45 answers

Risky Birth Versus Adoption

I need some advice. I have a four year old son. My pregnancy with him was fairly uncomplicated, he was born full term and really healthy. I did have a miscarriage before I got pregnant with him, and struggled with vaginosis throughout my pregnancy. I was also put on limited activity during the last trimester because I kept spotting, and was group B strep positive at delivery. Since then, I have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. It is currently under control, but I am worried about how complicated my next pregnancy will be. The doctor says they will have to monitor my thyroid closely, and I will be at an increased risk for pre-term labor and gestional diabetes. My baby will also be at a risk for developmental problems. I have no idea how big an "increased" risk it would be, but the doctor thinks chances are that everything will be alright. My problem is, I am a worrier by nature, and I am unsure how much risk I am willing to take. I would hate to go into a pregnancy knowing my condition could harm me or my unborn baby. My husband and I are both very open to adoption, but it feels weird picking that option when I know I could probably carry another child.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

hey dede,
I just wanted to let you know I am still in the same boat and if you want to email me back and forth again you can anytime ____@____.com

Well I don't know the risks but I can tell you that I have an underactive thyroid and have to take medicine every day for the rest of my life. I had my first baby a little over a year ago and there was no problems. I don't really have any advice for you unfortunately but I thought I would let you know that I had a very healthy 8lb baby and had no problems because of my thyroid. Good luck on what ever decision you make.

Hi. I delivered 2 very healthy babies with my hypothyroidism! I was diagnosed at 3 months pregnant with the first!

More Answers

First - I'm not trying to say you SHOULDN'T try to have another biological child. That decision is up to you and your husband.

But, with regard to adoption, you might be surprised to know that a lot of people adopt that are capable of bearing children. It can be difficult to adopt the "healthy white U.S.-born newborn" that some idealize - and many seem to compete for - but there are a lot of kids that need homes. Among them:

1. Children (mostly over 3 years old by the time they're available for adoption) of all races in the foster care system here in the U.S.

2. Children and infants of all races in orphanages around the world.

3. Healthy mixed-race infants here in the U.S.

You will need to research both the facts and your hearts to determine which of the many options is best for your family, but given that there are a LOT of kids who need homes and don't have them, there is NOTHING wrong with adopting when you could have a biological child - even without the "complicated pregnancy" issues. I have no idea what your beliefs are, but I once went to an adoption seminar where one of the main topics was "Is adoption God's plan B" and their answer was NO. They pointed out that Jesus was adopted by Joseph, among other things. I won't go into more in this public forum, but if you're interested in more info. you can PM me.

I have friends who have known since they were teenagers that they wanted to adopt. I know folks that have both bio and adopted children. As for me personally and my family, both of our children are adopted.

So I guess my message is...don't feel "funny" about considering adoption when you are capable (as far as you know) of bearing children. That's not a conflict.


1 mom found this helpful

Hi DeDe,

I am a mom to two little ones...a 3 y.o. biological son and a 1 y.o. adopted daughter. As far as I know, I am able to have more biological children but I am an adoptee and have always wanted to adopt at least one child. Adoption is a wonderful blessing and is an option that isn't necessarily "for" everyone. I think God puts it on the hearts of some people and not on the hearts of others. My husband also had the desire to adopt so it made perfect sense for us to give a baby a home and loving family that needed one. I just want to encourage you to follow your heart and pray about it. Health concerns aside...if adoption stays on your heart or mind, it might be something y'all really need to consider. I guarantee you it will be a blessing to everyone involved.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I'm surprised you think it odd to choose adoption over having a baby. I think it odd to choose to have a baby when there are so many children in need of care. I am the single mother of a child I adopted. I can highly recommend adoption and certainly don't see anything strange about choosing to parent a child that needs a parent. Many people choose to have their own children and to adopt, so you'd be one of many, not strangely unique. Go fot it!

1 mom found this helpful

Before you make your decision, speak to at least two perinatologists. They work with OB's on high risk moms.
Your pregnancy doesn't sound "uncomplicated". Perhaps less than some, but in no way uncomplicated. So, I'd start there.
I was told by a few doctors that I SHOULD NOT have another child. I was 40 when I carried my first to term, had several probs, miscarraiges, etc. And frankly gained over 100lbs including at one point 11 water lbs/week. It was HORRIBLE.
I am lucky I have no residual complications. Yes, I could get PG with scientific intervention, but it would not be a good choice for my family if I took the risk and something happened to me. Where would that leave my husband/son?More than ANYTHING else in the world, I wanted several children. But I miscarried so many and put my body through so much that we made the decision that we wouldn't get pg.
For you, it may be FAR different.
You are at the beginning/research phase. I've already been told.
Dr. Maxwell is a GREAT OB/GYN in Ft. Worth. He is with Cooks... and he has a perinatologist that you can see as well.
And I have to tell you that Dr. Maxwell was NOT one of the docs who will flat out said "no". He will say "if you choose to here are the risks..." and "you will have to be seen by a team, not just me".
But he will be HONEST.
I think it would give you peace of mind. Something is telling you to be careful!

Take care and best wishes.

1 mom found this helpful

I have 3 boys and was diagnosed with hypothyroidism after my second son. I didn't have any complications with my 3rd because of it. Of course the doctor can't promise you everything will be fine, but I just wanted you to know I had a perfectly normal pregnancy despite the thyroid condition (and so did my sister who is also hypothyroid). We use the same doctor and you just need to tell him as soon as you are pregnant. I called him before I even got into my OB and he changed my dose over the phone. Then my OB drew the blood for me whenever he would need it since I was there (and they were doing bloodwork for different things anyway most of the time). My OB would just fax the results to him and my dose would change-I probably changed 4 times during my pregnancy. I believe I went from 88 to 120(or something). I am now on 112 so I never went completely back to what I was before, but I just wanted you to know a positive story if you decide to try to get pregnant yourself again. Good luck.

I don't have any advice, but I am sending you a hug.

Well I don't know the risks but I can tell you that I have an underactive thyroid and have to take medicine every day for the rest of my life. I had my first baby a little over a year ago and there was no problems. I don't really have any advice for you unfortunately but I thought I would let you know that I had a very healthy 8lb baby and had no problems because of my thyroid. Good luck on what ever decision you make.

Hi there. I have suffered from hypothyroidism since I had my thyroid removed at the age of 24. I am now 48 and the proud mom of two healthy, wonderful teenage boys who are the light of my life. I had perfectly normal pregnancies and deliveries although I did have two miscarriages after my sons were born and am constantly battling with my weight and my hair once long, thick and healthy hair getting thinner. I am taking Unithroid tablets which will be forever I guess, but other than that I am very healthy.
I hope that this will help give you the encouragement you need and good luck in whatever path you choose to take.

Hi DeDe,

I don't have any personal experience or specific advice. But, wanted to offer that it is not weird at all to think about adoption even though you might be able to carry another child. Adoption isn't just a last choice kind of thing. It's a great thing for any couple to consider.

I also agree that I would get at least one more opinion, from a perinatologist. Information is power and it never ever hurts to get more.

Good luck!!

I have hypothyroidism and was diagnosed about seven years ago. I believe it is the reason it took me so long to become pregnant. Once I was diagnosed and placed on the right dosage of medicine for me, boom, I got pregnant. My son is now 5, he was born via c-section very healthy (he was just a large boy!). He's had no problems and neither did I. As several have suggested, I would get another opinion. I have remarried recently and have no qualms about having another child in another year or so.

Before becoming a mom, I was a social worker and worked as an adoption and foster care coordinator at a pregnancy support and child placing agency. I LOVE adoption and can't think of a more loving thing. I want you to know that adoption is a risk as well. You cannot be guaranteed a healthy child through adoption. I would really encourage you to do some research on adoption to take into consideration before making your decision. It can be very emotionally taxing...not saying it isn't worth it because it is. I have walked the road with countless couples...crying with them, laughing with them, sweating it out with them, anxiously pacing with them and then being able to place (literally) that precious child in their arms....there's just nothing like it. I just want you and your husband to be able to go into it with eyes wide open. I would be happy to answer questions. You can email me at ____@____.com. I miss working with adoptive families but I would miss my kids even more! :-) I would be honored to answer questions that you may have. Best wishes!

Dear De De,

I had very similar health issues going into my second pregnancy. I carried a second child full term. I stayed on my medicine and got my thyroid level checked regularly throughout my pregnancy. My second child has no developmental problems, in fact he's advanced, talking real words at 7 months. He does have a skin condition (eczema). I don't know if that's related to the hypothyroid or not.

Good Luck,

Hi DeDe,

I was never able to have children of my own, but God was kind enough to drop a wonderful newborn baby boy right into my lap. I sometimes forget that he is adopted and could not love him any more if I had given birth to him myself. He is now 10 and the love of our life so I highly recommend adoption. I do miss the fact that I was never able to feel a new life growing inside me, but you have already had that. Adoption can be scary also. We had one adoption fall through in the 28th week of her pregnency. She had complications which made her change her mind and keep the baby. But about the time this adoption was falling thru, another baby was being created and nine months later, we had our boy. Whatever you choose, your child will have a warm and loving home in which to grow up. Good luck.

Many people that are able to carry a child have and will adopt. No problem with that. Nothing wrong with having to "make" a decision regarding your next child instead of just letting it happen. Adoption is a very self examining journey. You have to ask yourself many questions regarding what you are willing to do and what you are not (race,medical problems, cost and more).
It's a very private road that unless you have gone through it yourself or know someone close that has is hard to really understand all the questions that being an adoptive parents has with it. I hope for you and your family the best in whatever you decide.
C. (An adoptive mom of two great little boys)

Hi DeDe, my name is N. I am a great grand mother of one truely wonderful child who is the only child of hr mother and she the only child of her mother. So you can see we are each a one child bearing woman. I wish I would have had to wisdom to adopt, there are so many children who need to love of a home and parents and siblings. But you know you must follow your heart in this matter. Good Luck

I just wanted to also recommend Dr. Maxwell at Harris in Fort Worth. He delivered both of my children by C-section. He is great. He tells you the options and risks, but he also acknowledges that you know your own body and have some intelligence of your own. He answers all your questions and is not a "my way or the highway" kind of doctor.

my suggestion, although it sounds cliche is to pray about it. you're be surprised that wether you are a christian or not he will be faithful in answering your questions and i he says yes yo getting preggo again the answer will be odvious and you won't worry nearly as much through out the pregnancy because you will know the child is from God.

I very much support adoption, my little sister was adopted. We have 6 children of our own and hope, in the near future, to adopt possibly two children to add to our family. I think it is a wonderful thing.

As for your concerns for child bearing with your problems. Well, I had 6 babies, while having hypothyroidism, and group B positive for three of them. I also have Lyme Disease and 18 inches of my back bone is fused. I never developed gestational diabetes and though my babies were a bit early they were all fine. My oldest was born at 35 weeks (but he was at 8lbs by then). All my others were only three weeks early ranging in size from 8.5lbs to 9.5lbs. Needless to say, I had big babies anyway. I was looking at 11-12 pound babies in some cases if I had gone full term.

But my point is that I have 6 wonderfully healthy kids. If I can do it, you could too. But that is a personal decision you are going to have to make on your own and weigh the pros and cons.

Adoption is a wonderful thing, but so is pregnancy.

Best of Luck!

I'm a 53 year old mom with seven birth children and two adopted children. and also a foster mom for the state. Adoption is a wonderful thing, especially, in my opinion, if you go through the state and take children who really need homes. They will be a little older before they are yours, but you know you are really helping a child in need of you.

That said, if it were me, I would probably also go ahead and have birth babies, too. I was also warned that having a baby was risking my life after the fifth one, because I had birth complications with every child. I had gestational diabetes with my sixth, it was rough, but you can deal with that, and the diet kept me from gaining a lot of weight during the pregnancy.

Do what God leads you to do, and if you consider adoption, please consider the foster care system.

DeDe, I sent you a message & wanted to double check to see if you got it!

I think do lots of research and learn as much as possible about what you are dealing with. In the end, only you and your dh will know what is right for you guys. Adoption is a beautiful thing...as is having your own child. You can't really go wrong once you figure out what is right for you guys!

Have you thought about using a surrogate? That way you are having your baby but don't have to go through the actual pregnancy. Adoption is always a wonderful thing. There are so many children out there that need a wonderful home.

Good luck!

So which one would worry you less? TO me, if your thyroid issue is under control, it's just an issue of keeping it there during pregnancy. You also would want to watch your weight gain - since that is a big risk factor in GD. Realize that any baby can have developmental problems, even an adopted baby who seems perfect at birth... one of my students was adopted (open adoption), and his adopted parents found out at 4 months that he is completely blind.

So much for safety.


you are the mother to have wonderfull children you have and you are the mother that the child needs mother to care as they will grow up and want to thank you for being a mother. every child needs mothering. it wouldnt hurt to adopt a child. go for it! also i rather be peace than worry about having a natural risky birth. this is most important thing is your health come first and able to care for them. enjoy them, love them, play with them and it is blessing! smile

I understand your concerns. Everyone is different, but I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism when I was 18. I didn't get pregnant until I was 28. I have always taken my Synthroid religiously so it is very undercontrol. Now I just get my blood checked once a year. I have three healthy boys. My first two pregnancies were completle uneventful. I did have gestational diabetes with my third child, but that may be due to my age (36) more than the thyroid issues. I also carried all of my babies to term.
I think the doctors are just telling you that to cover themselves if anything were to happen. I do think you need to make an informed decision, but as long as you are responsible for your health and take your medication, you should be able to have a healthy pregnancy.
Best of luck to you.


I also have hypothyroidism and now have a perfect 17 mo old son. You are at increased risk for all those complications IF your hypothyroidism is not controlled. Since you are on medication and your TSH levels are under control the increased risk is extremely minimal. I am currently trying to get pregnant again and my doctors are ecstatic. There is absolutely NO need to worry!

I also feel strongly about adopting, but will wait until we have another baby or two naturally before we adopt.

Please don't let your recent diagnosis sway you from having another baby. NO WORRIES!

M. :)

Hypothyroidism can be associated with all the things your doctor listed, but that does not mean you cannot have a healthy baby and a safe delivery. As a midwife, I have helped several women with thyroid problems. We just monitor it during pregnancy and watch the baby's growth. Stress and low iron can cause problems too, but many carry those risk factors with them into all their pregnancies!

As far as the BV and the GBS, have you tried taking probiotic? They can help put your system to rights and return normal flora to your vagina.

Good luck!

V. Meinhardt, LM, CPM

I have always wanted children since I can remember. It has always been my plan to both have natural children and adopt a child. Do to the unexpected blessing that will be here in a little over a week, I am no longer sure if I will be able to adopt. I think that adoption is a beautiful thing. There are so many children out there who need love and acceptance. I personally feel that I was given so much in my life (we were not rich but my parents did their best to ensure that we had all kinds of experiences and we were never without anything.) If you are wanting to have another newborn then you will probably be in for a long wait. If not, you might look into adopting a child that is in foster care. I suggest that you research all your options and make an informed choice. There is nothing wrong with choosing to adopt a child who is already in this world and desperately needs someone who will give it love and acceptance instead of bringing another one into the world. I would see if you could find other mothers who have/had your condition and ask how their pregnancy experiences/outcomes were. I personally know of someone who had two really bad experiences before they realized that she had a thyroid problem. Once they knew what was causing the problem and got it under control, she had a wonderful pregnancy. I wish you luck.

I have hypothyroidism and have two very healthy children. I took synthroid (or levoxyl) during both pregnancies and was never told that there was any risk involved at all. I went to an endocrinologist every 6 weeks of the pregnancies. Are these risks all due to the hypothyroidism or other preexisting conditions, because none of the possible problems that you describe were mentioned to me with either pregnancy by my OB or the endocrinologist?

Hope this helps.


If you are a worrier by nature, I wouldn't do it because you will be putting undue stress on top of any "complications."
Keep doing research: What effect do the meds I(if you are taking any) for your thyroid now have on the unborn? If you do develop gestational diabetes, can you follow the diet regimen?
If you are set on having another child then pray about it. Give all your worries to Him and let it go. I know there are those out there who will say that that is easier said than done but it is possible. If you are a christian, then you can trust Him to have your back in the situation and His plan will work through it.
Good Luck and I hope we hear from you soon saying you are welcoming another little one here.

That is a tough situation,but then you have to ask yourself -do you really want to have another kid?Having a 4 year old son is a blessing.You mentioned that you are a worrier by nature-adopting is not 100% guaranteed either.My sister adopted a healthy looking baby but after 7 months,the baby turned out to have serious genetic problems,now she has a 12 year old severely handicapped child.Being pregnant is serious business too-believe me, been there,done that and my second pregnancy and childbirth experience was I should say I'm very lucky to be alive after that.Have you ever consider being a foster mom?There's a lot of kids out there who are in need of nurturing.Good luck to you.

Hypothyroidism that is well controlled with medication has a very low risk for pregnancy complications or developmental abnormalities. I have this condition and delivered a full-term healthy baby. My mother also had this condition. If your condition is not well managed by medication or you fail to take your medication then your at higher risk for difficulties.

I do not have any children yet. My husband & I are trying everything we can. I do, however have hypothyroidism. I also know several other people with thyroid problems. As far as this problem goes...as long as the doctors monitor your levels, you and your baby should be fine. There are chances for problems with the baby if you do not monitor the condition, but as long as your doctor is aware of your condition, there should not be any problems. Hope this helps.

Since you and your husband are both open to adoption, maybe you should explore this option, as there are so many babies out there that need good homes. Great Wall China is an adoption agency that someone I know has used several times. The process is not as long, more affordable, only 1 trip to China, the entire process is planned out from the start. Chances are that you would get a girl, but not 'impossible' to get a boy. There are age requirements, so this might be the first question to ask. We were highly considering adopting through this agency, but I got a surprise of my own about that time...now I have a 2 1/2 yr old girl...and a 6 yr old boy. ~K.

I have a hypothyroid and did have during my pregnancy with my son. I had no problems, no complications, not even morning sickness. I also had group B strep but my doctor told me that most women do. My thyroid levels were checked every 2 months. "Your Condition" is not a condition as long as your taking your thyroid medication on a daily basis. And every woman takes a risk every time she gets pregnant. We just have to trust God.

hey dede,
I just wanted to let you know I am still in the same boat and if you want to email me back and forth again you can anytime ____@____.com

I can talk to the hypothyroidism issue. I was diagnosed with that before I got pregnant with my first child because it's one of the things my OB checks for. I was put on synthroid to raise the thyroid level and was monitored with blood tests to make sure my levels were where they needed to be (in the normal range). I had a healthy little boy (who is now 5) and three years later had a healthy little girl (who just turned 2). My doctor never acted as if the hypothroidism was even an issue as long as it was treated. I still have my levels checked every year and will be on synthroid for the rest of my life. If hypothroidism were your only worry, I'd say get it under control and go for it. I can't talk to the other issues, though.

I had hypothyroidism with my second pregnancy. I just had to get a blood test every month and adjust my medication to make sure it was at the right level. I was also groub b strep positive. I did not have gestational diabetes or pre-term labor. As long as your thyroid stays under control, you will be fine. If you are taking Synthroid (most doctors recommend) make sure you are not taking the generic brand and you will be fine. I ended up having a c-section because my second baby was breach. But I think if you had a healthy baby before, you can have another one. Just pray about it and see what feels right. if you feel more led to adoption, then that would be a fabulous choice. But if you feel you want to have your own, i've heard of much riskier situations and they had beautiful, healthy babies. God will bless either choice you make. just let HIM lead you and your husband in that decision. Miscarriages are extremely hard, and i'm so sorry you had to deal with that.
Don't let worry overtake your thoughts. God is in control, not you.
Good luck!!!

The power of prayer can be awesome!

There's nothing wrong with adopting, but I believe there's a very long wait.

Get a 2nd oppinion about your health issues... there are many, many women that go through pregnancy without being diagnosed with hypothyroidism only to find out afterwards that they have it and they have no issues. So I'd ask another doctor.

Your doctor may be a worrier, like you, that tends to go to the extreme in caution, so you may need another oppinion to balance out the options.

Hi DeDe!
I'm the mom to three awesome kids....the youngest, Nate, we adopted from South Korea. He is a total joy and an amazing, happy, funny, beautiful little boy! We chose adoption even though we had had two easy bio births. It really was more of a dream come true for us. My best friend was adopted from Korea in 1973 as an infant and I'd always wanted to adopt. There is no reason to feel uncomfortable...it's just another awesome way to build your family. :)
Let me know if you have any questions! We used Lutheran Social Services and Holt International. Both were great!


Well, first of all listen to your doctor and make sure you like your doctor. If not, get more medical input. Every pregnancy is different. I have hypothyroidism and had it at the age of 41 when I delivered a very healthy 9lb 7 oz boy with no problems. I did my labor at home and only went to the hospital as the pushing took so long ( I attribute that only to my age and being tired!) I have loads of friends who have adopted privately, from Russia and from Guatamala and they are all thrilled to bits with their decisions to adopt. One pal had chronic fatigue syndrome and knew she could not deal with being pregnant. She adopted privately and her kids are the loveliest children I know. I have friends who had a child then chose to adopt from Russia and others that chose Guatamala. They just wanted to give a child a home that would not have the opportunity otherwise. Adoption can be very expensive and that seems to be the major drawback for a lot of people. There is also nothing wrong with having an only child. I'm an only child of an only child and have an only! I just knew after 41 my odds of having a child with a possible birth defect increased dramatically and I could not deal with that. We aren't in an income bracket to afford adoption so we just thought, well, God gave us a healthy wonderful child, lets be happy with that! Whatever you decide, good luck!

Hi. I delivered 2 very healthy babies with my hypothyroidism! I was diagnosed at 3 months pregnant with the first!

Leave it in the hands of God. He will only give you what you can handle.

Hi there! I have a two month old baby girl and I am also hypothyriod. I have had my thryoid under control for about 6 years before getting pregnant. I had a totally uncomplicated pregnancy (I was induced at 40 w 1 day). I had my thryoid levels check at 20 weeks and they were great. I never had to even change the dose of my meds. My doctor said that all the risk that come with hypothroidism and pregnancy are if you are undiagnosed and dont have it undercontol. Which totally makes since because if you have them undercontrol your body is just like everyone elses. I worried about it a little as well but I had NO problems. I delivered a 7lb 6 oz girl and she is perfect!

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