Families come in all shapes and sizes. So long as everyone takes care of each other and loves one another, there really isn’t one version of a family that is better than another. Starting a family for some could mean getting a pet, for others it could mean getting pregnant. So long as you are open to all the different interpretations of family and even parenthood, you are on the right track. If your definition of starting a family, however, is to bring children into your unit, then this guide will help you understand your options:
1. Getting Pregnant
The classic way of starting a family is to get pregnant. If you are experiencing fertility issues, however, then there are still options. You can try IVF, for example, or alternatively you could use a surrogate. Surrogates are typically people (even those close to you) who love being pregnant and who are happy to carry your baby to term on your behalf. They are usually paid and compensated for their time. Surrogacy is usually the go-to option when giving birth is a danger to the mother.
Regardless of what route you take, bringing a baby of your own into the world is a huge deal. If it is what is right for you then use whatever resources or approaches are available to you. If getting pregnant is not an option for any reason, including your own preferences, then there are other great options available.
Fostering is a great way to support families in the short term, and in some cases even in the long-term. It is the long-term fostering situations that have the potential to become their own family unit. One thing to remember when you foster, however, is that everything you do needs to be what is right for your charge. If that means taking up the role of a parent, then do it. If it means being a safe place for them while their parents work on getting them back, then that’s what you do. There are a lot of steps and types of fostering, so if you are interested it’s a good idea to get in touch with a foster agency to start the process today.
Adopting is another option. While you can adopt babies directly, often from their bio parents or through an agency, the better approach is to go through the foster system. When you adopt, you must always try to keep a strong relationship with their bio family. Not only is it important for health reasons, but it’s also how your kids will feel supported and confident in who they are and where they have come from.
4. Joining a Family
Another way to start a family is to join one. It can be difficult to date and commit to someone who already has kids, even if you want to do your best as their stepparent. Persevere and make it obvious you are making your own space in their lives, if they accept you and your intention is not to replace anyone.