Did you know that right now, over 2 million married women are experiencing infertility? 11.8% of all American women are unable to conceive a child after trying for one year. Some will go on to have a biological child; others will not. And each year, over 60,000 couples from all walks of life will adopt because they share a belief that their lives will not be complete without a child.
Since fertility declines with age and so many women are pursuing careers, trouble conceiving is common among those who wait to start families. The most proven method is in vitro fertilization (IVF) where eggs are drawn from the ovaries and fertilized in a lab dish with concentrated sperm. Grown for three days into tiny embryos, several are placed in the uterus. If attempted for five cycles, this will make a baby in one out of three patients. The cost? About $15,000 per cycle.
Driven by a seemingly desperate need, some couples have spent over $150,000 on this procedure. Along with the financial toll, comes an emotional one, as well. Repeated failure is felt mostly by the woman, and many marriages cannot thrive during this time. Sadly, when families have invested so heavily into failed fertility attempts, they may have no financial resources left for adoption.
Even when IVF does succeed, many are challenged by the dilemma of ‚left-over‛ embryos or reducing a pregnancy when doctors recommend this as a measure of increasing the chance of carrying just one baby to term. As Christians, many would never consider some of these options, but the moral dilemmas remain, often resulting in unthinkably difficult choices to make.
I believe that the desire to be a parent is from Him, yet how we approach that desire when biological pregnancy does not happen easily also needs to include His plans for us. While many of us are called to become parents, few of us are called to adoption.