I’m 41 years old and to date, I’ve never heard my biological clock tick. That hasn’t stopped me from agonising about whether or not I should have a baby. For over a decade I’ve gone back and forth on this ad nauseum. In 2008 at an international feminist meeting, I was struck by a comment one woman made. She said her one regret was not having a child. I’ve lived in fear that I could potentially have that same fear one day. And that fear made me constantly question myself. Wouldn’t it be better to have a child than not have a child? After all you tend to regret the things you don’t do and not what you do. And then in the early stages of one relationship, I fell pregnant. It was unplanned but after getting over the initial shock my partner and I became excited. 12 weeks later we found out that the foetus didn’t have a heartbeat. That was a really difficult and deeply emotional time for me.
A year later my then partner and I decided to try for a baby but this time via IVF. As we were both sickle cell carriers, we wanted to eliminate the one in three chance of having a child with sickle cell. The first round of IVF was very costly, partly because we were being treated in the UK as the type of treatment we needed wasn’t available in Ghana. Fast forward a few months later, and I found myself at the end of that relationship and shortly afterwards grappling with the question of whether I wanted to try another round of IVF but this time as a single woman. I went back and forth on the question even having two consultations with fertility centres in Ghana and South Africa. Eventually I decided to go deep within me and ask myself, ‘what do you really want?’ I had to ask myself this because I recognised that I had been acting out of fear and a desire to please the people around me including my ex and my parents. And so I made the choice to return to a desire I have always had and that’s been to adopt. I’ve never understood why we keep having children when there are already so many children in the world who need love. I’m looking forward to sharing my love with such children one day.
Have you adopted a child? Will you ever consider adopting? Are you an adopted child? Share your experiences in the comments below