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Topic: Adoption after cancer and/or Fertility Preservation

Forum: Family and Family Planning Matters —

A comforting place to discuss planning a family, fertility concerns, parenting children, or relationship issues with partners, siblings, or parents following a diagnosis.

Posted on: Jul 30, 2018 11:44AM

Pollycat wrote:

Hi all,

I was recently diagnosed with ER+/PR+ IDC which is small and appears to be contained so far. I'm pre-surgery and was referred to a fertility specialist to understand my options. I'm 41, a good candidate to freeze embryos, and my doctor has recommended doing this before surgery just in case I need another round of retrieval, although that appears unlikely. Then there is the question - would I even come off Tamoxifen after two years to use the embryos?

My husband and I have always been on the fence about having children, but have been talking about having children recently. I've always been leaning toward the adoption route, however, I understand that adoption post-cancer is very challenging. Do any of you have experience with this? From what I understand, 5 years cancer free is the minimum requirement for most, if not all agencies. At that point, I will be 46, and with the waiting time being up to two years, I'm not sure that timing is ideal for me - or a child!

Does anyone have experience with adoption post-cancer, or insight on choosing to (or not to) freeze embryos/eggs? Difficult decisions in a short amount of time - any experiences with this are greatly appreciated :)

Recently diagnosed with IDC - pre-surgery
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Jul 30, 2018 12:07PM Moderators wrote:

Hi Pollycat!

Welcome to Breastcancer.org, and thanks for posting. We're so sorry to hear of your diagnosis, and that you're struggling with so many difficult decisions right now. We know it can be very overwhelming, but we're so glad you found our Community -- we're sure others will be by shortly who have gone through this experience and who can weigh in with their thoughts and advice.

In the meantime, you may be interested in checking out the main Breastcancer.org site's section on Fertility and Pregnancy Issues During and After Breast Cancer, including detailed information on:

We hope this helps! Please remember to check back on this thread for answers from our members -- we're sure you'll find these boards an incredible resource. We look forward to hearing more from you soon!

--The Mods

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Jul 30, 2018 05:53PM - edited Jul 30, 2018 05:57PM by Jelson

you fortunately live in NYC and therefore are in the area covered by the the Adoptive Parents Committee www.adoptiveparents.org/ - a support group founded in 1955 by and for prospective and adoptive families. APC helps families explore many different routes to adoption. APC holds a conference in November, that, or a local chapter meeting might be a good introduction. We chose international adoption, adopting our daughter from Mexico in 1986 and our son from Brazil in 1989. APC is still going strong and is a wonderful resource for anyone considering adoption - and they should be able to help you identify options which might not require specific years post-cancer diagnosis.

Dx 4/17/2009, DCIS, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Sep 5, 2018 10:02AM urmysunshine17 wrote:

hi @Pollycat. This post speaks to me as I am facing similar issues. Only, hubby and I couldn’t afford to freeze my eggs (insurance wouldn’t cover it at all) andi am going through chemo. Who knows what my fertility will be after chemo is done.


I didn’t realize adoption would be so challenging and now sincerely regret our decision to not freeze my eggs/embryos. I hope you made the decision that is right for you.


My oncologist says you have to be on Tamoxifen for 2 years before coming off and trying to get pregnant.


Have you found any additional information that has been helpful to you about adoption

Dx 5/14/2018, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER-/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Targeted Therapy 6/1/2018 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 6/1/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 6/1/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Sep 14, 2018 06:18PM Pollycat wrote:

Hi there - a friend of a friend adopted a few years after her diagnosis (I don’t know type, stage, treatment), and was in her later 40s. She recommended going through the Adoption Alliance. She was quite nervous about approaching them given her history, but had a great experience. I haven’t looked into it much but I hope this helps!

Wishing you all the best and if I receive any more info I’ll be sure to share.



Recently diagnosed with IDC - pre-surgery
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Oct 5, 2018 02:40AM PebblesV wrote:

Hi ladies - so glad you started this thread as I’m 43 and my husband and I were just starting to visit fertility options when all of this hit us. I’m post surgery and pre-other treatment like chemo and tamoxifen right now. I get a pit in my stomach when I hear that chemo can cause infertility and tamoxifen basically puts you into early menopause.

Met with the oncologist today and based on the cancer being the slow growing type, he’s OK with us going through the steps to pull and preserve some eggs. Also I hear there are “oncofertility” options where they try and preserve your fertility a success much as possible while going through chemo? Might be worth asking about

Dx 9/7/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 2/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/19/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 30, 2018 02:56PM christina0001 wrote:

I looked into this a little bit when I was going through treatments, as I was in my early to mid thirties and looking forward to having children before being diagnosed. I read the same as you did, that in many cases it's difficult to adopt after a cancer diagnosis, especially immediately afterwards. Which is understandable, albeit frustrating. Another option may be to adopt through the state, children who have been placed in foster care and need a permanent home. If that is something you're open to that might be worth checking out. In my state, I did not come across any restrictions related to a cancer diagnosis when I looked into it. Good luck!

Surgery 1/11/2012 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 1/16/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 2/10/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Targeted Therapy 2/13/2012 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 2/13/2012 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 8/10/2012 Mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 8/24/2012 Radiation Therapy 10/1/2012 Breast Surgery 7/30/2013 Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap

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