Last updated: August 2022
For many of us women, the diagnosis of heart failure has impacted our ability to have carry and/or have biological children. From personal experience I understand; this is heart-wrenching.
Take your time
I wanted to share some information I have learned along the way regarding the various options for adoption. Keep in mind that I, by no means, intend to make it sound like this is an easy option. It is not. Said another way, I am NOT saying 'just adopt.' This is not an A or B choice. The loss of option A (a biological child) is huge; take as much time as you need to grieve. That being said, for people who are interesting in being a mother and can no longer have one biologically see below.
Another word of warning
Another word of warning, if you are not ready to read this information do not proceed! Having started the process myself, adoption is long, challenging, and expensive. While there are several different types of adoption, each option has its own challenges. If you are feeling sad and overwhelmed even before you dig in, I would recommend waiting until you are in a different place AND have a support system before you dive in.
Lastly, surrogacy is another option for some to build their family, but that will not be covered here. To learn more about surrogacy, check out The National Infertility Association's article 'Surrogacy'.
State or public agency adoption
This is when you first become a foster parent and adopt your foster child OR adopt a child whose parental rights have already been terminated. Becoming a foster parent is a different route than becoming certified to adopt through the foster care system because the goal of the foster care system is family reunification. However, as a foster parent, if the child you are fostering becomes available for adoption (and no family members are willing and able to adopt) you can adopt the child so the child is a 'full and legal member of your family.'1
State adoption is handled by each state, so you will have to learn more about the process and procedures of the particular state you live in. If you want to learn more, I would start by Googling your state AND adoption, and talk with adoption agencies in your area.
Private agency adoption
Private adoption agencies interact with birth parents directly. From talking with people who have gone this route, these adoptions can be open or closed. Adoptive and birth parents mutually decide how much contact the child will have with their birth parent. This route deals exclusively with newborn babies. It can be expensive - with costs ranging up to $45,000.2
Open independent option
This option allows both the prospective and adoptive parents to find each other without the help of an agency. You can advertise on social media, spread the word through your own contacts, etc., that you are building your family through adoption. You will have to hire an adoption lawyer to handle the paperwork.
This option allows you to adopt a child from a foreign country, working through an agency. From personal experience talking with people who have gone this route, while this process can be a little less long and heartbreaking, you can also be faced with less access to information on any special needs the children may have.
There is also a cost associated with international adoption, and it can range anywhere between $20,000 and $40,000. The costs can also vary significantly from country to country. This option can involve additional adoption costs since you are taking a child across borders.3
If you have been told that a biological child is not in your future, I am sorry. It is heartbreaking news to hear. I hope some clarification on your adoption options helps!
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