'Horrendous and nerve-wracking but worth it'

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Jennifer Robinson can barely described the euphoria of seeing her daughter for the first time.

After more than four years of agony - two undergoing the drugs and heartbreak of unsuccessful IVF treatment and an equal number under the intense scrutiny of the adoption process - Mrs Robinson and her husband finally had their child.

"You think it is going to happen, you hope it is going to happen but it is a long process and it is really upsetting," she said.

"When it actually finally happens it is amazing. There were lots of tears. It was all very emotional. She is adorable, a dream come true."

Mrs Robinson, 41, a school administrator, had known since her mid twenties that she would have problems conceiving. Upon her marriage to Michael five years ago, the couple decided to start IVF treatment immediately.

It was a fruitless and soul-destroying process. After two years, the couple decided to look into adoption, setting themselves on another two-year treadmill.

"Your life is constantly on hold, you are constantly waiting for something. Thank goodness we have a good marriage," she said.

They underwent meeting after meeting, their home was endlessly scrutinised, their backgrounds delved into. They had to undergo a lengthy course and make their case before a panel.

"They have to know everything about you. You have endless interviews and social workers traipsing in and out. It is horrendous, nerve-racking. You have gone through all this for 18 months and they can just say no."

Despite all this, Mrs Robinson admits she was lucky. A child was found for them within three months of approval.

The family's names have been changed to preserve their privacy.