Adoption Resources

« Too Lazy to Try Again | Main | I Wish There Was a Greeting Card for Situations Like This »

Oct 27, 2005



Susan, please feel free to email me about SIRM and I will be happy to give you detailed feedback on my experiences there. The short version is that I think Dr. Sher is brilliant and very thorough, and though his protocols gave me more eggs, it did not improve the quality, so, no pregnancy. I went to Las Vegas and thought the clinic was well-run. I have heard mixed reviews about all the other clinics so I can't really draw any meaningful conclusions about them.

I do not know how large you envision your dream family to be, but, if you want two children eventually, then what you might consider is just going for adoption right now, which is a sure thing, and revisiting all these other options at a later date. You still have a few more years to do DE if you choose. Also, with regard to the embryo donations, I suspect that the glitch comes in because prior to May of this year, there were no standard, across the board laws for infectious disease testing. The new laws regarding testing are quite a bit more stringent. Therefore, I think that any embryos created after May 2005 should pose no problem for transfers to recipients in the future. Just my guess, but I really don't know for sure. Maybe someone else has a better handle on what the issues are.

Good luck with all this. I know it is mind boggling at times.


Don't know anything about SIRM. Would be worried about the DESness of your uterus too though, but since I don't know the details, I would be hesitant to comment on that. Also don't know anything about donor embryos, since the problem seems to be my wacky uterus. The only time I've looked at it really is the Snowflakes programs, and although it seems nice what they are doing, I don't think I support the politics behind it (seems to be to avoid stem cell research and destruction of embryos). I'm starting to think of options 6, 7, and 8. Will you please share what you learn both from the conference and the book? I'm especially starting to think about 6 and 8.


Here's a blog of an infertile who chose child-free: http://www.ttcjourney.blogspot.com/ . (it's not my blog, just one that I read.)

We're stuck between items 7, D, and E on your list ourselves. I think we'll do 7, because we need some predictability in the process, I can't take the not knowing any more. Living childless (I just can't say childfree for myself) hasn't been ruled out though.

Good luck in your decision making. It's a slow and heart-wrenching process, isn't it?


I wish I had some guidance for you. We are just beginning to consider domestic adoption after secondary infertility.

I checked out the RESOLVE conference agenda, and I wish I could make it this weekend (just found out about it from your blog; I belong to HAND in the South Bay since it is too far to travel to SF for the monthly R. meetings). I hope it is a great conference and that you get tons of info.

Wishing you the best as you consider your options and try to make a new plan.


Susan, Given I'm not where you are in the process, and I don't live in the US, I don't think my advice is worth much. I just wanted to say that I'm thinking of you and wishing this was easier.


I can't tell you that I feel you should do any of the above but I will tell you that if you do want to look into international adoption, you may want to check into Guatemala. We expect that our son will be home by 6 months (some people have brought their babies home as young as 3 months). If working is not an issue for you... there is the option of fostering your own child so you would be there from day one. Of course, you would have to spend 3-6 months living in Guatemala but...

Whatever you decide to do... I wish you happiness.


All I can say is that if you are thinking of #8 (Giving it all up), I'll come over and smack that Drama Queen Crown right off your pretty head!


I'm sorry, I can't really be helpful - just wanted to let you know I am thinking about you & hoping you come to peace with whatever you decide.


Well, like Wessel I've got very strong feelings about SIRM and if you're looking to do one last ivf cycle I wouldn't recommend doing it at SIRM. Yes they are known for treating poor responders but so does Zouves and so does Cooper. After cycling at SIRM and Cooper I'd do Cooper again in half a heartbeat. Zouves was with Sher for a loooooong time and cycling there could be a good option.

As for donor embryo programs it's actually embryos created BEFORE May 2005 that are the easiest to deal with regarding the new regs. I'm happy to go into much more detail with you regarding this by email or in person. Cooper has the biggest program for donor embryos and matching time varies. There's also miracleswaiting.org which is a private non-profit place to learn more about donor embryos.

I've also had friends adopt from Guatamela and it was quick and they got adorable infants. Just a thought.

There's also an adoption agency in Texas that you don't know you've matched until the bm gives birth. You get a call and go pick up your baby. Just another thought.


My own head is spinning from a list of several options of my own and I'm like a deer in the headlights, so all I can do is offer you support for whatever you decide.

I did a consult with Sher. I know he's one of a very few games in town if your FSH is high and/or a poor responder but I kind of found him a bit slick. I do think he does know what he's doing, but something about his approach made me personally uneasy. My husband wouldn't even consider doing an IVF with him and my husband is willing to do almost anything. Listen to Wessel and Millie on this one, they have good experience.

Thinking of you.


If I had frozen embryos left over I would donate them to you. Seriously.


I want to comment on this, but I have no experience with options 1 - 6 so please understand that mine is not an unbiased opinion. We got off the infertility merry-go-round quite early in the process and decided to do international adoption. Compared to the TTC business, I found international adoption to be straightforward and as much of a "sure thing" as anything can be in life. It was very comforting to start the process and know that we would definitely be parents and even have a time frame.

I do not want to talk you out of a determination to have a newborn. When you consider adoption you have a lot of choices -- age, sex, race, special needs -- and I hate it when people try to make adoptive parents feel guilty for choosing one thing over another. I would just encourage you to think about why you feel this way and see if it's really a deal-breaker. Of course, I would have rather been with my son from the beginning, but I can honestly say I don't feel any special angst over it now.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Adoption To-Do's


    Total Expenses So Far: $21,531

    Select country (Korea) (11/14/05)

    Select agency (11/17/05)

    Tell our families

    Receive preliminary application

    Preliminary App filed (12/5/05):

    • Fill in application
    • Photo of us, photo of house
    • Write medical statement, elaborating on treatment for depression
    • Line up four non-relative references
    • One copy of tax returns from past three years
    • Pay $200 fee
    • Notarized adoption services agreement $10
    • Fedex to Agency $15

    Receive Big App (12/15/05)

    Receive Korea Adoption Guidebook

    Home Study Paperwork: (1/19/06)

    • S: Complete "Personal Data" form with 67 essay questions
    • S: 1 photocopy birth certificate
    • S: Complete Authorization of Release of Information - Employer Verification
    • S: Criminal Record Statement
    • S: LiveScan fingerprint form (for State of California: criminal and child abuse index)
    • S: Schedule LiveScan fingerprinting appointments
    • S: LiveScan fingerprints done, pay $65
    • S: Medical Exam, including HIV and TB tests
    • S: Medical Report filled out by doctor
    • T: Complete 51 essay question "Personal Data" form
    • T: 1 photocopy birth certificate
    • T: Complete Authorization of Release of Information - Employer Verification
    • T: Criminal Record Statement
    • T: LiveScan fingerprint form (for State of California: criminal and child abuse index)
    • T: Schedule LiveScan fingerprinting appointments
    • T: LiveScan fingerprints done, pay $65
    • T: Medical Exam, including HIV and TB tests
    • T: Medical Report filled out by doctor
    • Complete detailed Financial Statement
    • 1 photocopy marriage license
    • Photo of baby's room
    • Map & directions to home
    • Copy all, keep for records
    • FedEx packet to agency, $15 (1/12/06)
    All 4 non-relative references return 3-page, 10-essay questionnaires directly to agency (1/28/06)

    Home Study Part 2: (4/3/2006)

    • Receive & pay invoice for home study $3066 (2/1/06)
    • Schedule social worker visits (2/10/06)
    • Childproof house (smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, outlet covers) $40
    • Social worker visit #1 (joint) (2/21/06)
    • Acceptable Medical Conditions Form (2/27/06)
    • From that details how "open" an adoption we are willing to consider  (2/27/06)
    • Social worker visit #2 (S only) (2/28/06)
    • Social worker visit #3 (T only) (2/28/06)
    • Sign up for module 1 & 2 of parenting class
    • Book travel for parenting class in Southern California
    • Modules 1 & 2 of agency parenting class (in SoCal) $500 (1/21/06)
    • Receive 2 completed, certified, notarized copies of Home Study (4/3/2006)

    Agency sends Home Study to Korea (HSTK) (4/7/2006)

    Sign up for modules 3 & 4 of agency parenting class

    Take modules 3 & 4 of agency parenting class (4/9/06)

    I-600A filed with US-CIS (Advanced Processing of Orphan Petition for Visa) (4/6/2006):

    • I-600A form
    • Copy certified Home Study
    • S: Photocopy of birth certificate
    • T: Photocopy of birth certificate
    • Photocopy of marriage license
    • Copy of most recent federal tax return
    • Proof of medical insurance
    • $545 fee + $140 for FBI fingerprints = $685
    • Cover letter
    • Copy all for records
    • Mail to US-CIS San Francisco

    FBI Fingerprinting:

    • US-CIS acknowledges receipt of I-600A (4/12/06)
    • FBI Fingerprinting appt. scheduled (different than LiveScan fingerprints)
    • FBI Fingerprinting completed, for each (4/28/06)

    Receive I-171H (Approval of I-600A) (5/11/06)

    Pick baby name

    Arrange for medical evaluation of referral

    Receive Referral (12/29/06)

    • Child's presentation letter
    • Child's information
    • Photographs
    • Medical records
    • Confidential background information

    Medical evaluation of Referral by Oakland Children's Hospital (1/10/2007)

    File Referral Acceptance Paperwork: ($140 + $12) (1/6/2007)

    • Child Information Transmittal
    • Pay invoice for $17,500
    • 3 Placement Agreements - all notarized
    • T: 4 Statements of Adoption (for child's Korean passport) - all notarized
    • 3 Travel Option forms
    • 1 Foreign Travel Release - notarized
    • T: 2 Affidavit re INS Vaccination Requirements
    • T: 2 I-864 Affidavit of Support for Immigration
    • S: 2 I-864A Contract between Sponsor and Household Member
    • Copy of entire last year tax return, with ALL attachments
    • Copy of all last year W-2 and 1099 forms
    • T: Photocopy of birth certificate (again)
    • S: Photocopy of birth certificate (again)
    • T: Copy of 2006 paystubs
    • S: Copy of 2006 paystubs
    • Photocopy of marriage license (again)
    • Photocopy everything for records
    • FedEx to agency (1/6/2007)

    Receive child's "legals" from Korea (in English & Korean): (1/22/2007)

    • Affirmation and Oath Certificate (attests these documents are true and correct)
    • Certificate of the Guardian (certifies Korean agency was guardian)
    • Statement of Guardianship (transfers guardianship from Korean agency to American agency)
    • Extract of Family Register (birth certificate equivalent)

    I-600 visa petition form filed w/ US-CIS: (1/25/2007)

    • I-600 form
    • Copy of I-171H
    • Copies of child's legals
    • Originals of child's legals, with note and SASE envelope requesting they be returned
    • Copy of child report
    • Copy of child photos
    • Copy of most recent 1040 tax form
    • Copy of I-864
    • Copy of I-864A
    • Letter with visa cable instructions
    • Fedex to US-CIS San Francisco $25

    Meanwhile, the Korean agency works away:

    • Our application is translated
    • Korean agency applies for Emigration Permit with Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare
    • Ministry approves Emigration Permit (aka "EP")
    • Agency gets I-171 (I-600 approval) cable from US Embassy in Seoul
    • Baby tested for Hepatitis B & HIV
    • Visa physical for baby
    • Submit application for baby's IR-4 Visa

    Resubmit our I-600 visa petition after US-CIS screws up (2/9/2007)

    Buy baby gear (3/17/07)

    Baby CPR & safety class (2/17/07)

    Line up a regular pediatrician (3/5/07)

    Line up a pediatric cardiologist (3/14/07)

    Investigate childcare options (3/17/07)

    Line up Daycare (5/25/07)

    Get on preschool waiting list (1/5/07)

    Setup nursery(3/19/07)

    Get life insurance for both

    Write wills with statements of guardianship wishes (both)

    Set up trust

    S: Get pre-approval family leave with HR (1/24/2007)

    Buy gifts for foster family, Korean agency staff (3/16/07)

    Make travel arrangements to Korea ($185 plus 240,000 frequent flyer miles) (3/13/07)

    Wrap-up job for a 15-week leave (3/12/07-3/16/07)

    Finalize leave plans with HR (3/15/07)

    Travel to Korea (3/19/07 - 3/25/07)

    • Meet both foster mothers (3/21/07, 3/22/07, 3/23/07)
    • In-Korea pre-flight medical exam (3/22/07)
    • Go to US Embassy in Seoul to process Class-B Waiver (acceptance of medical condition) 3/22/07
    • Get the final Visa paperwork (3/22/07)
    • Take custody of child! (3/23/07)
    • Long plane ride back to USA (3/25/07)

    USA Medical Evaluations

    • Add baby to my health insurance (3/28/07)
    • Evaluation by regular pediatrician (3/30/07)
    • US immunizations (3/30/07)
    • Evaluation by pediatric cardiologist (4/18/07)
    Receive Placement Confirmation Notice from Agency (3/28/06)

    Receive baby's Green Card in mail (4/16/07)

    Get social security number under baby's Korean Name as permanent resident (4/27/07)

    Receive post-placement packet in mail from Agency(4/15/07)

    Post-placement visits from social worker: (9/12/07)

    • Visit #1 (4/28/07)
    • Visit #2 (6/30/07)
    • Visit #3 (7/26/07)
    • Visit #4 (9/12/07)

    Create and file child "progress reports" with 8-18 photos each, for Korean agency and government, and a letter with photos for foster family (9/12/07)

    • 1-month progress report (4/28/07)
    • 3-month progress report (6/30/07)
    • 4-month progress report (7/26/07)
    • 6-month progress report (9/12/07)

    File US Physician's Examination Report with Agency (4/17/07)

    File Adoption Finalization Paperwork in our county in California (5/1/07) ($20)

    • Form ADOPT-200 (Adoption Request) (5/1/07)
    • Form ADOPT-210 (Adoption Agreement) (5/1/07)
    • Form ADOPT-215 (Adoption Order) (5/1/07)
    • Form ADOPT-230 (Adoption Expenses) (5/1/07)

    RE-File Finalization Paperwork the State changed in July '07 (ARGH!) (11/13/07)

    • Form ADOPT-210 (Adoption Agreement) (11/13/07)
    • Form ADOPT-215 (Adoption Order) (11/3/07)

    Finalize Adoption in County Court

    • Receive "Consent to Adoption" from agency (11/2/07)
    • Schedule court hearing (coming in December '07!)
    • Adoption finalization court hearing (Munchkin is now a US citizen, and his American name is now his legal name!)
    • Have a HUGE Party to celebrate!
    • Send agency/Korea copy of child's adoption decree (child is no longer considered a Korean citizen)
    • Send adoption announcements

    Secure proof of US citizenship for child:

    • Complete & file N-600 with US-CIS, pay fee
    • Receive Certificate of Citizenship
    • File passport application
    • Receive passport
    • Apply to SSA to get status changed from resident alien to citizen, SS# name changed (passport is proof)

    Start the process all over again for kid #2!