Even though IVF is still an “um, maybe” on my to-do list (and will likely remain there ‘til I get the fuck over my fear of consultants and the hospitals they work in), your advice did make me consider a few other child-getting options. Possibilities include adoption, kidnapping one of Angelina Jolie’s brood, surrogacy and “making one of the step-kids move in” with me for as long as it takes me to get over the whole thing altogether.
The same friend who suggested that last one reckons it’ll take me two weeks of living with the reality of day-to-day motherhood before I retreat to my bed, wine glass in hand, and give up on the idea of it altogether, which rather discounts the fact that even if I asked them to I’m sure the stepkids would all turn me down.
To address my most controversial option first then, kidnapping one of the Jolie-Pitt kids. Not really. But if I did, I’d totally snatch Zahara. Girl is fierce.
Surrogacy? Ethically speaking, the idea of growing a baby in another woman’s womb does not actually phase me. Truth be told, I’m lazy enough that the idea of someone else doing the whole morning sickness/ weight gain/ piles bit on my behalf appeals. I mean, as long as a potential surrogate is happy, healthy and, perhaps most importantly, healthily reimbursed, why not?
Well, let me tell you. The British government only allow people to give their surrogates “reasonable expenses.” Let’s be frank, if a woman’s renting you her babyspace, her expenses are going to amount to a bit more than a takeaway curry and couple of beers. Fair enough, but bear in mind that should your surrogate decide that she’d like to keep the baby, the courts will likely uphold her decision whether or not the baby she’s carried is genetically hers or yours.
An artist's interpretation of what surrogacy may look like...
The UK, famously, is one of the hardest countries in the world to adopt in. Social services do have their reasons for using such an exacting selection process and obviously, it’s not for me to undermine trained professionals when it comes to doing their jobs.
But between what I’ll euphemistically refer to as my “strong personality” and income-unstable freelance career, I’m going to make an educated guess that I wouldn’t make the UK adoption cut.
I might, however, stand a chance of adopting a child from abroad. I’m not opposed at any level to raising a child that’s from a foreign country, or not biologically mine. I do, after all, adore my step-kids.
Usually adoption from a foreign country is contingent on making sure your child maintains a relationship with its birthland (birth country? Native land?), in terms of learning the language, trips home and maintaining a level of cultural awareness suited to its age.
That I could maybe definitely handle. In a few years, when I’ve tried to work through my hospital phobia, and had a couple of fertility treatments fail on me.
As ever, I’m open to your advice and opinions. Would living with real-life kids for a couple of solid weeks really be enough to put me off? Would you consider adopting from abroad? Should the husband and I be trying to get approved in this country before I even consider it? Tell me!