busting” as well. We will tackle such notions as: “birthmothers will come back and claim their child,” “adoptees leave home at 18 and find their ‘real’ parents,” “there is too much competition to adopt—you will never be picked,” “adopted kids always have problems,” and “you can’t adopt if you are over 40.”
We will also talk about the real challenges in adopting in 2014. These include early matches, “applying to birthmothers,” navigating the role of the internet and the high costs. And I will be sure to include ways of fortifying yourselves so that you can deal with these challenges and still find your way to parenthood (or a larger family if you are already a parent).
I love my work because I work in a world of happy endings. I meet with people who are in so much pain and who have endured so many losses. Nonetheless—and to quote President Obama—they “pick themselves up, dust themselves off and move on.” Those that move on to adoption make their way to a happy ending—and to new beginnings. I hope that those of you who attend my workshop will leave feeling a renewed sense of hope. Adoption is a wonderful way to build a family. If you decide that it is right for you, it will work. I hope you will leave my workshop knowing that you will, for sure, be a parent.