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Becoming a parent: The planning stage

There is no such thing as a ‘right’ time to add to your family. So throw out the planning and instead, simply be prepared, advises Claire Nicholls

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Whatever the circumstances, and regardless of your situation, becoming a parent will change your life immeasurably.

And whether you are becoming a parent with your spouse, with a partner or on your own, whether you’re trying to conceive, starting IVF or thinking about adopting or fostering a child, there’s so much to consider.

When should you begin the process? How much maternity or adoption leave will you take? Should you share leave with your partner? Will having a child affect your career?

The temptation is to try and plan everything down to the last detail, but this is often not possible ...

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