Adoption after Cancer

Just wondering how many others out there lost their fertility but then went through with the adoption of a child.

I am the proud and extremely blessed mother of a 2 1/2 year old little boy who is the best thing that came out of my cancer experience.

In January of 2005 my husband of 2 1/2 years and I decided we would try and start our family that summer. The best laid plans... In April 2005 I was diagnosed with NHL and all those dreams shattered. The race to save my life started and doctors told me in a quick side note that there was no time to store eggs and I would most likely lose my fertility.

By August 2005 I was in remission and then had a stem cell transplant in early 2006. Two years later my doctors gave me the go ahead to look into in-vitro using donor eggs. My husband and I agonized over the decision, but ultimately decided it was not an option for us and we began our adoption journey.

Things from then on were almost serendipitous. We went to an information meeting at an agency in October of 2007, started the home study in February 2008, completed the home study on July 15, 2008. Our son was in our arms on September 15th 2008 - an unheard of TWO months of waiting. He was born one day after my 3rd anniversary of remission.

Not a day goes by that I don't feel blessed to have him in my life. The thought that he is only with me because of what I suffered through almost makes me believe that all things happen for a reason and we were destined to be a family.


  • 8 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • It's really reassuring to hear a positive adoption story. You always hear horror stories about adoptive parents getting kids ripped away from them by indecisive birth mothers, or people waiting ten years to get a baby.

    With premature menopause looming over me I was dreading having to go through this whole process in order to be a mother one day.
  • Congratulations Emily! I haven't begun the process, but I have begun the research. I have looked into international adoption as well. Glad to hear the process went well for the both of you. I can't think of a better cancerversary present than a bundle of love!
  • After I got better I just felt like I HAD to have "a baby of my own" and to do that I had to give birth to him/her. But when reality struck and we learned how difficult it would be, how much I would have to be poked and prodded with fertility drugs, possible complications due to compatibility with the donor egg, and I STILL might NOT have a baby, we turned to adoption.

    Since I am further out from the experience I can look back and realize that as little as my doctors talked to me about my impending infertility, they talked even less about viable options for me afterwards. I just want to open the discussion a little and let others know that there are other options out there.
  • What agency did you go through? Some of them don't work with singles. One day I hope to meet the right guy, but if not I still want to have a family of my own.
  • Hilly Hill;1415 said:
    What agency did you go through? Some of them don't work with singles. One day I hope to meet the right guy, but if not I still want to have a family of my own.

    I was with Spence-Chapin in NYC. They work in NY,NJ,CT, and parts of PA. The agency was very open to working with anyone - including singles and cancer survivors. I did have to have a physical (myhusband as well) and get a letter from my hematologist describing my diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis for the future. I did have to disclose it to the birthmoms as well, but it didn't make a difference - we were matched super quick.
  • Thanks Emily, unfortunately I am in Michigan so a little out of there area. I will definitely keep looking, your story has definitely given me something to strive to.
  • DMMDMM Community Member
    Latest Adoption Cost and Wait Time Data

    A friend of mine posted this link up on Facebook. The article contains data on the average costs and wait times for both domestic and international adoptions.
  • LM819LM819 Community Member
    Adoption is something I definitely want to explore. My biological son was 21 months old when I was diagnosed and he's almost 4 now. He's starting to talk about wanting a sibling and it breaks my heart. I'll be on Tamoxifen for another 3 and a half years and even then will be gunshy to try for a baby because my cancer was Estrogen receptor positive. I figure adoption will eliminate the worry in that regard, plus I won't have to wait the 3.5 years. It is just overwhelming to think about! Thanks to the person that posted the data - I'll definitely check that out!