I read an essay by Lisa Belkin in the NYT that got me thinking. The essay, titled Too Many Ways to Have a Baby?, was the fairly standard “Gosh darn, they can do just about anything with technology and where is it going to end” type article, but the part that I found interesting, in a disturbing sort of way, were the comments from readers.
There were a fair number of compassionate comments such as:
- As someone who was fortunate enough to have the kids she wanted, I feel I am not in a position to judge the ones who have to resort to the new scientific methods. … I think as long as things are done in a legal manner, we should try to hold judgment! Yay for science!! ~ Anothermom
- The desire to have children just like the desire to stay alive is a very strong biological and emotional drive. Just as we as a society continually strive for better healthcare and medical technology for one, so we will strive for the other. It is not so surprising. ~anne marie
But there were also quite a few comments like the following:
- To me the answer is quite simple. If you can’t have children the natural way, adopt. There are SOOOO many children already out there, just wanting to be loved. ~yip
- Why fight biology so hard? There are so many adults who want to be parents, there are so many children who want to be loved. It amazes me that more people don’t jump into adoption immediately like we did. ~Sarah
- Adopt. If you can’t love a child who isn’t perfect, or who isn’t a DNA carbon copy of you, maybe you shouldn’t be a parent. ~ACW
- While I cannot begin to understand how wrenching it must be for women who want to have babies but can’t, I’m also puzzled by why they go to such lengths to conceive when they could adopt. There are thousands upon thousands of babies in this country — and many others — waiting for a loving home. So why all the obsession with being pregnant and having your own baby? ~question
- What natalist myopia. I want to throw up. Maybe Marilyn Quayle was right. Maybe women really don’t want to liberated from their essential natures. ~ AAARGH
Oh my, where to begin?
Why Not Just Adopt??
Indeed, why not just adopt? Well, first of all, while it may be true that there are “thousands upon thousands of children in this country — and many others — waiting for a loving home,” not all of them are available for adoption, and few of them are babies. If only adoption were so simple as merely deciding and picking. Most people who want to adopt will be able to, but it is far from easy or quick.
But more important than the general misunderstanding of the realities of adoption, these comments reflect a basic misunderstanding of infertility and adoption. Adoption is not a cure for infertility, and an adopted child is not a generic replacement for the longed for biological child.
Adoption Isn’t a Cure for Infertility
Adoption is a “cure” for childlessness, but not for infertility. For some the move to adoption is an easy and logical next step. For others it is not.
Some people yearn to see their genes in the next generation; they crave being pregnant and breastfeeding; they want some degree of control over their child’s intrauterine environment and genetic makeup. For them, parenthood is more than simply parenting. They want to procreate. Is it really that hard to understand that they simply want what comes so easy for most of us?
As someone who chose adoption even though we were not infertile, I can more than attest to the fact that adoption is a great—no, really a phenomenal—way to create a family, but it is not for everyone. I don’t want it to be. That’s not fair to the infertile, and it is certainly not fair to the prospective adopted child.
Other Creating a Family resources you will enjoy:
- What it Feels Like to Be Infertile
- Second Best or Second Choice: Adoption After Infertility
- “No Offense, But I Don’t Believe in IVF.”
First published in 2009. Revised in 2016.
Add Your Comment
I have one biological daughter, and my nieces got caught up in the system due to their parents having drug abuse. Every family member pushed them on me and my husband. They were six and eight when we adopted them, it was the worst mistake I could’ve ever made these children were monsters they manipulated us tortured us, and we were constantly afraid we were gonna lose our own child. Think before you adopt children I’m so sad that they have issues, but it could ruin your own life.
The problems because my family, my daughter, which was close to their age, has so many issues over it, my husband, and myself stay together till they were almost adults we ended up separating. And I see so many of these children that are just like this in the system, so think twice before you are naïve, thinking that you can fix the damage that the parents in the system did to them.
I’m so sorry for the pain and struggle you all have endured. It sounds like your family needed support and care and didn’t get what you all needed and deserved. It’s very common for trauma to be at the root of the behaviors you described, and supports are available to help parents raise kids toward healing. It’s the whole reason we exist — but we recognize that everyone in the family needs tools to cope and thrive. Again, I’m so sorry that your family did not have that support for all the challenges your nieces experienced.
I would be curious to see scientific data showing the potential parents stress before and after conceiving through IVF as well as their BMI. I often wonder if the parents body is inhospitable to a fetus and that is why theyre not able to conceive. As you stated, this industry is “for profit” so there probably isnt much if any nor could it be trusted. The interesting part about this biotech is that it could absolutely help potential parents to detect illness as well even in people who want to conceive naturally. I often am disappointed about how potential parents dont know what this important advancement as many children could benefit but not having a lifelong disability or condition. I would also argue that the conversation around Ivf is much more complex than we as a species truly understand given where science is today. Just my $0.02.
I am thankful and blessed to have a wonderful son after years and infertility. I never wanted it intended to have an only child but that’s where we are. We tried for years after he was born to no avail. Fertility treatments were ineffective and costly. What I hear the most when I talk about wanting more children is 1. Be grateful you have one! Or 2. Stopping whining about not having another child and “JUST ADOPT”. As far as the first comment yes I am extremely thankful!! Every day!!! We prayed for years and years for our son! That doesn’t erase my desire to have more. Secondly, adoption is a hugely expensive process. And for those of us who don’t have thousands of dollars sitting around it becomes a non option. I hate that it cost so much and it’s wrong in my option. I believe there are hundreds of wonderful families that would love to adopt (like us) that just can’t manage the upfront costs. So “just adopt” is a very illogical and uninformed thing to say to those of us that struggle with infertility.
Great! We now have 7 billion humans on this planet! We are finding it hard to feed those already here.
💯 agree .
I agreei loathe it when people just say I adopt. It’s not like going ti the store and getting a jug of milk. 2 it’s insensitive to say that and 3 you are correct I want biological to see my genes pass onto the future and develope maternal instincts in pregnancy. People need to just listen and not give their 2 cents. I have no desire to adopt and that’s ok not for everyone
In the end it makes no difference. Thousands of years from now your genes aren’t even relevant. We also have a population problem as well as many other problems . I see it as almost selfish to bring a child into this world .
Thousands of children without homes and all you can think of is yourself . This is what’s wrong with society . It’s all about me me me.
Infertile people need to let go of their selfish wishes to procreate, grieve and move on.
First world problems = infertility
Real problems = lack of foster & prospective adoptive homes
Every child has the human right to a safe, stable, nurturing and loving home. What is NOT a human right? The desire to breed a carbon copy of yourself.
Stop thinking about yourself for a second here and have some compassion. Think about how much foster children have suffered. It’s a million times more difficult than your self-induced, depressive, first world problems of infertility.
Yes, foster children have experienced trauma, that doesn’t mean biological children are immune to trauma. You can’t handle trauma and be willing to learn skills to successfully deal with traumatic behaviors? Then you shouldn’t be a parent, period.
Let’s say you reproduce and your biological child experiences trauma, are you going to turn your back to them like you are doing to foster children? Will you relinquish them? Abandon them? Or will you learn to parent differently than you expected?
What if you pass away before your child becomes an adult and no one is willing to care for your child, you know where the kid will be placed, right? Foster care! Would YOU want your biological child to be further distressed by the lack of foster families, or would you hope that decent people are available and willing to foster your biological child? Examine YOUR attitude towards foster children, would YOU want that foster child phobia and adoptionphobic attitude towards your biological child? Didn’t think so.
Be a real adult and let go of silly dreams of procreation. We all have wishes that will never come true. Life doesn’t always go as planned and that really shouldn’t be a deal breaker.
As a decent human being who believes in sacrifice, a sense of community and commitment to humanity, just adopt and/or foster if you desire children.
This comes from a person who has experienced foster care and infertility. I have fostered a wide range of ages and genders. Currently in the process of adopting a teenager. The foster and adoption process here in my state of Florida is quite simple. It literally is less paperwork than my partner’s job applications to local hospitals.
No excuses everyone! Be decent humans and help vulnerable children! We should strive to make the world a better place for the next generation.
We will have to strongly disagree with most of what you said and how you said it. We believe every adult has the right to choose how to form their family and how to place their efforts for how long — it’s not our business to tell families that choosing to pursue infertility treatment is wrong or immoral. Just as it’s not our place to tell families that they cannot or should not adopt just to “save” a vulnerable child. Instead, we believe knowledge is power and we believe in providing reliable, evidence-based resources to help folks attain the knowledge they need to make the decision that is best for them.
Some of the comments on this article are also extremely judgmental, “the money people spend on fertility treatments could be spent on the adoption, but they shouldn’t adopt if they don’t truly understand it because that would also be sad for the child who was adopted.”
That makes it sounds like people who are going through infertility issues are narcissistic and obsessed over their own DNA and frivolous with their money…
I always wanted biological kids. It’s looking like my husband’s biology isn’t really suitable for that. Am I wrong for wanting to exhaust every possible option before getting into the mess that is the adoption system in our country? Is it wrong that I want to keep trying to have kids with my husband?
To people who think that people going through IVF are selfish for not “just adopting”. Just look at how expensive adoption is through an agency ($40,000+) vs. IVF ($15,000 per treatment). Maybe also consider that some women don’t want to adopt from a random stranger who was potentially a cocaine addict during their pregnancy or got pregnant while they were in grade school. It’s really not as simple as “just adopting” instead.
These people struggling with infertility? They haven’t been drinking for years because they don’t want to hurt a baby they believe they could potentially become pregnant with. They’ve been saving up money for their future kids’ college from the time they started babysitting at age 9. They’ve been throwing baby showers for all of their friends and sisters who have had kids. They’ve been struggling in every way you can possibly imagine. It’s very reductive to act like there’s a simple solution to such a huge dream-crushing reality- that a loving couple who has wanted to have kids for so long won’t be able to have any of their own, ever.
It’s not that people struggling with infertility don’t love all kids, it’s not that they don’t want to adopt, it’s not that they can’t “handle” it or come to terms with it as an alternative. But adopting a kid that is not your own is incredibly messy and incredibly expensive. It’s not wrong to want to try IVF options first, especially for people who just always dreamed of having a baby that’s a conglomeration of the love they share with their spouse and a biological part of their family. It’s not about just “passing” our genes on, it’s so much deeper than that. It’s the ending of decades worth hopes and dreams for so many people. People don’t always just “have kids” to “have kids”. It’s not about just having a kid, it’s about having a family of your own.
Telling a person struggling with infertility to “just adopt” is like telling a track star who became a paraplegic after an accident to just do shotput instead. It’s like telling a person that they shouldn’t be so attached to their dreams or that they’re selfish for having any.
Anyway, I feel like a lot of people commenting here are people who are on high horses about how awesome they are for adopting kids. And you know what? That’s awesome that you did, kudos for doing that! I just hope that you realize that is not a good reason for invalidating someone who is struggling with infertility or finding a soap box to demonstrate how much better you are for “spending your money” on buying a kid instead of making one.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and some of your story. It’s a great reminder not to judge what we don’t know.
I found your comparison to the athlete who can no longer run to be apt. It it a helpful word picture.
Best to you and thanks for reading here!
I found her analogy horrendously weird. I hope she never adopts.
I got what I think she was trying to convey. And I don’t think anything about what she was communicating was enough to preclude her from ever adopting.
Well Since some states are banning abortion and telling women what they can do with their bodies then maybe we should make women who are in fertile adopt before they’re allowed to have their own with IVF
I think the growing number of unloved children in foster homes is a deeper and more pressing issue than infertility. Money talks though. It’s probably for the best that people who are incapable of loving a child who’s not “biologically” their own won’t adopt.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Yes, the numbers of kids legally waiting for permanency is of concern. Though to be fair, the numbers have held fairly steady and even declined in recent years – right around 400,000 give or take.
Additionally, choosing to foster, or foster-to-adopt, is not the same as pursuing a family through infertility treatment and shouldn’t be conflated. It’s a very personal choice, how one goes about building one’s family. And there are many valid reasons one pursues the path one chooses. Certainly, money isn’t the only cost to consider when pursuing a plan to create a family — there are many other tangible and intangible costs that families ought to consider. Which is why we exist!
Thanks for reading along. We wish you the best.
Totally agree. Let’s be honest, the argument is still this: I want my own child made out of my biological makeup.
My question then, is: why?
And if you take it to its logical conclusion, it’s usually not ideal.
Infertility is not ideal. NOT being adopted is absolutely “not ideal” for a child, for sure!
While we understand that many people prioritize a biological connection, we are grateful that many others prioritize the child’s best interests and do the self-work to make sure that the loss of a biological connection in parenting does not color their ability to give their (adopted) children what they need. We’re here to support them, and help them be the best, safest landing place they can be for those kids.
It’s a selfish decision. Bringing a child into this world . Thousands of kids need homes but I “want” my own genes . I want to bring a child into this beautiful loving world .In years to come your genes aren’t even relevant and it will make no difference . There are many children who need homes. We need to focus on helping the world before bringing more .
Had someone at my former church tell me this. Our church was big on foster care / adoption and a lot of families were foster parents. This person was not and in fact had a biological child. My response to them was “so an innocent child with pre-existing trauma should also feel like my consolation prize?” They told me I “took it the wrong way” 🙄
I’m sorry to hear about that frustrating response. So many folks who are NOT in the foster/adoption community don’t know how minimizing and dismissive comments like those can be. I’m glad you spoke up for yourself — and at the same time put the focus on the child’s perspective/experience in it all. Way to go!
Adoption is always sad and infertility is also always sad. However, I’m not so obsessed with my DNA that I have to have a baby made from me. The money people spend on fertility treatments could be spent on the adoption, but they shouldn’t adopt if they don’t truly understand it because that would also be sad for the child who was adopted. My husband and I can’t wait to adopt (waiting to pass a minimum marriage law where we live).
Telling individuals just adopt who are infertile just adopt lacks compassion .adoption is very very difficult as opposed to the ivf 15000 treatment.my brother conceived his daughter thay way.adoption is not for everyone. If you don’t want to doesn’t make you a bad person, honest
What would make you a questionable person if you flat out don’t want to or unsure
Not fair to the child or you and you adopt anyway.
Oh my goodness. Thank you for this article. As if infertility isn’t painful enough without those who have never experienced it trying to tell you to “just adopt” as if that easy answer fixes everything. It is mind-boggling to me.
Hannah, you are welcome! We are glad it resonated with you and we agree that “just adopt” is so much more complex than the band-aid slap that it feels like when someone says it!
Best to you and thanks for reading.
Thank you for talking about this. People do think that if you cannot have bio children it’s your duty to adopt. Which is completely wrong. Having these conversations with family members really cuts me deep when Im already in so much pain not being able to have children with my husband. I wish people would respond with compassion but that will not happen, the ignorance runs deep when making judgements about infertility. It is extremely painful.
When I was in my 30s I found out I have infertility my husband said to me let’s adopt I told him I don’t want to he says why not and I told him the child(ren) wouldn’t be my biological mine and this broke his heart.
I’m sorry to hear of your infertility diagnosis. Many couples struggle with the loss of ability to have biological ties with their children. If it’s something that is hard for you and your spouse to work through, may I suggest that you find a counselor who is trained in the losses of infertility. A third-party with that kind of experience can often help couples clarify their way forward. Best to you.
Sounds like a good guy. It really is strange to me that having your DNA in a child is more important that parenting one. Please don’t adopt in this case. All the best.
The good news is that there are many potential paths forward for folks who prioritize the biological connection, including coping with the grief and doing some honest self-assessments on their goals and their desires. It doesn’t have to prevent them from adopting!
That’s what you took from this article? That people who choose not to adopt and are infertile are selfish?
Orphaned children should be brought into the homes of parents who are fertile and experienced and capable. As well as those who cannot or chose not to have biological children. But there is far too may comment by people who are not familiar with adoption, infertility and fostering. Geesh, the nerve.
All children deserve a home where they are loved, nurtured, and given tools to become successful adults. When coming to adoption by way of infertility there may be added layers to face in order to be well-prepared for a child’s trauma history. but many who come to adoption are unfamiliar with the needs of foster or adoptive kids. That’s what we exist to do — so we welcome folks who may not know what the needs are!
Seriously, I can’t imagine being that selfish and self satisfied that I couldn’t love a child who wasn’t genetically ours. Were getting a foster license and where just having this conversation!
Same. I try to have compassion for this but it truly sounds like such a privileged problem.
I have endometriosis and long before I even knew that, I knew I wanted to adopt.
I’ve been through different traumas in my life and honestly, adopting will be an exciting privilege, NOT some consolation prize or “second best”.
I feel for people with infertility issues but I feel a lot more for the babies who will go without homes because of this mindset.
Simply wanna tell that this is invaluable, Thanks for taking your time to write this.
As an adopted kid and only 13 I tend to see my adopted parents care more for their biological children than for me. I’m supposed to be a band-aid and heal up my parents from not being able to have there own kids together. I’m just invisable to them until it becomes a life or death situation. I’m 13 I don’t want to be the last thing my parents care about. I know that it’s because I’m not their real kids but can I at least get some respect? They tell me everyday that they only adopted me because I was cute but then I grew up and they don’t want anything to do with me. I have to do things that a grown-up has to do like feed everyone and clean everything by myself while their rel kids get to sit around, get drunk, and even get high. I’m not the one that needs to be taking care of my family am I? They say I can’t go have a life because my real mom had me at only 13 (the age I am). They think that I’m going to be just like her but I don’t want that. I want to be able to go out with my friends and I care too much about school than to go have a baby. Am I supposed to live like this or like a real teenager should?
Thanks for reaching out. It sounds very painful to live the way you are describing your relationship with your parents. I’m so sorry that you are facing that. Do you have a trusted teacher, guidance counselor, youth worker, sibling, or a friend’s parent that you can go to with things to discuss if you can’t go to your parents right now? This is a really tough season of life, figuring out who you are and where you are going. I’m a mom to a teen or two myself and when they can’t talk to me, I try to find other adults with whom they can connect.
You might enjoy listening to this show, by adult adoptees who have been through much of what you’re going through right now – to help you realize you are not alone. Panel of Young Adult Transracial Adoptees
Thanks again for reading. I wish you the best!
I have seen more genuine love in adoptive families than I have seen in many biological ones.
As an adoptee, I do not care to be made into a replacement stolen from my biological and natural family for the benefit of someone else. Someone else’s infertility is not my problem or creation and I do not care to be a second-place, Band-Aid, one size fits all solution to that problem. People prefer their own biological children. Biological children prefer their biological parents. Adoptees are confiscated by the state, usually without the consent of the father, and placed elsewhere. They are brokered for large bonuses and placement fees for social workers. Their right to bone marrow, medical history, organs, organ donation, name, history, religion, language, even nationality, family lineage, inheritance, and everything else is hidden from them, suppressed. They are told their working class parents are inferior and that they are a fine blank slate for their upper and middle class parents due to society’s elitism, enshrined as discrimination and condescension in adoption law. Biological mothers have had children taken away from them against their will with false accusations, and families have had children (twins, siblings, close relatives) completely broken up and separated. They have been taken from their countries of origin when living relatives, family friends, and local people are available to raise them or take care of them. Other arrangements such as financial support for the mother or marriage to the father are suppressed or avoided. Before the 1970s, abortion was not offered to pregnant women, who were trucked over to nunneries and adoption living facilities and then made (punished really) to hand over their kids. This is human trafficking, coercion, baby theft, and kidnapping. I am against most forms of adoption. But I will say that if straight middle class married people under forty can adopt, then all gay and bisexual people, people of other races, single or divorced people, men, all people over forty, and working-class people should have the same rights.
Screw my biological Mother. You don’t speak for all of us.
This is such a strange comment. In 2018 western civilization, adoption is nowhere near the “human trafficking” scenario you described. Blood ties mean less and less as society advances. The process of removing a child from their biological family and placing them in the permanent custody of an adoptive family takes years and dozens of people. The focus is always reunification, if possible. And children certainly do not always prefer their biological parents. Perhaps your own situation makes you feel so strongly you are unable to objectively see the cruelty and disrespect of your comment. So again, you do not speak for everyone.
Grace, you should like someone who wasn’t adopted. Blood ties don’t matter to some of of. I wasn’t adopted, but screw my blood relations. But it is vey elitist and cruel to insist that genetic origins just plain don’t matter. To many people, their heritage matters greatly. In fact, we’re more openly acknowledging the importance of heritage to identity.
I agree with you. I was adopted and that is why I do not want to adopt. I never want to see another social worker or family court judge again.
I want to scream when people gush about how great it is. Folks, adopted kids get abused too. Nobody believed me when I tried to get someone to help me BECAUSE I was adopted. Adoptive parents are pure-hearted living saints, you lnow.
Some adopters think their adopted kids owe them and you had better by God be grateful. Mine thought adoption meant they could order up a child like a hamburger, and never let me forget I wasn’t what they ordered.
I want no part of this corrupt bany-selling racket. It is the same as slavery. You are bought, paid for, and property even after you reach adulthhood
I am not a bad person for not wanting somebody else’s children.
Oh KL, I am so sorry that you grew up with parents who did not value and love you for who you are. No child deserves that!
“ Some adopters think their adopted kids owe them and you had better by God be grateful. Mine thought adoption meant they could order up a child like a hamburger, and never let me forget I wasn’t what they ordered.”
Some biological parents feel this same resentment to children who they thought would be genetically perfect and live up to the narcissistic reflection their parents want to see in their kid. They want a mini-me.
So, six of one, half a dozen of the other.
Orphans need parents. So do kids whose biological parents are abusive and unfit. A child who is terrified of being beaten to death or raped yet again by his/her biological parents deserves a better set of parents and will not benefit from staying with the old ones.
Also, I cannot fathom what is so special about having a biological link to one’s own child or why parents would prefer it. Love matters more than blood, and the fact that your genes are your own doesn’t necessarily mean they’re superior to those of an adopted child.
Adoption doesn’t guarantee a loving home any more than a biological home is a guarantee. This is a current story I’ve ben following: http://time.com/5230702…..
I’ve seen a number of debates online in which people draw a really black and white line between people who want kids and people who don’t. In reality I don’t believe for many people that things are that clear cut. Children need parental care and love most of all. I read that in European countries there are more than two million orphans. And more than a half of these children have various kinds of disabilities. Many couples who faced infertility adopt children from orphanages. A lot of families from Europe prefer to adopt children from Ukrainian. But there are also many of those ones who use surrogate motherhood also in Ukraine. As their medicine is on a high level. Particularly in Kiev there is clinic which considered being one of the best among its European Competitor. Their reproduction center has many good reviews. And the law places no limits on the amount that can be paid. The law is not the only reason why people come to Ukraine. The main reason is the price. Price for the surrogacy program in Kiev is only about one-third of the price charged in US states.
Your value as a person is not effected by your ability to reproduce. Life can still be exciting and meaningful without it. Why do we have this belief that in order to leave a legacy we must leave biological child behind us? There are millions perhaps a billion children on the planet already who need adopting, fostering or mentoring. When will society stop with the belief we are here only to leave a bloodline or name for when we leave this mortal plain. It is time to stop with the me or I want and the “it’s not the same” right when it is not your blood or name. It means quadruple more whether it’s financial or emotional support. I do feel for women who infertile. And respect those who except their fate with grace. But really what about the children who abandoned by drug abusing parents. Affected by war torn homelands or natural disasters. Why don’t we better put the money towards a house or travelling with adopted kid instead to spend them on IVF program. To it’s better to get with the program. People just never give it a chance. After all its 2016 not 1750 where you’re a leper if your childless.
Did u not read this article at all?? so what if there millions of children from drug abusing parents who want to be loved..why is it my responsibility to provide them with a life their biological parents couldnt??? I want my own child who looks like me and has my dna. Thats what god intended thats why we are supposed to be able to reproduce.. if adoption was natural then we wouldn’t have organs that are supposed to make us reproduce ourselves..adopting someone else’s child is not the answer..what if they become a huge problem or murder u down the road..sure ur own child could do the samr but at least it’s urs and not someone else crack baby they didn’t want..
People have been caring for and loving children not born to them since the beginning of time, but it is not the right choice for everyone and is very clearly not the right choice for you. If you want to parent a child that shares your DNA, you absolutely should. And if you are infertile and not successful with infertility treatment, then you should under no circumstances adopt if you feel that DNA is important to parenting.
So no other children in the entire world are good enough for you? Theyre all horrible and deserve to die? All because your baby will be jesus and save the world?
Moses was adopted. Not only that, but he was disfigured too. Jesus wasn’t blood related to the man who raised him. I don’t mean to assume you’re referring to the Christian god, but if you are I’m not sure how you got to the conclusion that god didn’t intend for adoption. I hope he heals your heart and you’ll learn to stop calling foster children ‘someone else’s crack baby.’
Absolutely! Spoken to the point! I agree completely.
God also intended for orphans to be nurtured and taken care of. Have you ever read your Bible? SMH!
You shouldn’t have children. You want a carbon copy of yourself. Children are their own people. It’s your responsibility to be a parent to a crack baby because you claim to want to be a parent. It’s disgusting you believe these children don’t deserve or need love too. I’ll never understand breeders & their militant demand for their kids’ DNA to match yours. I grew up with a stepsister & a half-sister. They were my sisters. Period. My dad & I tried to take their mother to court to sue for custody because she had become addicted to meth. Why? Because it was the right thing to do. They deserved better than to live in an environment like that. They deserved MORE. I guess you would’ve shrugged your shoulders & said since only one is half yours, they deserve to suffer. It’s not YOUR responsibility, right? Your parents should be ashamed of what they brought into the world.
Sadly, some folks do believe that parenting/family is narrowly defined by DNA ties. Thankfully, that is a small percentage of the population and obviously does not include those of us committed to advocating for safe, healthy, permanent homes for children.
“ I want my own child who looks like me and has my dna.”
But why though? What’s so important about your looks and DNA in particular? Some biological children look nothing like their parents due to recessive genes. Would you be cold or angry towards a kid who turns out not to be your carbon copy?
“ what if they become a huge problem or murder u down the road..sure ur own child could do the samr but at least it’s urs and not someone else crack baby they didn’t want..”
What’s the difference if it’s yours? Either way, you’ll be murdered.
Well, that’s a huge and ugly leap. Certainly, a child who struggles does not lead to a child who murders, biological, or adopted.
Many folks want the experience of a child with a biological connection and their reasons are both very personal and well within their rights to pursue. Here at Creating a Family, we don’t believe one method of building a family is better or safer or wiser than another – we believe that parents deserve to be educated and supported because the kids they are raising deserve to be safe, cherished, and supported to become strong families who raise great adults.
Excuse me, do you have the $25K-50K it costs to give to each person to adopt a child? Because guess what, most of us don’t have that. The average cost domestically is $30-35K…even through social services like Boys & Girls Aid ($33K to be exact).
And if you had even half a clue as to how difficult international adoption is, from discrimination based on “your combined age” to your religion (or lack thereof) to your marital status to how long you’ve been married (ironically, for us to meet this requirement we will then be pushed beyond the combined age requirement) to the physical requirements (yes, you both have to get a physical and show that you’ve not had any past issues – so forget it if you are a recovering addict or overcame a serious disease) to the financial requirements. And guess what? The adoption tax credit only covers about half the cost AND only actually benefits those who make a LOT of money (if you are the kind that make so little that you get a refund, you don’t get the benefit at all..defeating the purpose of helping those who can’t normally afford to adopt) – plus the fact that you only get it after the adoption finalizes, so if your agency closes the program (which has happened a LOT in the past few years as many, many countries have closed their international adoption programs), you’re out of luck. No refunds, no tax credits, nothing. Or – like us – your agency tells you it’s going to be another 2-4 YEARS just to get a referral (and add 18 months on top of that for actually bringing the child home) you have to come up with tens of thousands of dollars only to not know when you’ll ever see the credit. And if you decide to go through infertility treatment or – by some stroke of luck get pregnant naturally? The adoption agencies then stop the process for you. You’re SOL again.
And let’s talk about the effed up foster care system where someone can take in a kid and parent the child for 4-5 years but as soon as they’re legally adoptable? Anyone with genetic affiliation to the child can lay a claim, PLUS they make you, the fostering parent, compete against brand new parents in court for the child – even if the social worker recommends the child stay with you permanently. And then there’s the fact of the rampant fraud and abuse within DHS that occurs in many, many states (including ours). We were even told that it’d be OUR responsibility to make sure they are paying us accurately and on time…along with the fact that if we got pregnant, just like with adoption agencies, we would not be able to keep the child (even though there are tons of people who are a downright mess fostering multiple kids just to get the checks coming in).
So yeah, shut your trap about “just adopt”. And grow a heart while you’re at it. Because if you’ve experienced ovarian failure or PCOS or endometriosis or multiple miscarriages, you know damn well that adoption doesn’t cure anything.
What do I know? We have tried everything. 2 IUIs, 5 DEIVFs including the devastating loss of our baby at 9 weeks, international adoption (2 years into the process and told we could be waiting 4-6 years to bring a child home from a country where multiple other countries have closed their programs, meaning we could ultimately have wasted $20K+), domestic adoption (if we can find a way to come up with $30K+ after the international debacle, because you see, unlike regular fertile folks, we don’t get to put money into retirement while we try to build a family), and DHS (who is so riddled by fraud and abuse that the new secretary of state here in Oregon is now considering it a top priority).
So keep your mouth shut, and get educated. Your words are so insensitive it’s disgusting.
You are so consumed with your infertility saga you forgot to mention one person, the baby you’d like to purchase. Why don’t you grieve your infertility before dumping all of your shit on an innocent baby who is traumatized by the loss of its mother. DNA matters folks. Read The Primal Wound or The Body Keeps Score. But, that won’t be YOUR baby? Right? For the love of God entertain that adoption is loss for the adoptive parent (loss of the natural child you couldn’t have), the birth mother loses a baby, the adoptee loses its identity and begins its life separated from its mother resulting in life long trauma without these issues be addressed. Please listen to adult adoptees.
Yes, listening to adult adoptees is a valuable tool for understanding the losses inherent to the adoption process. Just as you are recommending that we open our hearts and minds to take in the pain and loss of an adoptee, so should we listen to the hurt and wound of those who have come to adoption through infertility. It’s a process, one that everyone moves through differently. While it is important to grieve infertility before adopting, it’s also important to remember that the adoption process and parenting after infertility is its own kind of process and the grief can come up again in different ways. There’s no shame in realizing along the way that maybe there’s still some grief there that should be addressed and can actually be used later to enhance one’s sensitivity and compassion as a parent to a child who has suffered loss and grief.
As an adult adoptee, I am going to have to disagree with the all encompassing “life long trauma”. I am in fact extremely grateful for my adoptive parents for the life and family they have given my brother and me. This may not be the experience of every adopted child, but in many cases, parents who treat adopted children poorly would probably not make the best parents to any kid, including their own biological one.
Thank you for those words, RL. Yes, your points are well taken – by me at least. Not every adoptee experiences ongoing trauma impact, not every adoptive parent makes a good parent.
If you felt for infertile people, then you’d be ashamed of what you said here. There’s more to it than passing along genetics. For most of us, there is a strong biological desire to go through the rigors of pregnancy. And why should children without permanent families be commodified as replacements? Children who are adopted could be adopted because they were wanted as adopted children, not to be a stand-in. By the way, I wanted to adopt even more than get pregnant, but I was turned down for a past medical issue. Three times. My choice came down to IVF or nothing. My daughter is the light of my world.
Me and my partner adopted our wonderful son two years ago and without was doubt the best decision we made. Adoption should be open to everyone to consider, not just if you’re infertile.
I have Azoospermia and unable to father a biological child [without assistance]. Our ideal family that we discussed from day one [before being diagnosed with Azoospermia] was two children – one biological and one adopted. We had the option of IVA which we didn’t want to consider when there are hundreds of children in our area that desperately need a forever family that we could offer.
I could type for ages about the process and journey that we went on in order to adopt. What I would say to anyone who has ever thought about adoption is to consider it as your number one option and not a last resort and attend the next Open Evening with your local Adoption Agency [usually local authority]. You will be amazed at the information you hear from these open evenings and it will give you a much better understanding as to whether this route is right for you.
Until you can afford to pay for adoption for everyone, please do not act like it’s easy. The average cost of domestic adoption is $30-35K and international can go as high as $50K.
Folks who have been fortunate enough to be able to afford to adopt should be advocating for it to be affordable for all. But in no way can anyone ever, ever oversimplify it by acting like it’s easy. Because it’s not.
Yes adopting is a tough pill to swallow but so is having a pregnancy. You have to lose a lot of time from your career to sit at home and care for a child can equal that if you had a good career in lost wages.
Parenting a single child until it reaches 18 costs 250k. 35-50k is just a drop in the bucket compared to the overall cost.
Some people reproduce to show off their spawn. What is so special about them? Unless they are a prodigy they aren’t anything special. Get over yourself. Its a freaken child.
Human life is highly valued and so it shall be. If you can’t afford a child guess what? Don’t reproduce or undergo procedures or adopt. Don’t raise a child in poverty. It is not ethical to gamble with someone else’s life. If you want something to show off save your money, don’t become a parent and buy a Porsche and a Rolex. I’m surprised they haven’t tried to implement a parenting licence. I mean you need one to drive or do many things and especially in careers.
There are addicts and people who pump out children in order to receive greater welfare cheques are cancer to our society. I think the likes of these welfare bums should be sterilized and have their children taken away by cps if it was their prerogative to reproduce for this reason and gamble with impoverished parenting.
RedPill, yes raising a child is not cheap, especially if you do it with middle to upper middle class standards. However, there is a big difference between having to pay a lump sum cost of $30-40K and having to pay out smaller amounts over 2 years.
I’m afraid I have to differ with you on the what is special about kids. In my mind, each and every child is unique and special regardless of their prodigy status. I have 4 and they are much more than “freaken kids”.
Thank you, Redpill!! This is the truth!!
The costs of raising a child are often negotiable, and spread out over a couple decades. The costs of adopting aren’t negotiable.
“Its a freaken child.”
That shows how little you value children.
By the way, $250k over 18 years is almost $14,000 per year. Most families spend far, far less than that. Spending that much, frankly, isn’t common. I’m one of those people who skews the average, and, to be even franker, most of my expenses for my child are things that aren’t necessary, like ballet classes with a national company and international travel. These costs still factor in as the cost of raising my child. The necessary costs are things like food, clothing, utilities, and shelter. The value of my house has gone up more than the initial extra cost of another bedroom. So I’m financially ahead there. I spent about $1000 a year on clothing, most of it from a high-end children’s resale shop. We eat really well. She loves steak. Her monthly food costs are about $20. The extra utilities are maybe $20 per month. This is $6,040 per year. This is about $109,000 over 18 years. With inflation, we can bum that up to about $175,000, which, again, is on the HIGH end since I send a lot of food and clothing.
The typical adoption cost of $50,000 would take the better part of a decade to save up for, and even then, you can have the child in home, and something can come up and the adoption falls through, and you don’t have a child.
Thanks for reading and following along Noelle. It’s obvious from your multiple comments and thoughtful responses that you’ve really worked through a lot of these issues that have been stirred up by this post. Have you considered joining our online community? We have a very active group where many folks think about and process these kinds of conversations regularly. I think you’d enjoy the interchanges and support: http://ow.ly/dZrZ30jru5R
Hope to see you there. And thanks again for reading and participating!
I am going to speak up as an adoptee, because there are too many people in this comment stream with misguided views who are upsetting me, quite frankly.
I’m an adoptee. I’m a super, super happy adoptee. My birth mother and adoptive parents (whom I call my PARENTS, by the way), did an amazing thing. We are all happy and I am not treated any differently than my parents’ biological kids. I’ve known that I was adopted since I was cognitively functioning. It’s been nice to know all this time, because it’s always felt normal – as it should feel.
I understand that my experience is not the status quo. I understand that people fear adoption. And, I understand (to a small degree) why people like having that biological “connection” with their children. But calling out adoption as a universally bad idea or saying that I’m not “actually” parents’ children? Nah, man, that’s where I draw the line. If you try and tell me these things, I will aggressively call you out as wrong.
Having kids, from what I understand, is not about having “little yous”. And it most definitely is NOT about doing the “easiest” or most “comfortable” thing. There is nothing easy about having kids. If you’re not struggling with adoption-related issues, you’re going to struggle with something else related to your kids. Guaranteed. So why bash adoption off the bat? Many of us adoptees would be dead or abused without it. Others of us (like myself), were placed with people who were more ready for us at that time. Tell me, are you really going to criticize THAT?
We cannot paint with a broad brush. Every situation is different, as they say, and there are MANY happy, healthy, and productive adoptees out there! I’m one of them. Enough of this bad-talk. Nobody is forcing you to adopt. I do, however, think it’s an amazing thing to consider.
Haley, I don’t automatically assume that your experience isn’t the status quo. As you said, there are many happy, healthy, and productive adoptees. Thanks for sharing your experience.
I agree with you on everything you’ve said. My cousin was given up for adoption and never do I consider my aunt her mother – the wonderful people who adopted her are her parents, and were very supportive of her when she came looking for her biological roots.
I will say, however, that until you’ve been through the ravages of infertility, you cannot possibly understand what we are going through. I will also say that as someone who has been battling it for years, including IUIs, 5 round of donor egg IVF (my ovaries don’t function), and the loss of a baby at 9 weeks, AS WELL AS gone through the process of trying to expand our family through adoption in multiple ways, it is a HUGE financial challenge to adopt. Domestic adoption now averages $30-35K and international adoption, which has shrunk massively in the past 5 years (very few countries do it anymore and the rules – from maximum age to religion to length of marriage to prior divorce(s) and more – are outrageous), and with both, there are no guarantees that you’ll end up with a child. The adoption agency can close, a country’s program can end, and you are out of money. In Oregon, you don’t get matched, you have to put yourself in a book with a ton of other waiting families and just hope that a pregnant woman chooses you someday. It can take years.
We want children. We want to be pregnant and we want to adopt. Yet years later, we still have our dog at home and that’s it because our adoption agency is now telling us we’ll be 2-4 more years just for a referral then 1-2 more years to bring the child home – meaning the 4M+ orphans in the country we’re adopting from are living in group homes in the meantime while bureaucracy takes over. Now we have to see, after tens of thousands of dollars lost and barely any retirement savings and now in my early 40s, if we can save up another $30K+ for a domestic adoption application, and hope that my husband, who turns 50 this year, doesn’t want to end the journey because he’s now feeling that he may not be around long enough as a father.
As a child who was adopted, I love that you are speaking up but I urge you, as I urge everyone here who has not battled infertility, to first get educated and empathetic towards how traumatic the experience of infertility is for the 1 in 8 couples who go through it. I urge you to advocate for adoption to become easier and costs massively lowered, because while there are children who need good homes, there are just as many parents who can never afford to bring them home because of the way the system works.
I’m glad it worked out for you. One of my parents was adopted by a Catholic family and I totally reject it. I never felt like I belonged and once I mentioned, “I think I was adopted, like my best friend was.” My grandma and parents were upset. After my grandma died, it came out that dad was adopted.
I left Catholicism when I was 11 because it wasn’t right. Everyone in my family welcomed it and said I can follow my own path. Ironically, what I’m drawn to and what I’m working on becoming, it was found in my DNA.
I’m infertile and would never consider adoption. I am also asexual and aromantic, so I couldn’t adopt as a single person either. I have accepted myself and I volunteer instead. I would rather be a mentor.
Dawn, I loved this! I am infertile and do not want to adopt. What you said about adoption not being a cure for infertility is exactly how I feel. I have always longed for the feeling of a baby growing in my belly and to feel the bond of breastfeeding and to see my genes passed down. Although I was very sarcastic in my reply to Matty and JJ, I have always had a fear that if I did adopt that child would never really be mine. What you said made me think it’s actually ok with how I feel about adoption. Thank you!
C.E., as an adoptee I can assure you that not only do I feel that I am 100% my parents’, but my parents feel the exact same way. Never have any of us felt like I am any different from my brothers, who are biologically my parents. We are all very happy and my parents and birth mother did a great thing. Please consider how your comments affect adoptees. Thanks!
You are just misguided sadly..i can assure u even if they make u feel as loved as their biological children; ur not. That’s just how god intended it. The biological connection between parents and biological children is not there when you adopt..i dont disagree that they love u and have u a happy home. I deserve it and I’m sorry u were unwanted by ur real parents but of ur adoptive parents had to choose who got to live and who got to die, you have to know they would choose their biological children instead of u. But choosing between 2 of their own biological children , they could not make a choice bc they love them equally but choosing between you anf one of them, they would absolutely choose their biological child.
“Just so u know”, I think you can speak for yourself and for your experience, but you can’t and don’t speak for me or my experience.
with all due respect, if you can only love a child that came from your body, you can’t really love any child. you just love yourself and your own selfish reproductive impulses. being a parent means so much more than just reproducing. it’s hideous to think that if circumstances gave you a child that “wasn’t yours”, you couldn’t care for it properly with all the parental love and security a child needs to grow up healthy and happy. I sincerely hope you can grow as a person and get past your selfishness or that you are never a parent yourself, because you’re clearly not prepared for it.
What a disgusting comment. You truly can love no one if you only think you can love someone who is biologically connected to you. I’m not biologically connected to my husband. Yet he is the one I will choose over my own parents or siblings who are biologically connected to me.
I can understand if you personally feel you can’t give love to another, but why this comment? Why think no one can? And why deliberately try to hurt someone as if you know anything about them?
I know I can love anyone. Even though I’m blessed to have biological children, I’m considering adopting too in the future. And I know I will love that child just the same. Genetics means nothing!
Honestly, the trouble that people go through to adopt a beautiful child, just shows so much love in that act.
Haley! Your family loves you! Don’t listen to bitter people that don’t know anything about love or life. You seem to be very blessed and I’m happy for you for the love you’re surrounded with 🙂
Absolutely not true!!
This is to the commenter that said adopted child is not loved as much as biological child. I would save each of them equally if I was put in that situation! They absolutely are equals. Very sad that her life is so bad that she doesn’t feel that way.
Thanks for ‘splaining.
Consider how your comments affect others also . Did you not even read the article ? Did your parents , who did a wonderful job of making you feel loved and wanted , forget to teach you how to be empathetic ?
Please stop saying that it is “infertile” people who should be adopting. Any person, fertile or infertile, could adopt a child. It is wrong to point out a particular group of people and say that they are the ones who bear the responsibility of taking in all the unwanted children in the world.
Also, the poster above is incorrect in stating that IVF has only a 5% success rate! She obviously has no experience with IVF. It is remarkably sad that she can’t be happy for Parker and Broderick, who were expecting twins, just because those twins were created in a way that she disagrees with. She obviously thinks that those babies should not have been born, and are taking the “rightful” place of a third world orphan who (she feels) was more deserving of a home.
You are ALL such liars on this page that it defies belief and I am soooo sick and tired of the lies adoptive parents tell each other in order to justify taking another Mothers child home with them.
Are any of you even adopted? Clearly the writer of this article isn’t and clearly the institute of adoption is still seen as a way of fixing the needs of infertile couple whilst destroying the human rights of the child and pretending. When you tell someone you are there Mum and Dad and it’s not true, you’re lying to an infant (Child abuse) and you’re simply taking the power of the original parent because a piece of paper said that you could and because most adoptive parents are clearly mentally ill.
Would these infertile couples go near an adoptee of they could have children of their own? And please explain to me why an abandoned child would want the role of being an infertile couples band aid & sticking plaster?
Why the lies, why do you people destroy the child’s identity and replace it with you or own? If you’re truly doing it to help the child (Which you’re not!) Why don’t you ?
You’re helping yourself to other peoples children and then you are brainwashing them with your lies that you are their parents because if you didn’t? They wouldn’t call you Mum & Dad and if they didn’t call you Mum and Dad? You couldn’t pretend that they were your children.
As an adoptee who has been diagnosed with Autism. It took until the age of 40 because of the severe neglect endured by those saintly, magical adoptive parents, the ones that society celebrates and the biggest liars on the face of this planet.
Infertile couple aren’t adopting for the sake of the child, infertile couple are adopting for the sake of themselves by using vulnerable children in order to fix their infertility problems and whilst being patted on the back by a very sick society for lying.
If my friend was killed in a car accident tomorrow (Her partner passed) and I had a choice of adopting her daughter or letting her go into care? I would adopt her because she is my friends child and because I love her.
Would I pretend to be her Mum? No and what sort of a ‘Sick’ person would? – To lie to a child is to mentally abuse them and what sort of low life would lie and pretend to be her mother if her mother had died anyway? Why would I lie to a child who has lost their mother by pretending to be who they lost? Mother aren’t replaceable objects, only in the big FAT LIE of adoption are they replaceable objects (It’s known as mental abuse also, but as long as the adoptive parents gain the power in the relationship (Which is why they lie) It’s deemed acceptable because we are 2nd class adoptees who don’t matter (We’re object, sticking plasters for others) and the truth in adoption is buried as soon as the adoptive parents pay for a new birth certificate.
Would I change my neices name? No – Because her name as with everybody else’s is ‘Her’ name and the name printed on her birth certificate is her name by law until the same law allows strangers to change it. (To take away a child’s human rights is to abuse them and for arguments sake? Try it with an adult and see how far you get?)
Funny huh? As an adoptee my experience in the reality of adoption is very different from the people who are adoptive parents because one of us lives in the real and honest world and the rest of you live in the made up world that adoption is.
If you can’t have children then I’m very sorry, but it is not the responsibility of someone elses child to fix your issue and to use children in order to fix your own needs makes you a child abuser.
To lie to a child is to abuse them and to tell them that you are Mummy & Daddy when you are in fact nothing but strangers in the beginning is a crime against children, humanity and the truth.
Funny how so many religious people (The ones who appreciate myth as oppose to reality) are involved in adoption and I would suggest the more out of touch with reality the person is? The more likely they are to adopt.
You people who are infertile need to go and get some psychotherapy and you need to leave children like me well alone!!!!!!!!!!!
You people make me sick, particularly the clown who has written this article and quite frankly people who think that they have some sort of ownership to other peoples children regardless of their motivations need serious help, period!!!
Helping a child is helping them, pretending to be the parents of another persons child because of their vulnerabilities is helping ‘Yourself’ and given that adoption is such a great thing? Why don’t we ALL give our children away to strangers who pretend to be their Mummy & Daddy and then we can ALL celebrate that act of abandoning children together!!!! Yipee!!
I’m adopted. And I’m happy about it.
Well then good for you, that means there’s not a problem then, right? Because YOU had a decent experience as a human bandaid for infertility, then it’s all ok (or maybe yours weren’t infertile, and adopted a child for the whole reason adoption started, to provide homes for those children who needed a home, not to make infertile couples feel better about not having their own child, in which case, you’re situation is extremely rare, and out of context for what Matty is discussing). News flash: unlike you, many, many, many adoptees have been horribly traumatized by this system, and just because that wasn’t your experience, does not give you ANY RIGHT to try to silence those adoptee’s like US who got to see the dark side of adoption first hand. What you just said was exactly like someone saying to someone “but my parents beat me with a belt, and I am just fine.” EXACTLY THE SAME THING YOU JUST DID TO MATTY!!!
JJ, just saying that it’s OK for adoptees who do not feel traumatized by the system to speak up, just like it is OK for those that do to speak up. One point is no more valid than another.
Thank you Matty and JJ. I am infertile and I DO NOT want to adopt. I have had a fear that if I adopt a child, that child will, truly, never be mine. I want to be a mother! I want to raise a child to love others, to treat others how they would want to be treated. I want to provide unconditional love to a child and provide them with everything they need! I want to put a roof over their head and feed them everyday and tell them how smart they are and how proud I am for all their accomplishments. Most of all I want to tell them how much I love them and I want them to say “I love you too, MOM! So according to you, JJ and Matty, that can only happen if I have my own biological child. Thank you for making me feel better about my decision not to adopt. By the way, I am a nurse on a mother/baby unit. I get to see a lot of moms who give their babies up for adoption. Most of these moms are homeless, drug addicts. It makes me feel better knowing that you are so against adoption and would probably preferred to go home with one of these homeless drug addicts. This makes my decision to NOT adopt so much easier. I would never want my adopted child to hate me for providing them with a loving home when they could have grown up on the streets and be addicted to drugs. So thank you again not only for relieving me of the guilt from not adopting but also the guilt I have at my job when I have to send babies home with unstable, drug addict mothers. Now I know when these kids grow up they will be happy they got to stay with their biological parents. They would never want to leave their “real” mother, even if they could grow up and have a successful life they probably would have preferred to follow in their “real” parents footsteps. I would love to have a child! If I ever did adopt I would not lie to that child. I would tell them ” Mommy did not grow you in her belly but I did grow you in my heart.” According to you JJ and Matty that would have made me a horrible person so thank you for allowing me to not make such a mistake! I will continue to allow all these unwanted children to be kicked out on the streets or go into foster care because I would never ever want to use them as a “bandaid!”
And you should find some help to deal with your trauma instead of being a coward and lashing out online on strangers who are not responsible for how miserable you might feel now. I have zero empathy or even compassion for a person like you. I don’t care how legit your pain might be, your vitriol makes it impossible to feel sorry for what you went through. Pull up your pants and go see a therapist to sort out all this resentment you’ve been carrying around!
You probably weren’t sexually abused by your adoptive father then. But it would be a very different story if you had been.The fact that you use the word “happy” to describe the trauma of being relinquished and abandoned by your mother (a real felt trauma to an infant) is indicative of your lack of emotional maturity and your brainwashed “people pleasing” adoptive status.
It sounds as if your story is a very painful one. No child deserves to be abused – by either an adoptive parent or bio parent. For that I am very sorry. However, it’s entirely possible that Chris’s story is indeed different and no less valid. Being a happy adoptee is not indicative of being emotionally immature or of being “brainwashed.”
Matty, I was abused by my BIOLOGICAL father and my BIOLOGICAL mother. Many people are. There are no guarantees in life… I’m very sorry to say that your story is in no way unique because you were adopted. I’m also autistic and my biological parents always made it very clear that I was not the kid they wanted – and yes, I was abused. I won’t go into detail, but suffice to say it was bad.
You need to gain some perspective and work through your trauma. You are not unique. You are not special. In fact, your comments make me incredibly angry because you assume that everything would have been okay for you if only you’d had biological parents… Wake up. You say these people are erasing your experience, but you are erasing MINE. You need to stop feeling so sorry for yourself and realize that BIOLOGICAL is not always better. You say that infertile couples need therapy, but it’s really YOU who does. And yes, I’ve been in therapy!
Why are you trying to take other adopted people’s happiness away from them? Some kids are adopted into amazing homes… some are not. Kind of like how some of us are BORN into loving homes and some are not. Your comments do not solve the problem and I genuinely do not know what you think the system should do with kids who were abandoned by their parents… Leave them on the street? I mean, really. Your comments offer no solution and actually only create more suffering.
So as someone with autism who was abused by their biological parents, I can say that your comments are highly insulting and insensitive.
I’m so sorry for the really difficult things you’ve experienced, Rebecca. Thank you for sharing your story and for speaking for kids who are living now what you lived. Every child deserves to be treasured and cherished – it’s why we do what we do. Thank you again for reading and sharing.
I thought I would share this poem, for those of us suffering from Infertility and for those of you Suffering from the inability to understand or empathize with those of us struggling with this disease.
Thoughts on Becoming a Mother
There are women that become mothers without effort, without thought, without patience or loss and though they are good mothers and love their children, I know that I will be better.
I will be better not because of genetics, or money or that I have read more books but because I have struggled and toiled for this child.
I have longed and waited. I have cried and prayed.
I have endured and planned over and over again.
Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.
I will notice everything about my child.
I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore and discover. I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life.
I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold and feed him and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot or cry tears of a broken dream. My dream will be crying for me.
I count myself lucky in this sense; that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child that my friends will not see.
Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a child that God leads me to, I will not be careless with my love.
I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend and sister because I have known pain.
I know disillusionment as I have been betrayed by my own body. I have been tried by fire and hell many never face, yet given time, I stood tall.
I have prevailed.
I have succeeded.
I have won.
So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.
And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely. I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth and when life is beyond hard. I have learned a compassion that only comes with walking in those shoes.
I have learned to appreciate life.
Yes I will be a wonderful mother.
Scott, what a powerful statement: God has a plan – but not an agenda. That could apply to so many discussions, couldn’t it? I’m going to remember that one.
Texasmomma, thank you for your comment and for you desire to be respectful of the feelings of others. I’m glad you felt comfortable sharing your comment because what we need is more dialog. I think you misunderstand the full impact of the disease of infertility. Please read my blog titled “Infertility Is…” posted a few weeks after this blog.
Parenting is completely and totally different from “being a presence” in a child’s life, just as being an aunt is different from being a mother. I love being an aunt, but it is not the same, or even close, to being a mother. being a mentor or big sister figure would also be different.
Yes, ultimately for some, pregnancy or a genetic connection is not an option. For some of these, adoption won’t be an option. Some will chose to accept a childfree life–they may come to embrace all it has to offer, and we should indeed commend them for finding the best path for them. But that is not the best path for everyone. Also, many people who ultimately decide it is the best path for them, first need to try “everything” else first before they can come to that place of graceful acceptance. “Everything” differs for each person.
One way to look at it is like you do: “God made you infertile because he didn’t want you to be a parent. He had other plans for you.” But there is another way to look at it: “God made you infertile because an easy path to parenthood was not the plan for you. Your child is out there but requires more work to get to.” Of course, there is also the thought that God has nothing to do with “giving you” the disease of infertility. I’m not here to get into a theological discussion, only to present that there are different theological interpretations.
Perhaps for you, the acceptance of a childfree life would have been fairly easy since you never really wanted kids. Perhaps not, since age has a way of changing what we think we want. You will never really know since you were blessed with your “two little copies”. But for others, they firmly believe that they are meant to have children, that their life would not be complete without experiencing parenthood. They should also be commended for bravely continuing to seek the best way to achieve that goal. We each have a different path.
Although I am not infertile and I chose to adopt, I completely 100% understand the desire to give birth, to see “copies of yourself”, to parent. I consult with infertile woman or couples or men all the time and I hear their tales and their pain. I am in awe of their perseverance.
And one last point, that I couldn’t resist adding. Adoption does not have to be extraordinarily expensive. There are many options to very inexpensively (or fairly inexpensively) adopt. Check out some of the Creating a Family radio show on the radio page of this website. Also, remember, pregnancy and childbirth are expensive, but our insurance pays for it. Insurance seldom covers infertility treatment and never covers adoption. Something to ponder.
Meghann, I loved your line that “just” should never precede the the word “adopt”. I may use that in a blog sometime.
Respect everyone’s choice, feelings and needs, most importantly the pre-conceived offspring
“So You’re Infertile, Why Not Just Adopt” is equal to “So you were conceived from an anonymous donor, why not just be grateful and accept?”
“…a person’s desire for identity and meaningful connection to half (or all) of their genetic roots and ancestry is not a “whim” or mere “curiosity”. This is just as much a natural biologically rooted and emotional/psychological predisposition as a desire for a child. Not all people feel the desire for a genetically related child to fulfill their needs, just as not all people feel the desire to know the identity of their biological father and/or be allowed to have meaningful connections with their genetic roots and ancestry to fill their needs. Each individual will feel differently but one should not trump another.
Some like to argue that these disconnects happen all the time in other unintended ways, but this equally does not justify giving professionals, institutions and the gamete industry the legal power to withhold information from the very people they help to create.
The Hippocratic Oath, “Do no harm”, needs to apply to all interested parties in these complicated family formations. Let’s not forget that this should and must, first and foremost, apply towards the very people (and their children) that they are all intentionally collaborating together to bring into this world – People who might have a deep biologically rooted, emotional and psychological need to know this information for their sense of personal identity, belonging, connection and emotional well being; not only for themselves but for their own children as well.
Who is to say that biology does or doesn’t matter in our personal definition of family and identity? Let’s try to move forward in a way that that respects everyone’s choice while putting emphasis on the yet to be conceived offspring’s anticipated consent.”
Dawn, thank you so much for addressing this subject. It is so badly needed, especially since I have clients who must deal with this on a daily basis with their own families. Great piece!
Aria, I am truly shocked that if your doctor says that your injuries would not affect your ability to parent and you have a normal life expectancy, you weren’t able to find an agency, especially an agency that places from foster care, that would accept you. That has not been my experience with couples I have worked with, especially if they are wanting to adopt older children from foster care. I’m so sorry that happened to you and I wish you God’s blessing on this pregnancy.
Gail, while adoption isn’t a guarantee, most people who want to are able to adopt, and most adoptions don’t cost $40-50,000. I do agree that adoptions aren’t as simple and cheap as many people assume.
You know, I think an aspect of this comment “why not just adopt” is that many people, maybe even most people, don’t have someone within their circle of friends who have. And so all they see is what the media portrays and maybe an experience of a distant acquaintance. They don’t know the gritty details of what adoption looks like. Which is not at all a defense of their response, but an observation of my own friends and family and how they perceive the process of adoption. So conversations like this, and Creating a Family are so imperative to bringing awareness to the ways people become parents and the difficulties so many people endure.
Thanks Angela and I agree.
I remember many sobbing nights after failed months and cycles. It took me some time and my husband longer for us to accept adoption. Adoption is not a decision to be taken lightly. If you do infant adoption it is expensive and time consuming. If you go international it is extremely expensive as well as perhaps taking on a situation that you aren’t prepared for in terms of orphanage delays, attachment issues, etc. Foster Care adoption is more complicated than initially thought. That requires us to guard our hearts to be able to love but let go too.
Dawn, if I’m going overboard, delete at will. Ha! I am just fired up today because I feel so passionate about infertility and adoption and how misunderstood the experiences and difficulties of each are. Tossing out a couple of more excerpts here and on your FB thread. Thanks for all you do to advance education and enlightenment!
Regarding infertility – from The Eye of Adoption: “…the devastation of infertility is a monthly cycle fraught with anxious anticipation and gut-wrenching disappointment.”
Regarding adoption after infertility – from The Eye of Adoption: “The loss-laden wounds of infertility and adoption trauma never quite heal. A dear friend, whose two adopted children are exceptional and thriving, confessed to me that she still grieves that she never experienced pregnancy and childbirth. I still scan my gynecologist’s waiting room for pregnant bellies attached to bandless hands. I still feel cheated and annoyed when I meet pregnant teenagers.”
My heart aches for infertile men and women, men and women desperate to become parents, those called to adopt and struggling through the arduous process, adoptees who grapple with mystery, insecurity, and questions, birth parents trying to make monumental and permanent decisions, and children who need families!
Infertility is heartbreaking, yet so misunderstood and judged by others. Adoption is such complex, complicated process with so many variables. The adoptive parents and birth parents can’t be classified or categorized, yet we are lumped into stereotypes. This is why I urge The Eye of Adoption readers to share the book with friends and relatives. If I get time today, I may post an excerpt in the Facebook thread. Good stuff, as always, Dawn! Love, Jody
Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Finding the time and actual effort to produce a
superb blog… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and never seem to get anything done.
May I simply just say what a relief to uncover somebody who genuinely
understands what they’re talking about online. You certainly understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More and more people ought to look at this and understand this side of the story. It’s
surprising you aren’t more popular since you surely have the gift.
Tori, there are plenty of ethical reasons to NOT adopt a child. International adoption just creates more problems with child trafficking in other countries. This is why most countries have now closed down their international adoption programs. You, and others like you, keep yammering on and on about selfishness and how “other” people should only consider adoption. Have you adopted yourself? I bet anything you have not.
Most people posting here have no idea why someone is infertile. You are simply casting judgments on others, especially you Lejla. You say you wouldn’t donate your eggs to infertile couples who had careers, traveled, were carefree and are now older; well guess what? I’d bet anything most couples do not want your eggs anyway. I would never want an egg donor who demonstrated the judgmental qualities that you have, Lejla. That is not something I’d want to pass on to my future children. You can rest assured I wouldn’t want your eggs, my dear. Your eggs stink.
Many people are infertile simply because of bad luck, cancer, couldn’t meet the right person to marry, or other life circumstances that put them behind in the game…now they are older. It is not their fault.
The “need” to be pregnant has always appeared to be more of a selfish desire above anything else. I “need” to have my own child because I must experience A,B, and C. I “need” to have my own child because I want them to look or behave a certain way with my input. I “need” to have my own child because it is my innate biological desire. I “need” to have my own child because it’s easier and cheaper. Is it heart wrenching that a person isn’t given the opportunity to be selfish? I promise you there would be no amount of effort or money that would stop you from protecting your biological child… So why should an adopted child be any less significant? If people practiced selflessness before having children rather than after, there would be no amount of money or fight we wouldn’t endure to love a non-biological child. I don’t care how much someone preaches about their natural sense of procreation and biological whatever, it all comes down to the natural human instinct to be selfish.
100% agree! The desire to experience pregnancy is a VERY selfish reason to procreate children.
Children are to be parented from birth to 18+ years of age. Pregnancy lasts 9 months. If the parenting aspect is not the first priority, I beg you to use birth control!
Plus, there is NO guarantee a biological child will look like you, your partner or anyone else in your family! Would you love your child less if they didn’t inherit your big nose, crooked teeth, pale white skin, genetic disorders or medical conditions? If people are that vain about a child’s looks, please do NOT breed!!!
It’s time people use reliable birth control, adopt from foster care and terminate pregnancies! Enough with the human overpopulation!
A divorced lady with an autistic child and another one diagnosed with ADHD that she’s been raising alone told me once: “When people talk about wanting to have babies, they always think that the baby’s gonna be born perfect. They don’t even think that they could end up with a sick baby. Everything they want is a baby… the perfect baby with no malformations, congenital illnesses and so forth.”
In my culture, having children is a social accomplishment. Even indigent people feel “wealthy” because they managed to have children that they can barely feed. It’s just having these extensions of yourself. Infertile people are pariahs and orphans aren’t even given the time of the day because “why would I take care of someone else’s kid?” I like to remember them of the fact that they could die overnight, their precious offspring will be orphaned and then, I bet they would be happy from wherever place their dead bodies are to know that there were some people who luckily didn’t have the same reasoning as they did.
It is SO weird/foreign to me watching women writhe in agony over trying to have kids. I have absolutely NO desire whatsoever to be a parent and just cannot for the life of me figure out why other people want kids so desperately. I am sorry to see so many people in pain though I swear I’ll never understand all the fuss.
jc, I’m glad you are able to see others pain even though you would feel differently if faced with this disease. Empathy is a gift!
actually sorry, these people shouldn’t be able to adopt either.
Lejla, is your opinion the same for a woman who waited to start her family until she found the right guy to be her children’s father? Or the couple who started trying when they were much younger, but had to save for years before being able to afford infertility treatment, and now find themselves too old for fertility treatment to work? Or how about the woman who suffers from primary ovarian insufficiency where her ovaries stop functioning prematurely? My only point is that there are many reasons why people are “old” and trying to have a baby, and not all of them spent their fertile years traveling and living the carefree life.
I don’t think her comment was about age so much as the fact that an overweening obsession with perfect genes is shallow and indicates immaturity.
Sorry, didn’t see the previous comment.
I think couples who put their careers, travelling and generally being carefree should adopt. I saw quite a few ads asking for egg donations because they want to have children but are simply too old. They put their phd’s etc ahead of children and now can’t have any… I think they’ll be hard pressed to find a woman who would give them her egg so that they can create a child that is biologically hers without her thinking ‘well hold on a moment, they put everything before children, obviously that was the last thing on their list of priorities, so my child will mean less than their careers etc’ no way i would ever donate to people like that. Should have thought about kids earlier.
Regarding the poem posted by KellyAnne, it’s just as offensive as the “just adopt” remarks. Who are you to say you as an infertile person will be “better” as a mother than someone who conceived easily? How do you know they did not suffer in other ways before becoming a parent? How can you say that they don’t also appreciate the miracle that is their children? Just as they don’t know your experiences, you don’t know theirs, and it is a HUGE assumption to make that a short road to conception = taking your child for granted, not being appreciative, not having empathy or being “careless with their love.”
I love the phrase: “why don’t you just adopt”? Unbelievable. We have been trying to adopt for 2 years with no success yet. The frustration, heartbreak, and anxiety we have been thru during all this process is near impossible to explain to those that aren’t in this position. Besides which, we have been hoping to have a family for 8 years before that–so it feels like a much longer process to us now. We looked into the Oregon foster care system and were told that “we are not in the adoption business!”. It was like being slapped in the face.
I am so tired of people making comments about things they have no experience with!
What I have to say will probably make this whole blog go up in flames. But I will say what I need to say:
It is wrong to point the finger at any group of people, such as “infertiles” and tell them its their personal responsibility to take in children who need homes. Fertile people are just as capable of adopting as infertile. Infertile people did not create all those children in orphanages all over the world.
It is wrong for a young woman to get pregnant, knowing she cannot support that child, and then just expect a rich couple to come along, and take her child and raise it. This is the perfect example of an entitlement complex.
Right or wrong, many people desire to have a biological, genetic child. If they are willing and able to raise that child, its wrong to tell them they should not spend their money on fertility medicine. It is their money, their body, and their right to give create a family.
This is an older post so I don’t know that anyone will see this, but this comment infuriates me. I was a pregnant teenager 31 years ago. Because I had little choice and was so young, I surrendered my daughter for adoption. I have regretted that choice at times in my life, yet so many people have told me that I did the right thing. And maybe I did, but I will l tell you this, I cannot imagine there are many young girls getting pregnant and expecting rich people to take their child. And in cases where this is happening it is because of predatory attorneys that prey on these young girls.
Giving your child away is not natural. It is excruciating. When I became a mother again five years later it really hit me what I had done. I gave my I had a wonderful life with great parents. I grew up in the 70s in the midwest in pretty much an idyllic small town existence. Still, I trusted a boy, was young and naive and found myself pregnant a month before I graduated high school. I got pregnant my very first time ever having sex. My parents were wonderful people, but this rocked their world. They truly thought adoption was best for me and my daughter. I didn’t dare speak up too much because I’d already hurt them by getting pregnant. I gave birth 5 days past my 19th birthday. I had no idea what to expect before, during or after.
I guess I don’t really have much to say about fertile vs. infertile adopting, but I do know that adoption is not talked about enough. We need to recognize birth mothers’s loss. (And fathers, but they are not as biologically connected) We need to acknowledge the primal trauma that many adoptive children experience.
This is not to say I am against adoption. I’m not at all. I am against coercion of birthparents. I have friends who have adopted and who are adopted. I love them and their families, but adoption is not a clean slate. All members of the triad need to be better integrated, not separate, resentful or fearful of each other.
Well said Lori.
I had been to a couple adoption seminars. There are not many caucasian parents surrendering their rights in my area. The cost of the adoption (about $40,000) and being told that I probably wouldn't be able to get a caucasian child was the reason that I did not proceed with adopting. Adoption isn't that easy. Sometimes it is easier and affordable to adopt from the foster care system. You can foster a child first to see if you bond. Many of the children in the foster care system do become available to adopt.
Why so obsessed with raising Caucasian babies? If skin color is so damning, adopt an older Caucasian child from foster care.
Hint: all those babies will grow up, and be teenagers. No sense of disregarding older children unless you plan on abandoning that white baby that outgrows the diaper stage.
MayaWithAdoption, you are a gem, a light in the darkness. my parents took in so many children while I was growing up, even whole families, and even now my mother can’t help but to mother the whole darn neighborhood! she fed and clothed and chastised the gang members that lived in our building, never questioning their worth. I will never understand how someone could possibly tell a child that no one could possibly love them like their bio-parents, even if said bio-parents beat them or neglected them or otherwise abused them. how callous must one be to look a person in the face and tell them they’re not as good, not as worthy of love and protection because their “natural” parents couldn’t provide it?
I'm sorry your family member had that experience. Although you didn't say, it sound like they were trying to adopt from foster care. The goal of our foster care system is family reunification, if possible and if in the best interest of the child. Sometimes (often?) determining the possibility or best interest is hard. There are, of course, other forms of adoption where the birth parents relinquish voluntarily their parental rights. But the main thing I wanted to say was that you do not have to be perfect to adopt. If that was a requirement, I wouldn't be an adoptive parent. Adoption is not the best option for everyone, but it is not only an option for the perfect.
But that wasn't enough. they had to fight tooth and nail to even get to keep this child as long as they did and then the parents of this child still had a time limit to where they could RECLAIM this child through rehabilitation. HELLO PEOPLE ARE YOU LISTENING TO WHAT I AM SAYING? If this doesn't tell you why most people's first option is not adoption when they find they will have problems on their own, then you just need to keep out of the conversation. You are doing everyone no good by even breathing in the same pathway. Sorry its true and had to be said, nothing is as simple as others try to make it. Until you have been there for every type of situation with this, you need not be so mean.
This is going to be combative and sweet because it is just point blank! Adoption costs so much more than money. You are in charge of someone else's child. Though you can give them possibly a better home, a better life, and more love than imaginable and make that child's wildest dreams come true, you have to go through so much more than what you do trying to have your own, yes even with fertility treatments. I am a testament to this because I went through this with a very close family member. You people who argue for adoption do not realize the scrutiny that you are put under being an adopting parent. Adoption is a great thing, but you have to be almost perfect to actually get the child, or just a conniving SOB to be able to get a child. My family member that was in this would have been the best option for a parent at the time, they were married, both of them wanted a child of their own by any means possible (blood line or adoption). They could offer this child everything including love
So very true! I wrote a blog about this awhile back titled "Funny, I don’t feel like a Non-Mom ". http://www.creatingafamily.com/blog/?p=19
First, I would like to say that I believe families come together in different ways, and there isn't one way that is better than another. As one part of a couple dealing with infertility, I understand the devastation felt when you are told you will not have biological children. There were options for us to have biological children, at least for one of us. We decided that was not how our family was meant to grow. I have absolutely nothing negative to say about couples who do decide to go through invitro, donor sperm, surrogacy, or other scientific ways. That is a personal decision and I support each person/couple for their choice. I do, however, take offense when I am treated as less than a "real" mom because we chose to adopt. I do not feel that adoption is a "cure for childlessness." Adoption is another way families grow. My children are my children. I am their "real mom," even if they did not grow in my womb.
My husband and I have been trying to adopt for over five years. We started out by taking two older boys that were kicked out of their foster home at 18. We decided after they boys were on their feet that we wanted to adopt an infant. We tried the foster care route. That system is the most corrupt system on the planet. We fostered two infants and were lied to about both of them during the entire time we fostered. We were told that we would be able to adopt them, and infact the workers knew that that was 99% not the case.
During the same time that we were fostering the infants we talked to a social worker that had worked with our boys when they were younger. She told us that in our state healthy children are often never adopted. The state keep them as long as possible and intentionally do it for profit for the state. When I look back on our journey I can honestly say I totally believe it.
We have since found an agency and have been in the process for nearly two years. I also find this system to be a huge disappointment. We feel like many birth families look at profiles and choose the wealthiest people they can find. In two years we have never been matched, and when I told our worker my feelings she agreed with me. Recently we decided that the whole process was about $$ and we just have kind of moved on with life. I hate the fact that we have everything to offer a child, and the system has deprived several children from a wonderful life because of greed.
Finally, I would like to add that I hate it when people say “just adopt”. It usually sends me into a rant about how it would be freaking great if we could just adopt.
Here from the Creme.
What a beautiful post, well said.
Because my husband and his family think blood is everything. Because I want to have a child that is the mix of my and my husband’s genes.
No guarantee a biological child will look like you, your partner or anyone in the family. I’m a prime example; I look nothing like my parents or my relatives.
And even if a bio child looked like you, would you love them less if they dyed their hair, got tattoos, plastic surgery, etc that changed their physical appearance, contrasting yours?? If a bio child doesn’t worship you and mimic your behaviors, would you love them any less? What if they want to be true to themselves and your personalities didn’t get along? Would you still love them?
Genetic lineage comes with NO guarantees.
That’s what people don’t get. for some of us, adoption just isn’t an option. We wish it could be, but it isn’t. Thanks for explaining this.
Thank you for this.
We get this question all the time, especially from DHs siblings and cousins. Like there is no difference, like all types of kids are interchangeable. I heard it over the holidays twice. I want to scream or spit at them. I’m going to print this out for the next family dinner and have it in my pocket to hand out to the nosy busybodies.
Popping in from the crème de la crème list.
It still needs lots of repeating, this message.
Here from Creme de la creme. Beautifully stated. Adoption is a personal choice and not to mention it is very expensive and complicated to adopt. It’s not as simple as “just adopt”.
Thank you for this insightful post. I have printed it off to send with our Christmas cards this year. I’m serious, but I won’t include it with all of them. LOL Just those people in our life and family that need to hear it.
I will never adopt if I cannot have kids. Having children for me is all about genetics. I could love any child but my own child is different.
Most Americans say that inside but hypocrisy doesnt let them voice thier opinion.
Why do people need to adopt if they cannot have kids? is there such a void in the modern world!
Amanda, I’m glad you have certainty and know what is right for you. However, I don’t think you can extroplate your beliefs to “most Americans”. For plenty of us, genetics simply doesn’t play a big role in our desire to parent. We want to experience parenting regardless of whether we are genetically related to the child. Not sure this has anything to do with a void in our culture. Maybe it’s just a desire or need to partake in the joys and less than joys of parenting.
What about the average person who is infertile and wants to adopt? My husband and I average about 70,000/yr total income and my husband went through chemotherapy for Lymphoma recently and will not be able to father children. We would love to adopt but “adoption” is a misnomer. In the US children are bought and sold. You can foster and love and lose child after child after child. Or you can go through private agencies and pay 30k at LEAST. We could easily support a child and want to do so more than anything but because I can’t plunk down half a years income in one lump sum I’ll never be able to.
The adoption system in America is disgusting. The rich buy babies from the poor and the people in the middle remain childless.
Rebecca, I won’t dispute that our adoption system is not perfect, but you are receiving bad advice if you’ve been told that a domestic adoption will cost at least $30,000. I’ve seen various figures, but I can safely say that the average is far far less~more in line with $20,000. I realize that isn’t a small amount, but you also have the adoption tax credit of about $12,000 and five years to claim it.
There are also children available to adopt that are currently just waiting for a family with an almost zero risk that they will be returned to their biological parents.
You might also want to look into embryo adoption–not free but not exorbitant either.
Please listen to some of our archived Creating a Family shows. We’ve covered these topics and many many more.
We always knew we wanted to adopt, even though we were not (as far as we know) infertile. If the adoption had fallen through, it would have felt awful to hear someone say, “Why don’t you just have a baby by birth?” Having a biological child would never have made up for the loss.
Wow. I am a 16 year old and I can truly say that reading this has completely enlightened me. From what I’ve heard, I’ve always thought of adoption as sort of charity- to take in an unknown child and care for it like your own seems like a very commendable deed. I had never thought of it being beneficial to parents or something parents want to do, the case being that the parent is not infertile. The issue of being infertile is a whole other thing that I’m guessing I won’t even be able to understand. I don’t even really know where I’m going with this but I guess I just wanted to commend those who do or are willing to adopt children who are in actual need (older, disabled…) rather than those for whom there are already people lined up to adopt.
Thanks so much for posting this. I hate the use of the word “just” before “adopt”, as if there was a baby store right around the corner, as if you could pick up the phone and order or go onto a website and select “that one”. Not only does it severely downplay the emotional process of choosing not to continue with infertility treatments (for those of us who deal with that), but it demeans the families and children in the system. It makes the children seem more like a commodity, and the families going through it seem more like thoughtful and educated consumers. If we’re choosing to open our lives and hearts to a child, whether it be through adoption or biologically, there’s nothing simple about it. “Just” just doesn’t belong.
Thank you again.
I have emailed this to my entire family or printed out copies and mailed to those members without email. This is the very best response to this stupid statement that I’ve ever read. I’m on your RSS forever.
It is so true that adoption is not a cure for infertility. My husband and I adopted two children (both as infants – straight from the hospital), but I’ve never gotten over that nagging desire to go through a pregnancy. My kids are 8 and 6 and I love them dearly but I’m still sad over the loss of not carrying a child. For me, that feeling that my body has betrayed me and that I’m not a “real” woman has never really left – even though I’m a mom.
Why not adopt? Good question and one I’ve asked myself a million times. Dawn, I have spoken with you as a consulting client and you helped beyond belief. I am looking into my infertility and adoption options that you suggested and I’m following the checklist of things to do that you suggested. So far, I leaning towards staying in infertility treatment but as we talked about I may move to embyro adoption. I just didn’t know it was an option for singles. the people who ask this question simply don’t know how complicated it really is.
thank you for writing this. as an adopted child, who as an adult is using surrogacy to create my family, i have a very hard time explaining why i am not adopting. there are a million reasons, none of which have to do with wanting to see my genetics go walking in the world. our main reason is that we want to hold an infant, we want to see the ultrasounds, we want to be there at the birth, and we want to be able to go home grateful to our surrogate knowing that she will never feel a claim on our child.
because i am adopted and know first hand all the issues that can surround this start in life, i knew that there was no way that i could deal with an open adoption. it is a limit that makes me sad at times, but i am also so grateful that i know these limits. adoption is a beautiful thing if you can make it work.
I was thinking the same thing when I saw the article. Glad I’m not the only one. Now if the media could be more balanced. Infertility seems to be a hot topic around Mother’s day. Let’s hope the media does a better job this year. (Hope springs eternal)
The line “adoption is not a cure for infertility” hits the nail on the head. My husband and I will be approved for a domestic infant adoption in the next 2 weeks and while for us it was the alternative to therapies like IVF, it certainly does not “cure” the fact that I’m infertile. What’s interesting is that once we started the application process and started telling a few friends I especially felt hit by an attitude like “everything should be fine now and you should be happy”. In fact, I was hit by that attiude on my message board support group who had been with me through the charting, doctors appts, procedures, drugs…yet still they thought that adoption “fixed” it. Even I naively thought that the decision to adopt would make it all better. The lack of education and information regarding infertility, especially the emotional aspects, really is a disservice to society as a whole and especially the infertile couple. I feel lucky that I went through this in the age of the internet because I found so much support from other women going through the same process and issues that haven’t been available in the past. Oh, and a comment on the $40k to $50k adoptions…while that is a possibility, our adoption agency charges about the same as one IVF cycle would have been (about $17k). Much of that we’ll get back in tax credits.
What a brilliant post. I have tried so hard over the years to explain why the word “just” should never precede the word “adopt” when discussing someone’s reproductive choices (or lack thereof). People who have never looked into it – *seriously* looked into it – have no idea how difficult a process it is, and don’t understand that it truly isn’t a good path for everyone.
My husband & I adopted a beautiful baby girl in November, but before turning to adoption we tried for several years to get pregnant by a variety of assistive means. Our choices had nothing to do with a desire to be pregnant or to pass down our genes – although I don’t think there is anything wrong with those reasons, either. For us it was a simple matter of economics – fertility treatment was the path of least resistance because our insurance covered it, and we didn’t think we could afford to adopt.
It turns out that our reproductive issues were insurmountable and that adopting wasn’t as expensive as we thought (our agency has a sliding scale & the tax credit made it doable for us), and so at the end of the day we did adopt (and I wouldn’t change a thing about the path we took to get here). But there was nothing simple about it.
I am pregnant right now after our first IVF cycle. It really bugged me when fertile people would say to me before “why don’t you just adopt”. People who say that have no idea how much harder the adoption process is.
1) Adoption costs at least 25 thousand, IVF costed us less then $1000 (and it was only this high because of the drugs). I am lucky to live in a state that knows infertility is a disease and treatment should be covered.
2) Adoption process takes years. IVF takes 10 months
3) Adoption you don’t know what the baby was exposed to in the womb or early in live, IVf you don’t need to worry about that
4) Adoption isn’t a guarantee, the biological mother has the right to cancel at anytime. No one, except God, can take away my baby from IVF
5) With IVF our baby will be a part of us. My friend’s mom was adopted and was horrible to her adopted parents because they weren’t her biological parents.
6) Many adopted kids want to find their biological parents to learn about their family history and have a sense of who they are.
7)Also the person who said IVF has only a 5% success rate is wrong. We suffered from male factor and I was 30 when we did our cycle. Our doctor gave us a success rate of 50-70%.
I am a mother to the most beautiful 2 year old boy. I became his mother through adoption. I would like to touch on a couple of things that you said.
“I look upon my children’s faces each day and praise God he deemed me worthy to have them”
I, too, look upon my child’s face and praise God that he deemed me worthy to RAISE him. Though my child did not come from my body it makes him no less a part of me.
“Being a parent doesn’t always mean 9 months, breastfeeding, and ultrasounds”
Couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you, God for the miracle of adoption.
Well said Dawn. My husband and I have a 4 year old little boy that we adopted at birth. We are now currently in the adoption process again. We were told that biologically we could not have children without IVF but chose adoption. We felt that God had a plan for using us in our relationships with our birth family. There are so many ways that our struggles have led to important conversations with others about God and our faith that would not have taken place before we went through the struggles of infertility and adoption.
I am a father of a beautiful 19 mos. old son. While I thank you for your comments and I know that they were said with the intent to enlighten us, I found them offensive. I think you may have chosen your words better. “Worthy” for instance should and probably will haunt you. I hardly think that God would find a mother who had not even considered having children like yourself more worthy than one who had dreamed, planned and really took the time to be a parent for years more “worthy”. I am a faithful person, but would never presume that I have more knowledge of God’s plan than anyone else. Maybe it is because I am one of two daddies to an adopted son. My story is God’s plan. It has never felt more “right” and I know that I am definitely worthy of parenting this beautiful son of ours. God’s plan is not to make one suffer as some orphans do. But to spread love and kindness to those that need love. No one is more worthy than another – I must correct you. I agree that God has a plan – but not an agenda. The gift of parenting is everyone’s plan as long as they commit to the child. Thanks for your comments and listening to mine.
Are you the child’s father or not because children don’t have 2 ‘daddies’ (You can check that in the world of reality if you’d like) because they have 1 in the very same way they have 1 mother and if you’re claiming that a child is yours simply because you were allowed to adopt them? YOU are the very reason that children grow up into screwed up adults.
Listen to you waffling on about GOD and behaving like the god that you clearly think you are in that you are using another man’s/woman’s child in order to feel good about yourself & stroke your own ego – But the truth is that if you adopted that child then he or she will never be yours – No matter how much you wish it to be true in your made up magically thinking head!
I know it’s hard but it’s called reality and I know that reality is not a place where religious people like to live.
If you adopted or fostered that child then the child will NEVER EVER be yours, no matter how hard you try to pretend that it’s true and as an Adoptee I’m hear to set all adoptive parents straight as to the true authenticity of someone else’s child that the law said they could pretend is their own.
I know that it looks true on paper but reality is different than a piece of paper and I feel that you could well do with asking evolved adoptees (The brave ones who don’t burn their mothers and fathers memories as we’re conditioned to do) And the ones who end up with dysfunctional & extremely abusive adoptive Mummies & Daddies.
YOU have a choice and WE don’t and YOU clearly are not an appropriate adoptive parent if most of your comment is about religion & god, in fact, I would say that you’re the worst type of STEP PARENT that a child could wish for given that religion and adoption are both myths (Lies). Religiously indoctrinating children is also child abuse, so any child that you are calling your own will no doubt be steeped in denial and guilt and I doubt would ever turn away from the heroic superman parent that the adoption industry allowed you to pretend you are.
You find someone’s comment offensive do you? I find it offensive that I was stripped of my identity at the of 5 months old and adopted by religious freaks who made my life a living hell whilst pretending to be Mum & Dad. I find it offensive that people like you who are clearly religiously brainwashed go anywhere near innocent children, let alone lie to them and pretend that they are your children.
I agree with Jimmy. When you are infertile, people will urge you to adopt and make it sound so easy. I have attended adoption seminars. Adoptions are costly ($40,000-$50,000). There is no guarantee of when you will get a child and if you are adopting these days from another country, the child may have medical and emotional problems. I also have worked in the field of foster care for 21 years now. It is very difficult to adopt a young child. Adoption is not as simple and realistic as everyone makes it sound. By the way, I have been adopted myself-at birth!
Don’t forget that the very reason someone’s infertile may be all it takes to be rejected by adoption agencies. I was fertile until I was hit by a car, and the resulting damage included my tubes being crushed. An ex and I tried adoption, and we were turned down because agency after agency felt I was too great of a risk because what if I got sick again from the damage I suffered when I was hit by that car? To think, we wanted to adopt a black sibling pair, ages 8 and 9. Black kids, siblings, and older children have the hardest times finding homes, and these two had the trifecta of what not to be, and there we were, wanting to love them and with the financial means to do so. But no, in foster care they stayed because I was hit by a car. My ex didn’t want IVF, but did want another child (had one with his ex), so he broke up with me.
The financial cost of adoption far surpasses other fertility methods. It’s a privilege to have the money to spend on what’s really a risk, what with the false starts, biological parents changing their minds in that six-month window they have to do so, and none of this money being refundable.
Anyone whose fertile has the inalienable right to have a child, one of the few rights that has never been before the court to debate. Psychos can have babies, and we have to wait for them to harm the baby before there’s intervention, but they can have another. Sane, normal people with many references can be turned down for having had an illness at one point, or cancer. We have no right to be a parent the way fertile psychos do. And the arduous screening process is NOT foolproof. People who go on to abuse the children do get cleared to adopt, a secret in the business of child-selling. Really, adoption is child-selling. Healthy white baby girls are adopted faster than an older black child, so why are the fees for that white baby higher? More demand. It’s child-selling.
If adoption didn’t cost as much as the three IVF cycles we’ve been through, and an agency would clear us despite my past medical condition, and we were safe from losing money if an adoption didn’t go all the way through, you bet we’d adopt and older child who is less likely to find a home. As it is, I’m risking my life with the pregnancy I have now. My life wouldn’t be risked with adoption, but they said no, so I am risking death, literally, to try to have a child to love. Any child would be very lucky in our home, but foster care apparently is better than a mom who was sick nine years ago.
“Anyone whose fertile has the inalienable right to have a child, one of the few rights that has never been before the court to debate.”
Yes it has. Google the Buck v. Bell case and read Edwin Black’s “War Against the Weak.”
Of all the well-meaning comments my wife and I have heard from people who have heard about our infertility, the “why don’t you just adopt?” one probably hurts the most. It really does assume that having a kid regardless is just a widget and that will fill the void in your heart. We certainly don’t have a problem with beginning the adoption process, but it is quite an arduous, stressful, and sometimes painful journey that may or may not result in a baby of our own. That’s what makes people like us so hesitant to even try. I’m glad they don’t make it too easy for people to adopt to weed out the psychos, but there’s gotta be a better way for good people like us to have an “in” to bypass this horrendous system that currently exists.
I have 2 children with my husband. I am glad I have them, and I love them a lot. They are like little “copies” of us, though that isn’t the reason we had children. I have never gone through IVF or adoption, and I mean no disrespect to anyone out there who cannot have their own kids for what I am about to say. Adoption isn’t cheap. I have a friend who has been trying that for a while and I’m like…wow. The cost is ridiculous. IVF (which she has also tried) is risky and can be expensive, but still may or may not yield a baby.
I honestly didn’t want kids until I had them. I just had no real desire to be a parent. But I love my kids, and I’m happy to have them now. They are a blessing because parenthood is not given to all of us. God knows what he’s doing folks. There are some of us out there who are not fertile for a reason. There are some who want children but IVF and adoption just aren’t working. Being childless doesn’t make you less of a human. Being infertile doesn’t mean you don’t have the ability to love and care for another person. While it’s easy for me to say this to others, I don’t say it lightly and without thought. Having children might not be part of everyone’s purpose, but helping to raise them is another story. Be a parent in any way that you can even if the child is not biologically yours. You can spend 100K on a chance or you can be a role model to the children in your communities, churches, etc.
I look upon my children’s faces each day and praise God he deemed me worthy to have them, but I would still have to keep on living if I didn’t have them. And that’s what all of us have to do. Being a parent doesn’t always mean 9 months, breastfeeding, and ultrasounds. I commend those who are trying, and I really commend those who are trying to adopt. But let’s also commend those who can accept their situations and still be good people inspite of what God has given them.
This is great. It sums up what I feel. I wish I’d written it.
As an adoptive mom of two older children from a foreign country, I was dismayed when I heard Matthew and Sarah are expecting twins by a surrogate. I very strongly feel adoption should be the next choice if one is infertile. They could have adopted and brought positive attention to it. However, reluctantly, I must say it’s their choice and we live in a free country.
Some adoptions do cost $50,000. However, my adoptions cost around $25K, and I got back $12K of that in my tax credit. Most agencies will give you a price break if you adopt a child with special needs or an “older” [over age 2] child.
I know a lot of couples who adopted babies from Russia and/or Kazakhstan, and in 6 years of doing a tremendous amount of reading and research on the internet, the vast majority of couples who adopt internationally come home with healthy babies and things work out fine. In this country, if you want to adopt domestically and are willing to take a child of any race, you can adopt and get a baby pretty quickly, say within 6 months to a year, most places. International adoptions generally take about a year.
I read somewhere that people can spend $25,000 on one IVF attempt, with only a 5% chance of success. If the same amount was spent on a typical international adoption there would be a 90% chance of success.
I used to feel strongly that I would never be able to love an adopted child as much as a biological child. I now know differently. I love my kids more than my life. I just wish everyone who struggles with infertility and wants a child would give adoption a chance, and then if they still felt strongly about having a biological child, take advantage of the technology.