For some people genetics is a big hurdle. I had a friend who tried IVF something like 8 times. It was clear she and her husband wanted a baby. But they weren’t willing to adopt. In the end they stayed firm to their convictions and had no baby as the years passed and each IVF failed. They needed that genetic connection. It was very important to them. Is it important to you? Be honest. Now is the time to be honest about who you are and what matters to you.
On the other hand, I knew another couple in which the husband was infertile, but the wife was fertile. They decided they didn’t want one parent to be more connected genetically to their children than the other, so they choose to adopt. For years, I couldn’t wrap my head around that one, but I actually finally get it. Maybe now that I have my own children, I understand how vulnerable real or imagined one could feel without that genetic connection if the other parent had it.
For me the genetics was never much of an issue. Sure it would have been icing on the cake, but clearly not an essential ingredient. I just love family resemblance. Surprisingly, people tell me all the time how much my kids look like me, despite the absence of genetic connection. To tell you the truth, side stepping my own genetics somewhat safeguards my kids from severe migraine and dyslexia, not to mention a host of other health concerns. Instead of them having an extra loading for these issues, they have the same risk as the general public. You see neither of their parents nor anyone in their family tree had these problems.
Another friend once told me she never really understood her own biological children, despite the fact that she bore them. One was gay and the other bipolar. She was neither. So you see genetics are not the only thing that leads to a sense of commonality or lack thereof amongst family members.
I love children and had access to many. I worked with a slew of them as a psychologist through the years and there were a few I would have taken home from school at a moment’s notice, no questions asked. Biology was not the be all and end for me. The thing was the relationship! Foster care was not going to work for me, because I wanted to be the parent straight away. I didn’t want anyone to be able to rip the children from my side. I wanted the greater control afforded to parents who take total responsibility for the child from the get go. But biology, didn’t matter much, especially in a surrogacy arrangement in which I would have a lot of control in picking and choosing which egg and sperm I would be aligned with.
There was also a little boy named Jason who made a big difference for me. I often took Jason for the weekend between the ages of 5 and 11. Jason was brilliant, funny and full of spunk. I adored him. Quiet as it is kept, I really loved him. He was a friend’s child, and his presence in my life helped me know I’d be just fine to go ahead and have my own children as a Single Mom By Choice through surrogacy. The fact that he was not of my ilk, didn’t ever bother me. I never really paid it any mind.
So these collective experiences helped me to know that the lack of genetic connection would not bother me a bit. With that known, I forged straight ahead and got my babies! I hope you will do the same.
Comment below on concerns you still have about not being genetically wedded to your child.
Comment below about how you overcome the need for a genetic tie to the baby you so desperately desire!
Lisa J Lafave, PhD, MBA, ACC
The Surrogacy Coach from Surrogacy Rocks
CEO & Founder of Coaching Rocks, LLC
A Single Mom By Choice Raising Surrogacy Twin Boys
Written in My Little Brick in University Heights, Ohio