If you’re planning a child, you have a long journey ahead of you. No matter how you conceive or receive this child, you’re going to find yourself being wholly responsible for their health, happiness and wellbeing into adulthood and well through their adult lives. This is no small matter to consider and is something that you should do your research on and gather your thoughts on long before stepping into the process. Of course, having a child can differ from one person to another and there are various ways to go about it. Here are some suggestions that might meet your needs and preferences.
If you are able to get pregnant yourself, through intercourse with a partner, this tends to be the easiest, most straightforward and lowest cost way of becoming a parent. This, however, doesn’t mean that it’s always smooth sailing and that you will become pregnant first try. You do need to put some planning in place for this. Take steps such as eating a healthy balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, cutting out smoking and drinking and even taking prenatal supplements. Discontinue use of birth control and monitor your cycle to try to conceive during your period of ovulation. This is when most pregnancies are successful.
If you find that you are struggling to become pregnant, you may want to look into IVF. IVF stands for “in vitro fertilisation” and entails a complex series of procedures that are used to help with fertility or prevent genetic problems. IVF can significantly assist with the conception of a child. During the IVF process, you will find that mature eggs are collected from ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. The fertilized egg (also referred to as an “embryo”) is then transferred to a uterus. One full cycle of IVF takes about three weeks, however, it’s important to note that the process can take longer for some individuals.
Another option that you might want to consider, if you are unable to or don’t want to carry your own child, is surrogacy. There are two key types of surrogacy. A traditional surrogate is a woman who gets artificially inseminated with the father’s sperm. They then carry the baby and deliver it for you and your partner to raise. A traditional surrogate is the baby’s biological mother. That’s because it was their egg that was fertilized by the father’s sperm, however, in cases where there isn’t a father’s sperm involved in the process (for example, same sex partners seeking a child or a single person seeking a child, donor sperm can also be used). Many parents choose to use a surrogacy agency, who will take care of much of the process and organisation for you. A second option is gestational surrogacy, which incorporates IVF. In this process, eggs are gathered from the mother (or an egg donor), they are fertilised with sperm from the father (or a sperm donor) and are then placed into the uterus of a gestational surrogate. The surrogate then carries the baby until birth. They don’t have any genetic ties to the child.
Adoption is another great option that may meet your needs. Adoption is the legal process that allows you to take on a child or a group of siblings who cannot be brought up within their birth family. This child, or these children, will become full, permanent and legal members of your family. Adoption rules differ from one place to another, so it’s important that you take time to look into the requirements in the location where you are based. It can be a long process and you will need to prove that you are fit to become a parent, providing the child with the quality of life that they deserve. If you or a member or your household have a criminal conviction or caution for offences against children or for serious sexual offences, this will definitely rule you out. However, there are generally leniency that will allow for most other people to be able to adopt children. You should reach out to some adoption agencies in your area who will be able to explain the process in more detail and can guide you along this journey if you decide that it is the right one for you.
Hopefully, some of the information outlined above will really help you to take your first steps towards having a child and meeting their needs as best possible.