For many people, becoming a parent is a dream come true. From playing with dolls and playing house as children to the societal pressure to start a family by a certain age, we imagine our lives with children. Unfortunately, the road to becoming a parent is not straightforward for everyone. In fact, it is far more common for people to find natural conception challenging than you might imagine. There are, however, alternative routes to becoming a parent if you can find a solution that suits your situation. If you and your partner have been trying to conceive for two years or more without success, here are some of your options.

Infertility treatment 

Often the first port of call for couples who are finding it difficult to conceive is their doctor. You and your partner can undergo tests to uncover any underlying issues that might be preventing conception or the woman’s capacity to carry a pregnancy to full term. The results can then be used to prescribe the right type of fertility drugs for your situation that can boost your fertility.

If the fertility drugs are unsuccessful, the next step would be to consider other procedures and treatments known as assisted reproductive technology (ART). This might mean in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), assisted hatching, gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), or zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT). Click here for more information on these treatments.

Embryo, egg, or sperm donors 

If one person in the couple cannot contribute the sperm or egg required to create a viable embryo, it may be possible to find a donor. This means that only one parent will be genetically connected to the child. This route is sometimes used when one or both parents are carriers of a genetic disease to reduce the likelihood of passing it on to the next generation. It is possible to secure a donation from an anonymous donor but still be aware of relevant biological characteristics like medical history, IQ, and hair or eye color.

Surrogacy

Some people are unable to carry a child themselves because they have a medical condition. In these instances, surrogacy might be a viable option. An embryo is created from the sperm and egg of the intended parents, but it is then implanted in the uterus of a surrogate woman who carries the child until birth. Of course, the parents will not physically experience pregnancy, but they will both be genetically related to their child.

Fostering or adoption

If being a parent to a child in need of a loving family is more important than becoming pregnant or having genetic connections, then fostering and/or adoption might be the perfect solution. The foster care system has lots of children of all ages who cannot live with their biological parents. Although challenging, it can be an incredibly rewarding experience that can lead to permanent adoption. Visit thefca.co.uk for more information on fostering a child. Adoption without fostering first is another route that gives you legal responsibility for a child, making them a permanent member of your family.

Decide to remain childless 

Of course, there is no rule that says that you have to have a child at any cost, so you may decide to remain childless. It can be a stressful and exhausting process trying to conceive a child without success, and infertility treatment is costly and can be painful. You may be able to live a fulfilling and rewarding life without becoming parents if you are both in agreement.