Fam­ily through adop­tion?

SHE Carribean Magazine - - REAL LIFE -

Clearly, be­ing on an adop­tion wait­ing list isn't like be­ing preg­nant. When you be­come preg­nant, a forty week count­down be­gins which is mapped out in vivid tech­ni­colour de­tail th­ese days via books, mag­a­zines and a host of on­line par­ent­ing re­sources. Thanks to mod­ern tech­nol­ogy and im­prove­ments in public health, around the Caribbean we have seen a re­duc­tion in in­fant death rates, so the vast ma­jor­ity of preg­nan­cies progress nor­mally and re­sult in a healthy baby just about nine months af­ter con­cep­tion.

There's time to study up on birth tech­niques and baby’s first months; time to shop for teeny lit­tle socks and hats and the co­pi­ous list of things ba­bies need to be com­fort­able and safe as they en­ter your world and your fam­ily.

Friends and co-work­ers com­ment on your glow­ing com­plex­ion, your in­flat­ing bump and your sheer luck at not suf­fer­ing from morn­ing sick­ness, then send you off on ma­ter­nity leave with an arm­ful of adorable swag and their best wishes, ex­pec­tantly await­ing the ar­rival of your bun­dle of joy.

So far from the case of the par­ents who yearn for a fam­ily, try­ing for years to con­ceive, only to be given the no-news-is-good-news belly blow that there is no ob­vi­ous rea­son why it's not hap­pen­ing nat­u­rally. The joy­ful prospect of start­ing a fam­ily be­comes an emo­tion­ally charged chore be­hind closed doors, and over the course of months, then years, life be­comes an on­slaught of in­sen­si­tive ques­tions and com­ments from un­wit­ting friends won­der­ing when they can ex­pect to see the lit­eral fruits of your labour.

Dis­ap­point­ment slowly en­velops, op­ti­mism grad­u­ally fades and re­al­ism sets in, de­mand­ing a reeval­u­a­tion of the child­less sta­tus quo, and for an in­creas­ing num­ber of cou­ples in the Caribbean, that means con­sid­er­ing adop­tion as a prac­ti­cal way to start a fam­ily. That gi­ant leap taken, the reg­is­tra­tion process is time-con­sum­ing but be­comes the cat­a­lyst for re­newed op­ti­mism and ex­cite­ment; a baby could ar­rive lit­er­ally at any mo­ment, and the prospec­tive par­ents start to imag­ine the day that their fam­ily will be com­plete.

Then the wait­ing be­gins, and for some

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