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Topic: Adoption after cancer treatment?

Forum: Young With Breast Cancer —

Connect with those under 40 who have been diagnosed.

Posted on: Jul 25, 2015 10:11AM

littleblueflowers wrote:

Hi everyone,

I am looking for some hope! My husband and I have been trying to have children for 8 years. This spring, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I will finish up treatment soon. We were hoping to adopt a child befor I was diagnosed, but now it seems like because I had cancer, that dream is very far away. I am 34 years old, so that's another strike against me. Does anyone have any experience with adoption after cancer treatment? All experiences welcome!

If it stops the nightmares, it probably won't kill me Dx 3/9/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 2/16 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 3/9/2015 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy Lymph nodes Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol)
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Jul 25, 2015 12:02PM 208sandy wrote:

Have no info on adoption except to say that I was adopted almost 70 years ago by two wonderful people (they adopted three of us) I don't know why a cancer diagnosis would keep you from being allowed to adopt - seems very shortsighted to me but as you can see I am very prejudiced - sending hugs and hope. S.

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Jul 25, 2015 12:09PM Moderators wrote:

Hi Littleblueflowers --

We don't have any experience, but we're sure there will be others by shortly who can offer their advice! In the meantime, you may want to check out the main Breastcancer.org site's page on Adoption after breast cancer treatment for some good things to think about and some tips!

We hope this helps!

--The Mods

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Aug 12, 2015 01:24AM clarrn wrote:

It depends on the agency. The two I contacted told me 5 years after the all clear :( Hope you get a different answer. I am in Canada.

30 years old at dx, Implant lost due to infection. Open wound packing for 108 days :( now onto a Free Tram Dx 12/4/2013, DCIS, 6cm+, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Dx 1/29/2014, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 2/27/2014 Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant, Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 4/8/2014 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 10/15/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 2/27/2015 Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 3/23/2015 Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 8/24/2020 Reconstruction (left): Free TRAM flap; Reconstruction (right): Free TRAM flap
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Aug 12, 2015 01:49AM sas-schatzi wrote:

Little blue, a double hit... cancer and wanting to adopt. No rhyme or reason to anything. I was married at 21. No pregnancy till 34. Maternal grand parents. 28 & 32 when married. The first two died, early 1900's.  Folks said to them it was a sign they shouldn't have children. They went on to have 8. How and why--who knows until we have history. Keep working it. The story isn't written.

Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out shouting "holy crap....what a ride".
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Aug 12, 2015 01:57AM Pessa wrote:

I adopted 2 children (2 years apart) as a single woman at age 42 and 44. At that time I had only had melanoma, about a year before the first adoption. The only treatment I had was resection of the area. No other treatment was needed. I did private adoptions, using a lawyer, so did not have to deal directly with an agency until after a birthmother was identified who wanted me to adopt her child. Both my children were adopted at birth (I was present for each of their births) and were (and are) healthy. The youngest just graduated high school

Dx 2/20/2010, IDC, <1cm, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/5/2010 AC Surgery 10/22/2010 Lumpectomy: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 11/20/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jan 10, 2016 10:04AM MissBee123 wrote:

littleblue, my husband and I are in the exact same situation as you. I wondered if you had had any updates or new information? I ended up making a list of every adoption agency in my state, Colorado (no private adoptions allowed, only agency approved), and sorted them into agencies I liked and those I did not. I sorted by information available on their website, fee disclosures, number of placements, whether or not they specialize in infant adoption, and if they had any religious restrictions. Once I made my list, I had six agencies I liked so I emailed all of them asking what their policy is on adoptive mothers with breast cancer. I'm still waiting to hear back from most but one agency said they take it on a case by case basis.

I hope all is going well with you. It's such a kick in the teeth to have your dreams of becoming a parent delayed on top this horrid diagnosis.

Dx 5/12/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/12 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 7/26/2015 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 7/26/2015 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 7/26/2015 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 11/1/2015 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap, PAP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap, PAP flap Chemotherapy 1/10/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 2/29/2016 Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Jan 10, 2016 05:18PM littleblueflowers wrote:

Hi MissBee!

Unfortunatly I have not gotten as far as you with things. Work got busy, and on top of treatment, I was to tired and just couldn't handle more bad news. Please do share what you find out, if you'd like to. We can't be the only ones in this position. I am going to ask my MO in 3 months at my next visit if he will write a letter for me saying my prognosis is good- but I'm scared to just in case it isnt! Good thoughts to you as you work through this, and I will post as I find out more info.

If it stops the nightmares, it probably won't kill me Dx 3/9/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 2/16 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 3/9/2015 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy Lymph nodes Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol)
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Feb 14, 2016 10:43AM MissBee123 wrote:

littleblue, just wanted to give you an update. I've heard back from the various agencies and there are several in my state who are willing to work with me while I'm still in active treatment! Not all of them, but I only need one. Now I know it sounds crazy to start the adoption process while in the middle of chemo, but we are doing so because the wait time can be so long. The first part of joining an agency is to have an approved home study, which takes a few months for a social worker to do. After that, the national average is 12-18 months of wait time for a domestic infant adoption. Because of that, we know we are looking at 1.5-2 years before we potentially get a baby (knowing some people wait more/less time). By that time I ought to be well out of treatment and we will be ready to welcome a baby into our home.

The agencies do want a letter from my oncologist, but they've been very supportive and understanding. I'll keep you updated after our first meetings next month. Hope you are doing well!

Also, if you are interested, there are several excellent facebook groups for people wanting to adopt that have great information. There is also an excellent podcast by Creating A Family (they are one of the facebook groups I joined, too) that covers a wide variety of topics related to fertility/adoption, including adoption after cancer.

Dx 5/12/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/12 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 7/26/2015 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 7/26/2015 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 7/26/2015 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 11/1/2015 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap, PAP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap, PAP flap Chemotherapy 1/10/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 2/29/2016 Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Feb 14, 2016 05:44PM Pessa wrote:

FYI, I adopted twice as a single mother about 20 yrs ago. I am sure things have changed, but I found my birth mothers through advertisement in the newspapers around the country, used a private lawyer and only used an agency for a home study and other legal requirements. I was present at the births of both of my sons. At that time I had had a history of melanoma, not yet breast cancer or lung cancer. From meeting with the lawyer to having my babies in my hands was about 4 months and 8 months. I didn't rely on an agency to find the birthmothers.

Dx 2/20/2010, IDC, <1cm, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/5/2010 AC Surgery 10/22/2010 Lumpectomy: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 11/20/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Feb 15, 2016 07:04AM MissBee123 wrote:

Thank you, Pessa! I happen to live in one of only four states where you cannot do private adoption with a lawyer. Colorado is an "agency only" state so I have to use an agency to facilitate the whole process. Thankfully I've found a few places I really like. There are some good national agencies who promise a shorter wait time (specifically American Adoptions), more along your timelines, but they're about $50k versus $30k and told me they would not work with me until I was well out of treatment.

For those not in an agency state, private does seem easier and perhaps a bit faster, but I picked the wrong state to live in!

Dx 5/12/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/12 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 7/26/2015 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 7/26/2015 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 7/26/2015 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 11/1/2015 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap, PAP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap, PAP flap Chemotherapy 1/10/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 2/29/2016 Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Feb 15, 2016 07:17AM jlstacey wrote:

I just want to say good luck! We have two children, bio siblings, adopted from Russia. They have been home 7 1/2 years! I was 35 when we started the process. I think that is a pretty typical age for it.

For us, it was a very hard process, but that was due to our first agency and it being Russia.

Are you hoping to adopt from birth? Or have you thought about adopting a waiting child

Dx 1/9/2015, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 1/29/2015 AC Chemotherapy 3/25/2015 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 7/31/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 2/18/2016 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Feb 15, 2016 11:14AM MissBee123 wrote:

jlstacey, our first preference is to do a domestic infant adoption, especially as we will be first time parents. I think maybe later on in life we might consider adopting older children, but currently we're not quite prepared for that. In my research the agencies I've spoken to let us know that for foster care, they will only take on families who are expressing willingness to foster within at least the age range of 0-8. They will not allow you to have a more narrow parameter. Adoption seems much the same; they were very clear there are few children under the age of 5 available for adoption (unless of course they are placed by an expectant mother).

I knew the adoption process would be complicated but it has been eye-opening to really learn about it fully. It's nice to hear about families like yours that had a positive experience!

Dx 5/12/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/12 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 7/26/2015 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 7/26/2015 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 7/26/2015 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 11/1/2015 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap, PAP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap, PAP flap Chemotherapy 1/10/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 2/29/2016 Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Feb 15, 2016 01:57PM littleblueflowers wrote:

Hey everyone! Thanks for posting all the good info! Please do keep us posted about your journey. I am still in the research process here. Best of luck!

If it stops the nightmares, it probably won't kill me Dx 3/9/2015, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 2/16 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 3/9/2015 Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy Lymph nodes Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol)
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Feb 15, 2016 03:35PM Pessa wrote:

wishing you good health and much luck with becoming a parent

Dx 2/20/2010, IDC, <1cm, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/5/2010 AC Surgery 10/22/2010 Lumpectomy: Right; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 11/20/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jun 7, 2016 11:30AM MissBee123 wrote:

Hi all! Happy June.

Just posting a short update. I am done (!!!) with chemo as of last Thursday and am finally able to start moving forward with some normalcy. We have chosen an adoption agency and I'm very happy with them. They are a small agency, they only work with 30 families at a time, which has both benefits and drawbacks. The benefit is that they show all 30 families to every expectant mother they work with. The drawback is that their 30 families list is full so we had to go on a waitlist to become active. We joined in March at #26 on the waitlist and as of yesterday we were at #18. The agency said they will begin several home studies soon, though, so we should be moving up quickly. It's hard to wait but, for me, this is the right agency and they're worth it.

How are the rest of you doing? Any updates littleblue?

Dx 5/12/2015, DCIS/IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/12 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 7/26/2015 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 7/26/2015 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 7/26/2015 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Surgery 11/1/2015 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap, PAP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap, PAP flap Chemotherapy 1/10/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 2/29/2016 Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Jun 11, 2016 02:47PM DistrictGirl wrote:

Congrats MissBee123 on finishing chemo - what a huge milestone! And I'm glad you found the agency that's right for you!

I was recently diagnosed and opted not to freeze my eggs before chemo. My husband and I have both agreed for years that our first priority is to adopt - our wedding registry last year was actually an adoption fund! While there's a possibility we will still be able to have biological children after chemo since I'm still pretty young, we're not counting on it and we are so happy to just focus on adopting. This is probably at least 3-5 years down the road for us, but I'd love to follow along this thread to learn from your experiences! I know it can take a long time and want to be as prepared as possible.

Dx 5/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 6/26/2016 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab)

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