Is it time to quit infertility treatment start considering your other options? Donor Egg? Adoption? Surrogacy? Donor Embryo? You’ve had a number of failed IVF cycles. Your money and emotions are running thin. Your mother, your spouse, or maybe even your fertility doctor have started to drop hints that you may need “to explore other possibilities” for having a family. Oh, if only it were so simple to just stop and move on. The death of a dream deserves time for mourning.
There is no one answer for everyone, but I think answering the following five questions can be useful. Your answers may lead you to continuing in treatment using your own eggs and sperm, to using donor egg or sperm, using donor embryo, surrogacy, or to adoption.
The key here is for both partners to soul search without judgment. There are no right answers, only honest answers.
- How important is having a genetic connection to your child?
- How important are the physical aspects of pregnancy and breastfeeding?
- How financially and emotionally weary are you with the whole fertility treatment process?
- Is becoming a parent more important to you than giving birth or being genetically linked?
- The fear and uncertainty about another form of family building is outweighed by excitement and hope.
The goal is to quit before your resources (emotional, marital, and monetary) are all used up because your other avenues for creating your family are resource intensive as well.
If you stopped, how did you know it was time? What pushed you over the line to say, I need to try something else?Image credit: nishan.sl
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First of all, I wasn’t specifically talking about Australia. In fact, the majority of other western countries tend to use domestic adoption only in cases where the child needs a family- the US seems fairly unique in that regards.
Now in regards to Australia, I note you keep saying domestic infant adoption is banned which isn’t true at all. There are still about 30-40 newborns a year who are relinquished for adoption. I think South Australia might have banned them but that would be the only state which has.
In NSW, infant adoptions are done through three organisations – Community Services NSW (gov org), Anglicare (Anglican Church charity arm) and Centacare (Catholic Church charity arm).
Thus adoptions are provided by social welfare services who provide adoption as an auxillary service.
From what I can gather from an online AP friend (yes I have them), a similar organisation in the US would be Volunteers of America, in that their chief purpose is not adoption but assistance of women in need.
Now, nothing can really stop an unofficial organisation in Australia encouraging women to choose adoption beforehand, eg the FRC of Australia has put out this rather coercive document (based on US documents).
However, as the pregnant woman must go through official channels re adoption, then hopefully they will get a more rounded look at the situation from the 3 official organisations. Private adoptions are illegal here but it is possible that perhaps there are organisations that provide unofficial adoptions “under the table” so to speak.
Australia’s modern adoption policy is mainly as a reaction to their former practices. They are not doing it to spite those who suffer from infertility.
Now Aspring AP, onto your posts.
First of all, in regards to your theories on the “Baby Placement Era” as you put it, I did find it a little bit simplistic. Just out of interest, when approximately were you born?
Of course, we all know people from that era who parented, who had shotgun weddings, abortions etc etc. Each situation is different but the one thing that was important was having a “childcare” option which of course in most cases was themselves or family of some kind.
Now I note that you talk about us adoptees implying it was due to a conspiracy or due to baby stealing APs. I’ve never said any such thing personally – the particular circumstances in the 1950s-70s arose due to quite a few different factors. One thing one does understand the more one reads about it is that it is complex.
In short you might find these documents interesting:
The above gives a general history re adoption practices in the US. There are a lot of pages.
Now the documents below is actually NZ specific (I am a Kiwi by birth) but did help give an insight into the organisation that arranged my adoption:
Though the following is a fictional drama, one thing that it did remind me about was the importance of childcare (non-familial childcare was almost non-existent):
I realise there will be those that watch it and think “the silly little slut shouldn’t have open her legs, she deserved everything she got”, some of us may think differently, each to their own.
As for the difference between today and yesteryear, one can actually get an insight into the counselling methods of yesteryear by looking at the counselling methods of modern day USA – the recommendations suggested in this tract are now widespread throughout pregnancy centres and other frontline orgnisatons dealing with unplanned pregnancies:
Other western countries have reverted to using adoption more as a way of providing families for children who need them. More often than not, the families who provide these homes are those who are hoping to raise a child to adulthood.
Thus a persons personal reasons for choosing adoption are their own – however, adoption AS AN ENTITY should only ever exist to provide homes for children who actually need them. When a person asks “but if adoption didn’t exist, then how would we be able to build our families”, then they need to actually look at what they are saying.
Back to pregnant women, regardless of the era, I do think women deserve to be treated as individuals and their intrinsic qualities and extrinsic circumstances taken into consideration. They deserve proper counselling.
I don’t think women deserve to receive counselling re their parenting options from organisations whose chief aim is to increase adoption.
I don’t think any women deserves to be made to feel that them wanting to parent their own child is the act of a selfish woman and that if they really cared for their child they would allow other people to “give them a better life” – especially when in many cases the woman’s intrinsic qualities and extrinsic circumstances are not considered on their merits. I accept that others may feel differently – fair enough, each to their own.
Thank you for your apology.
I will take your word for it that you are not masquerading as Aspiring AP because there are definitely are differences in Aspiring APs posts vs your posts and she does also sound like other commenters I’ve come across in the past.
As for “Childless by Circumstance (not choice)” on First Mothers Forum on a post called “Advertising for a baby to adopt on Facebook), if that is not you, then it seems you have a Cyberspace Doppelganger. Their style of writing and their talking points are so utterly similar to yours (even though you are reasonably unique in your style) that even when they originally posted as “Anonymous”, the first thing I (and others) thought was “That’s Greg” and so when the Cyberspace Doppelganger chose the screenname “Childless by Circumstance (not choice)”, then that seemed to confirm it. So, you should be flattered that someone admires you so much that they have styled their posts to be exactly like you. They do say “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”.
I won’t link to the forum because the Cyberspace Doppelganger drove the administrators so crazy with irritation that I believe their next post was designed just to get back at the Doppelganger – ironically your Doppelganger has the same effect on the FMF people as you did on other bloggers in the past.
Since you say you have changed so much, it is a shame that there is not a way for you to let the Doppelganger know that their views are no longer your views.
I must say that it will get confusing if you two end up posting to together on a blog post!
What’s FMF? Is that a website or a blog? Either way I’ve never heard of it. A lot of the things I utilize in my arguments I picked up on other websites, blogs and articles. I’m not the only person in the infertility community that uses them. You’ll find that while all of us in the infertility community have different experiences, many of us will use similar arguments though our opinions aren’t exactly the same. So I can’t claim that I invented the “Childless by Circumstance” line, I picked it up from someone else (don’t remember where). When I post comments on sites I use my first name or my wordpress log in (think I may have used both on Tao’s blog). The main reason I do is that I have nothing to hide and I also like to have my name link to my blog (for promotional reasons).
As far as me being AspiringAP, I know I’m missing pieces of my Y Chromosome but I don’t think I’m that feminine to be considered a woman….LOL j/k. We all make assumptions especially in situations where personally sensitive topics are being discussed. My apologies for making assumptions on my end.
I understand your intentions when suggesting adopting Foster Care to myself and others who are considering adopting. You recognize our desire to become parents and don’t believe Domestic Infant Adoption is ethical and feel that Foster Care Adoption is a more ethical route to parenthood. While it’s a bit annoying to continue to hear that as it’s similar to those who tell people to “just adopt” I recognize that you had good intentions with it.
The one thing though that I need to clarify is that we have not ruled out adopting from Foster Care. While I couldn’t become a Foster Care parent for the reason you outlined (attaching and then having the child reunited), we are still open to the possibility of adopting from Foster Care in a situation where parental rights have been terminated and adoption would be permanent. The only thing we both have ruled out is adopting internationally. That’s not to say we will adopt from Foster Care as Domestic Infant Adoption is the most likely path if we do pursue adoption (we haven’t made a decision yet). So I don’t think it’s correct for you to say adopting from Foster Care isn’t for us when you don’t know. But I think you were referring more towards Fostering which in that case you are correct. It’s something I’ve ruled out.
One of the many things I’ve learned in the last year since my IF diagnosis is that I don’t judge others decisions anymore when it comes to infertility treatments, third party reproduction and adoption. Just because we decided to forgo infertility treatments and third party reproduction doesn’t mean I judge others who did. Prior to my IF diagnosis I would have judged those people. I would have told people to “just adopt” because my perspective was completely changed by my infertility diagnosis and the research and engagement I’ve done since then. I think if your situation was different that you would feel differently than you do. But that’s just an assumption on my part.
Now because the following is addressed to me in particular, I will address it in brief (since it is well past my bedtime):
“c-While I am happy to hear that many foster children are being fostered and adopted by fertile people/couples, I’m afraid I must once again disagree with you about how it is presented as a family building option to that group of individuals/couples as opposed to those with IF. In my line of work I get to attend a lot of wedding receptions. At these receptions, there is always a moment when the newlyweds are publicly reminded (usually during one of the toasts/speeches) that they will soon be embarking upon parenthood as the next big rite of passage (“soon we’ll hear the pitter patter of little feet” etc.”) In all of these speeches, never ONCE have I heard a couple being encouraged to do the world a favour and build their family through the foster care system. They are never reminded to “get their homestudy scheduled and their forms filled out without delay-time is running out, don’t you know”. Know why this doesn’t happen? Because all married couples are encouraged to become parents through unassisted biological means first and foremost. When they succeed at this, everyone rejoices and prepares to welcome the new arrival-no one upholds those already existent children languishing and aging out of the foster care system as we speak. No one shames these couples for wanting a baby of their own and going about the natural route to make it happen.”
***I have answered the above previously – hopefully my next to last post has explained it more clearly (then again perhaps not).
” It’s not until the natural unassisted pathway to parenthood is proven to be closed of (by IF) and a couple begins to explore alternate means to parenthood that the judgements about why they want children and how they should become parents start to fly. I guess freely choosing how and when you might become a parent is something that some believe is a freedom that you only get to enjoy if you are fertile. If you are IF, then you are supposed to take whatever paths to parenthood your fertile neighbours in community deem acceptable for you. And if they decide that a childfree life is what you must accept, well gosh darn it, who are you to disagree, you lowly IF lifeform? Who are YOU to think that YOU should have the last word on what kind of family you should have?”
***I understand that you think that people who have concerns about non-biological assisted pregnancy and who have concerns about various forms of adoption are raining on your parade but they are not doing it to hurt you. One day you will see that the world isn’t out to get you (and having read many blogs by IF sufferers, I can understsand why you feel like that now) and then you will know you are ready to take the next step.
“And don’t worry, c- I don’t think that you hate people like Greg and myself (who BTW is not my spouse) for being IF. I know you don’t. If we were good little IF’s who cheerfully embraced a childfree existence as our lot in life or if we made it our mission to adopt all of the foster care children in the world so that you wouldn’t have to worry about them anymore, you would have no problem with us at all.”
***I won’t repeat it for the 100th time about FC in the context of adoption so see post addressed to Greg.
Also, I actually don’t think you personally should adopt from FC and in fact I never have felt that that is a path you personally should take.
“It’s only because we don’t buy into what you believe is the “natural order” of things and we dare to call for something different for ourselves and for all IF persons who still long to be parents in a way that is lifegiving for us and for our families that you have a problem with what I am trying to stand for (I won’t speak for Greg).”
***I’d be interested to know what you think I believe is the “natural order of things”. I’m rather confused by that. I’ve never ever said you shouldn’t be parents.
Btw I’m glad you are not speaking for Greg. However, I do wish you wouldn’t speak for me.
“It’s okay-you would probably have the same dislike for members of the LGBT community who dared to accept nothing less than equal rights and equal marriages in their lives, instead of quietly accepting lives of celibacy and isolation or settling for civil unions as THEIR lot in life.”
***Whoa, now you are accusing me of being homophobic. Seriously! You couldn’t be more wrong.
” You don’t have to agree that they who are LGBT or that those of us who are IF are entitled to the “right to choose” what is right for us in our own contexts, but you DO have to accept that we do have these rights to choose.”
***You indeed do have the right to choose. You will also agree that one does also have to take into consideration the ethics of the situation and the rights of the child. Once you have done that, then one can move forward.
“Just like the FP’s of the BPE have to come to terms with the choices that they themselves made in their time and place, the choices that they were free to make for themselves and their situations.”
***I consider myself to be fortunate to be a woman in modern times. When one reads what “free choices” women faced throughout time (and I’m looking far beyond the 1940s onwards, one realises how lucky one is. It can be hard in this modern era to put one’s self in the shoes of the earlier generations.
Dawn – I promise to post no more replies to AAP. I’ve said my bit.
Greg I hope the following will help clear the air.
“Based upon our exchanges on Claudia’s blog and Adoption Voices I don’t blame you for feeling the way you do about me. The exchange on Claudia’s blog in Mid September changed my thinking on the adoption community perspective on infertility. As Dawn explained a person can grow over time.”
Actually, I was of the impression that you posted this week on FMF as “Childless by Circumstance”. If that is not you, then you have an admirer who has decided to imitate you and use similar phrases. That is why I got a bit annoyed because I had just answered “you” on another post.
“As far as AspiringAP being my wife, LOL you have no idea who my wife is or what her opinion on infertility and adoption. We have handled our situation much differently and I have done far more research on adoption than she has. So for you to imply that is just more incorrect assumptions on your part. This is the second time in a dialogue you have brought up my wife and made incorrect assumptions.”
Actually when reading your blog, in which you express yourself quite well, I do remember noting that your wife seemed to handle it differently. In fact, I did wonder whether you might in fact be posting as “Aspiring AP” because of your similarities but I will take your word for it that you are two separate people who just have similar back stories. I think we can agree that we have both made assumptions about each other.
“And again on the greyhound example I would not ever suggest to someone who wanted a puppy to adopt a greyhound as an alternative.”
I’m not going to go into the analogy again. I think what I was trying to point is out that when one is specifically talking about getting a dog, one might talk about different issues re different ways of getting a dog and when one is talking about adoption, one might talk about different types of adoption.
As I said in a previous post – I personally have only ever talked about FCA in the context of adoption and NEVER in the context of in/fertility. In fact, when I originally talked about it in a post, I was just trying to explain that particular fact – this is because you and another poster seemed to be taking the conversation OUTSIDE the realm of adoption. I actually agree that FCA is not for you and I have never said that you should do so. Perhaps others have but personally I haven’t. It’s been more along the lines of which option I would chose if I HAD to – eg if someone held a gun to my head and “Adopt or die, you *****””, then yes, I would go the FC route. It doesn’t mean you have to or anyone else has to. I have said that I would consider fostering but wouldn’t expect others to (and I only mentioned that because you were saying for us to “put our money where our mouth is”).
In fact, I think you and I might agree on some things. For example, I really dislike the “just adopt” statement. I also do feel annoyed on behalf of those suffering from IVF who want to try to have a child via IVF when people tell them that they should adopt a child and that IVF is selfish. That’s why I get annoyed when you and others keep saying that I am forcing people to adopt from FC because it keeps getting taken outside the realms of adoption.
Now when we are talking about IVF, I admit I do have more issues with non-biological egg/sperm donor embryos being created than donor related. However, I do actually feel for both you and Aspiring AP that youwill never be able to create that biological embryo. However, unfortunately, I do feel that needs to be discussed and I can see that Aspring AP and I have had a respectful conversation on another thread
Now when we are talking about ADOPTION, I will admit that I do prefer one kind of adoption over the other s types and when we are talking about adoption, I feel that one can offer views on the different types.
However, I most certainly would never CROSS-REFER – i.e. I’ve never told anybody discussing general fertility issues that they should adopt from foster care.
In fact, I do appreciate your honesty that you don’t think it would be fair for you to adopt from FC because one worry I do have with some APs that are looking adopt from FC is that they are approaching the fostering with a different attitude to experienced dedicated foster parents and I do get the impression that you realise that your wish for a permanent attachment may influence feelings towards a short term foster child.
In this month of November, there will be a lot of US foster care stories and I for one will be interested in just for interest’s sake and also to help relate to those APs on another forum who all seem to be foster parents. One thing I will say is that you did say something earlier about foster parents not being parents and I suspect if you said that on that other forum, you would be ripped to shreds. So perhaps some education there might be in order.
Anyway, I think we are both tired of the foster care discussion. I personally think foster care is not for you but I think it is always interesting to learn more about it regardless of intentions.
Can someone elaborate on why it would be more noble to adopt from foster care than from a relinquishing parent? I mean in both cases the family separation has already occurred and the adoptive parents hopefully had nothing whatsoever to do with hoping the family would separate so they could get the baby. (Except for those people that go hunting for pregnant women so they can be there at birth who actually pray the parent’s won’t change their minds and keep their child). Children in foster care you hope are going to wind up going back to their families there is some hope there that the separation is not permanent and can be corrected. Kids relinquished at birth generally don’t have anyone trying to clean up their act and bring them home again. Both situations seem equally tragic although it seems the kids who might really need someone to step in and help raise them would be those whose parents chose to walk away willingly I mean thats pretty sad. I’d think they need someone to help them just as much maybe more. Remember lots of foster situations the family looses custody becaue they were on welfare and the state looks for opportunities to get them adopted to people not on wellfare its sad but true lots of wome loose their kids over nothing practically
Well, Aspiring AP, you are certainly making a lot of assumptions based on nothing. I am at work so can’t really say too much now except to say that I belong to combined AP/adoptee/fmom forums, have read blogs from all sides – APs, from all types of fmothers including those happy with their decision, I have checked out many adoption agency/facilitator sites, I’ve done the NCFA “Birthmother awareness training scheme” etc etc.
I’ve never mentioned my own fmum on here and in fact, as she has passed away, I can’t say for certain what her feelings were after the adoption. That is why I look at things from another angle, i.e. I feel that women with unplanned pregnancies deserve proper counselling, not counselling that claims to be unbiased but designed at getting them to chose the option of adoption and uses “us” the adoptees as the reason why they chose adoption and also making them feel selfish for wanting to parent their own children. I’ve seen this with my own eyes – not from first mother blogs. I belong on combined forums and on one particular forum, some of us have to constant reminds some aspiring APs that an unborn baby is not theirs until after a baby is born and that an adoption plan is not a contract or signed deal. Ironically, it is today’s “counselling programs” that give an insight into how those women in the past were counselled.
Believe me, I was a sweet and gentle person when I firt joined a forum 3 years ago – 3 years later, I’ve been so appalled by what I’ve seen it has made me irritated and frustrated at what I’ve seen.
Adoption isn’t just a “trade up” – we are not blank slates. I have had “a good experience” but that isn’t the point.
Btw I most ceertainly do not dislike those suffering from IF, I have many online AP friends who also happen to suffer from IF.
Aspiring AP, your infertility has nothing to do with why I have issues with you.
Btw I don’t really like the term “baby scoop” – there is another nicer term which I can’t think of right now. When I have time, I’ll link some other info that might give you more of an insight into how things were during that time.
“In all of these speeches, never ONCE have I heard a couple being encouraged to do the world a favour and build their family through the foster care system.”
Of course they aren’t. Again, you seem to be totally missing the point.
The only time that I personally have “suggested” FCA is in the context of talking about adoption in general and has been merely as the third option – regardless of anyone’s fertility levels. This is why I mentioned international adoption and the fertile because I was trying to point out that, for me at least, any discussion I’ve had re FA has had nothing to do with one’s fertility, it has to do with which one is most “for the child”.
Perhaps if I reiterate that I would never say to anyone suffering from IF who WASN’T CONSIDERING ADOPTION AT ALL, that they should adopt from FCA.
What I will say, Aspiring AP, is that I don’t think you personally should adopt from FCA and actually I wouldn’t recommend it to you personally at all.
c-While I am happy to hear that many foster children are being fostered and adopted by fertile people/couples, I’m afraid I must once again disagree with you about how it is presented as a family building option to that group of individuals/couples as opposed to those with IF. In my line of work I get to attend a lot of wedding receptions. At these receptions, there is always a moment when the newlyweds are publicly reminded (usually during one of the toasts/speeches) that they will soon be embarking upon parenthood as the next big rite of passage (“soon we’ll hear the pitter patter of little feet” etc.”) In all of these speeches, never ONCE have I heard a couple being encouraged to do the world a favour and build their family through the foster care system. They are never reminded to “get their homestudy scheduled and their forms filled out without delay-time is running out, don’t you know”. Know why this doesn’t happen? Because all married couples are encouraged to become parents through unassisted biological means first and foremost. When they succeed at this, everyone rejoices and prepares to welcome the new arrival-no one upholds those already existent children languishing and aging out of the foster care system as we speak. No one shames these couples for wanting a baby of their own and going about the natural route to make it happen. It’s not until the natural unassisted pathway to parenthood is proven to be closed of (by IF) and a couple begins to explore alternate means to parenthood that the judgements about why they want children and how they should become parents start to fly. I guess freely choosing how and when you might become a parent is something that some believe is a freedom that you only get to enjoy if you are fertile. If you are IF, then you are supposed to take whatever paths to parenthood your fertile neighbours in community deem acceptable for you. And if they decide that a childfree life is what you must accept, well gosh darn it, who are you to disagree, you lowly IF lifeform? Who are YOU to think that YOU should have the last word on what kind of family you should have?
And don’t worry, c- I don’t think that you hate people like Greg and myself (who BTW is not my spouse) for being IF. I know you don’t. If we were good little IF’s who cheerfully embraced a childfree existence as our lot in life or if we made it our mission to adopt all of the foster care children in the world so that you wouldn’t have to worry about them anymore, you would have no problem with us at all. It’s only because we don’t buy into what you believe is the “natural order” of things and we dare to call for something different for ourselves and for all IF persons who still long to be parents in a way that is lifegiving for us and for our families that you have a problem with what I am trying to stand for (I won’t speak for Greg). It’s okay-you would probably have the same dislike for members of the LGBT community who dared to accept nothing less than equal rights and equal marriages in their lives, instead of quietly accepting lives of celibacy and isolation or settling for civil unions as THEIR lot in life. You don’t have to agree that they who are LGBT or that those of us who are IF are entitled to the “right to choose” what is right for us in our own contexts, but you DO have to accept that we do have these rights to choose. Just like the FP’s of the BPE have to come to terms with the choices that they themselves made in their time and place, the choices that they were free to make for themselves and their situations.
c-I admit that my choice to refer to the BSE as the Baby Dump Era was a too harsh choice of words. For my intents and purposes I will refer to it as the “Baby Placement Era” or BPE. This choice of words comes from my understanding that this and the present era are not as conspiracy driven as some first parents and adoptees choose to believe. The women and men who relinquished their children for adoption in those days CHOSE adoption for their children out of a myriad of other choices that they had for how to deal with their unplanned pregnancies. These other choices included 1)Keeping the baby and raising it as a single mother-not an easy choice in that era, but one that was there to be made. Some women of the BPE DID choose this option-they came home from the hospital with their babies in tow and their heads held high, ready to face whatever consequences their choices held for them and their offspring. 2)Marriage to the baby’s father. This was another option that was always available to those women/couples who conceived a baby together out of wedlock. Many women of that era made that choice as a way of coming to terms with their situation. If they chose to keep their babies, some of them would take this drastic but logical step of getting married to the father of the child as soon as it was legal. After all, as long as that baby lived, those two people would be tied together forever through the shared DNA of their offspring, long after the initial passion and loving lust that initially brought them together had died away. Marriage was “encouraged”to (read:forced upon) many couples who found themselves in this situation-but sometimes it was chosen by the couples themselves, and so they followed this path and faced the consequences that this choice had for them. 3) Abortion-now, I know that this was not readily available during the whole BPE era, but for some, this was the choice that they made. I’m not saying it was right or wrong, but it was what they decided to do. Some of the women who chose abortion regret that choice today, but the grief that arises for them from that decision is always explored and resolved within the context of it being a CHOICE that they themselves made.
The grief and regret that first parents now feel for CHOOSING adoption should be resolved in the same context-as feelings that arise from a personal decision that an individual or individuals made that was not easy for them to make. Even if the choice was uninformed or was made while someone was in an emotionally fragile state, it was still a CHOICE, one that these women and men must now come to terms with in a mature and mentally healthy manner. Shifting the blame for the choice that they made to an outside party (IF couples and other PAP’s who had the audacity to adopt the babies that they placed for adoption) is an act of cowardice that these FP’s should be ashamed of themselves for perpetuating. Even if there was a “demand” for adoptable infants, these EP’s always has a choice to refuse to meet said demand and decide on another path for themselves and their children. These other paths each held their own foreseeable and unforeseeable consequences, but that’s what it means to make a choice. Many of their peers in the same situation made those alternate choices, and went on to live with the consequences of the decisions that they had made. What those consequences are, I cannot say, because I have not yet read blogs that relate the situations of children who were raised in homes that resulted from “shotgun weddings” or where they were raised by single mothers from the BPE, or the stories of women who had abortions and who now wish that they hadn’t. Maybe the general public and the adoption world could learn a lot from people who lived those experiences if they were shared online.
As for adoptees, you are entitled to feel resentment towards the fact that you were placed for adoption. After all, it wasn’t your choice. But for the life of me I wish you would be more willing to question the choices made by your FP’s on your behalf and theirs, rather than choosing to swallow their conspiracy theories about being forced/coerced into giving you up for the sake of relieving someone else’s childlessness. They were not forced to give you up to meet a demand. They CHOSE to place you for adoption over the other equally valid life choices that were there for them to choose from. If they regret making that choice-this is a valid feeling that no one should challenge. But if they respond to your feelings of resentment and their own overwhelming regret by making themselves out to be the victims of some malevolent plot to separate you from them for the sake of someone else’s desire to be a parent despite a physical disability (IF) then they are not in touch with the whole truth of their situation.
It boggles my mind how those first parents who cannot come to terms with their own freely made choices concerning the placements of their children for adoption now seem so determined to limit the remaining family building choices of those whose choices have already been limited by IF. Just because you do not have the courage to own up to the choices that you made for yourselves and your children does not give you the right to judge why and how an IF person/couple might become a parent. Please take responsibility for the decisions you made, own them for what they are, and then move on and leave the rest of us in peace to freely choose the paths to parenthood that might be right for us and our future families. We will learn what we can from your experience, but it is not up to us to atone for the regrets that come from your choices. Only you can do that.
I don’t get offended anymore by people who don’t care or want to understand our perspective. When someone is closed minded on a topic nothing will change their mind. That still doesn’t mean I can’t learn from a dialogue or piece that has a close minded view on the other end.
Based upon our exchanges on Claudia’s blog and Adoption Voices I don’t blame you for feeling the way you do about me. The exchange on Claudia’s blog in Mid September changed my thinking on the adoption community perspective on infertility. As Dawn explained a person can grow over time.
As far as AspiringAP being my wife, LOL you have no idea who my wife is or what her opinion on infertility and adoption. We have handled our situation much differently and I have done far more research on adoption than she has. So for you to imply that is just more incorrect assumptions on your part. This is the second time in a dialogue you have brought up my wife and made incorrect assumptions.
And again on the greyhound example I would not ever suggest to someone who wanted a puppy to adopt a greyhound as an alternative. In fact we had a relative recently who bought a puppy. When they were considering it, we didn’t suggest to them to adopt a greyhound instead. Only if a person wanted to adopt a greyhound would I share my experience. At the end of the day it’s their decision not ours.
I am well aware of the ethical issues in domestic infant adoption. I’ve learned a lot from reading Claudia’s blog and engaging with some in the adoption community. Claudia’s blog is the only Birth/First mother blog I’ve actively followed and participated in discussions. There are some other blogs I follow but those are adoptee and adoptive parent blogs. There are some birth/first mothers I also converse with on twitter. So I am not sure where the plural is coming from you on me being on first mother blogs.
Just to clarify I never said you hurt because of your parents. I said you hurt from your adoption and didn’t refer to any parents. That could mean multiple things based on what I’ve read from adoptees.
I respect your cause and recognize where you are coming from and why you would prefer if myself and others did not pursue domestic infant adoption to become parents. But I think you recognize that regardless of what you say that it’s each couples decision to pursue whatever avenue they do.
Btw I just noticed aspring AP said this:
“(the so called Baby Scoop Era-which was probably just as much of a Baby Dump era as anything else, in my view)”
Wow, just wow!
“Something that I forgot to add to my last post: I would have a lot more respect for the family preservation/anti-adoption crowd and their overwhelming support for parenting through foster care if they would promote it equally as a “family building option” for those who are fertile.”
Actually, it often is the “fertile” who adopt from foster care. I suspect that many of them don’t need the newborn experience and tend to be looking more to help children who need homes. For that reason, they are more likely to be looking at International adoption and those fertile souls will also have the same complaint as you, i.e. how dare they tell us to adopt from foster care. Btw when it comes to IA, it is often the general population suggesting foster care, not just is godawful adoptees and first moms. So don’t worry, fertiles get it from all sides as well.
Again, as I’ve said before, I’ve never told anyone who has NO wish to adopt at all, that they must adopt from foster care. If they don’t wish to adopt, then they don’t wish to adopt. If you don’t want to adopt from foster care – I couldn’t care less. If you don’t adopt at all, I couldn’t care less. Adoptliness is not next to Godliness despite what people think.
“It is something else entirely in my view, and I do not believe that it should be forced on those of us who do not have the same reproductive freedom as our fertile neighbours in community as a family building option. To do so is a form of coercion, no less heinous than the claims of coercion that have plagued adoption in the past.”
So because some of us are concerned about some of the coercive and widespread directive counselling practices used with expectant mothers in domestic infant adoption and thus have suggested to someone is hoping to adopt that perhaps a less coercive form of adoption is foster care, then we are coercing those people hoping to adopt into adopting from foster care?? Again, not a single person is telling you that you MUST adopt from foster care. I couldn’t care less if you do or don’t. Btw you are really going to hate this month – November. The whole month was created to enourage people to adopt from foster care.
“I understand that they’ve been hurt by adults who couldn’t have children and that’s why they have the anger towards infertiles that they do. ”
By golly, I think you are onto something Greg. The main reason many of use have issues with some APs or some aspiring APs is because “we have been hurt by our parents” – of course, it can’t be because we don’t think of much of what a particular AP or aspiring AP might be saying. Heaven forbid, that could never be the case.
In real life, I’ve never been “hurt by adults who can’t have children” – on the internet, I’vecertainly been irritated and frustrated by the attitudes of some “adults who can’t have children” as well as “some adults who can have children”. It is their attitudes that are the issue, not their infertility. There are some wonderful APs out there who suffer from IF and I have no issue with them.
Apiring Greg and AP, If I have an issue with either of you, it is because of things you’ve said – not your infertility, not because I hate my aparents, not because I resent my bparents, not because I’m bitter and angry but purely because you’ve probably said some irritating things I’ve disagreed with.
“Here is the difference while my wife and I have choosen to adopt a greyhound. I wouldn’t suggest to anyone to adopt a greyhound. It’s not easy. Our agency we adopted our grey from completely misled as to the personality of our dog us as she would have been better off with someone who had experiences with shy greys. They were lucky we are patient caring people because our dog had already been returned once. We love her for the dog she is not the outgoing dog she isn’t. I don’t judge the people who want to buy a puppy from a breeder or puppy mill. It’s their choice how they would like to get a dog not mine. Whereas you and others are judging and suggesting to adopt from Foster Care.”
Greg, where I differ from you, if I said to you “I’m thinking of adopting a puppy mill” and IF you HAD said to me “Why not adopt a greyhound instead, puppy mills aren’t great”, I would actually take what you said into account – I would probably go and research about greyhounds and puppy mills and then make my decision. I would appreciate that you let me know your views and why you felt adoption of a greyhound was a good thing. I certainly wouldn’t get on the defensive and then go off and tell everybody “That Greg, he is FORCING me to adopt a greyhound” – I would understand that he was just trying to say that he felt that adopting a greyhound was more ethical than getting a dog from the puppy mill.
“But I understand that because of your perspective that you feel others adopting from Foster Care is better than Domestic Infant Adoption. I don’t think you mean any harm by it. And as you admit there are plenty of ethical issues in adopting from Foster Care. I think regardless of the adoption you take a risk that your adoption isn’t going to be ethical no matter how much you work not for it to be.”
Yes there are but there are for more ethical issues in domestic infant adoption. You seem to have read some of those first mother blogs without ever having actually read what they’ve said otherwise you might understand that more.
“cb, I’m not sure you and I are reading the same comments. From my perspective Greg has been the model for being respectful of others opinions while trying to open others to understanding his position. I’ve seen him time and again be open to changing his mind, and I’ve never seen him be anything but gracious in his comments. Wish I could say the same for everyone.”
Dawn, Greg hasn’t been too bad on this blog, I’ll admit.
I am letting previous history with him on other blogs affect my conversation on this blog. One thing I’ll say about Greg, he knows how to say the right things – after a while, his masks slips and one realises he doesn’t mean a word of it. So excuse me for cynical comments.
Still as you say, he is well behaved on this blog, probably thanks to your own compassionate self, Dawn, and I should perhaps take each comment at its word.
As for comment 47 by Aspiring AP, I think she has answwered her own question as to why people have issues with her points of view.
I admit that I have lumped Greg and Aspiring AP together as I get the impression that they are actually Greg and his wife.
c, the problem with making assumptions about people based on their history is that you don’t allow room for growth. I can only imagine that your opinion has grown and deepened over time. I know mine certainly has. One of the troubling parts of the internet is that everything we say exists in perpetuity and is available for searching. (It kind of makes me shudder, both for myself and for my teens.)
Another downside for basing your comments on what someone said in the past and not what they say in this particular thread is that it makes you look unreasonable and weakens your point. So yes, please do take each comment on its own, even though I totally appreciate how hard that is when we feel like we really know the other person based on their past. I suffer from that affliction myself.
P.S. I also have a hard time sympathizing with individuals who have come to regret their decision to choose adoption for their children and who instead of taking responsibility for the role that they played in making that decision (not to mention the choices that led up to having to make that ultimate decision) or considering the many factors that led to that decision (the pressure they faced from their own family to relinquish, e.g.) and who instead choose to place ALL of the blame and responsibility for their decision on an outside group of individuals that they find it easier to blame for what they themselves decided to do. Any psychologist worth their salt would advise any FP that directing ALL of their unresolved anger at the IF community is at best a red herring, and at worst an unfair and unjust projection of what they are unable to accept about their situation. Perhaps if these individuals had had support in better dealing with the grief that the adoption decision had caused them-while making clear that although adoption was not easy, it was the best decision-perhaps they would be better able to deal with their feelings instead of throwing them onto the shoulders of those of us who are IF and are still trying to find a way to build our families. Perhaps these other communities should start looking for other ways of dealing with their grief and their choices. I hope that they will. Thank you
Greg-I agree with you that very few of the intense adoption blogs don’t understand where we are coming from-but there is a difference between not understanding and not wanting to understand because if you saw the other side as “too” human, it would make it impossible for you to hate them and blame them for all of the problems in your life. I also don’t see how the entire population of IF adults who still sought to have children have hurt them. The children they surrendered for adoption needed to have families, they needed them to be stable and permanent and they needed them immediately, not when the FP’s reached a point where they themselves were ready to take on the responsibility of parenthood. These were not inanimate dolls that could be put on a shelf and brought down when a FM/FF were able to provide them with what they needed at that stage in life. If an IF person or couple could provide all of those necessities and wanted to for their future children, then why should those people be blamed for stepping forward and bringing those children into their home and raising them in a parenting position. I do agree that more transparency should have been part of those early adoptions, so that the FP’s were not wiped out of the picture entirely, but I do not see this or any of the other realities of adoption as a reason for the repulsive scapegoating that goes on in the minds and publications of some of these people. There is more than one side to the story of adoption, and this is what I am looking for in my pursuit of information about adoption. What I have encountered so far will not discourage my ultimate decision about how I will become a parent, but the more biased information still disturbs me because I don’t believe that anything will be truly changed in adoption if people with IF are scapegoated by those who seek to find an easy target to direct all of their unresolved anger at. Maybe such views are better kept in an offline diary and shared with a helping professional who can help them to resolve it. In the meantime I will continue to insist that the choices for family building that are left open to IF people be respected in all cases and restored wherever and whenever they can. Tahnks
I meant that those individuals who suggest Foster Care have the best intentions not so much our best interests. By that I think they mean well and don’t want to see us suffer.
I once thought as you did regarding the intense adoption blogs. It’s easy to get discouraged because very few of them understand where we are coming from. I understand that they’ve been hurt by adults who couldn’t have children and that’s why they have the anger towards infertiles that they do. But I don’t get discouraged by them. They won’t decide for me as to whether my wife and I will adopt. They only help us make better decisions by learning from them.
P.P.S. Greg-I hear what you are saying about learning from blogs like the one hosted by Ms. D’Arcy, but with all due respect to Ms. D’Arcy and the folks she represents, I have found that for my own sake I need to steer clear of such “learning environments” when it comes to gathering my information about what type of adoption is right for my context. I find the information that I read on that type of blog too judgemental and manipulative to be any good to people like me (someone with IF who still hopes to be a parent in a way that I feel comfortable pursuing) In fact, I would dare to say that the judgements contained in those blogs has actually done a great deal of harm by complicating my grieving process by persuading me that I am a bad person because 1)I am IF and cannot become a parent through natural (read: RIGHT) means and 2) that I still have the audacity to even think that someone like me has the right to even THINK about becoming a parent in any way other than the “approved” methods that are left for me (read: foster care) and 3) that I have not gracefully accepted that a childfree existence is to be my unquestioned fate, because “silly infertile, parenthood is for natural parents” I have consulted these blogs in my quest to learn more about the complexities of adoption, and while I have learned a lot of things that I feel I needed to know, I have also learned a lot of prejudices and bigotries towards IF’s who might become PAP’s or AP’s that I am trying very hard to unlearn by challenging it however and wherever I can. I’m afraid I have to respectfully disagree with you, Greg, when you say that those who “suggest” foster care to those of us who are IF as a family building option truly have our best interests at heart. Some do, to be sure, but if they have an agenda that is based in the fallacy that ALL IF PAP’s are selfish individuals who need to be taught the errors of their ways by doing something good for someone else for a change, then their intentions are anything but pure. I would find it possible to learn what I need to learn about adoption if I did not need to wade through so much bigoted and manipulative propaganda from people who for whatever reason do not agree with adoption. For the IF community what we need and are entitled to is for others who are not IF to respect our choices when it comes to how we might yet build our families, even if they were not the choices that they might make in their situation or even what they would decide if they were in our situation. IF people have already lost one family building choice (natural conception through GOFI), and we 1)need to have our remaining choices restored (through ART or adoption) and 2)we need to have our choices RESPECTED without judgement from others. This is where I am coming from right now, and I will continue to insist that IF/PAP’s/AP’s are deserving of respect if nothing else. And any site that does not meet the minimum of this expectation will not be one that I look to for my information. Thank you
P.S. IF is a hard enough condition to navigate your way through without those of us who seek support to overcome it having to withstand judgements about how we still may become parents, just for choosing a path that is right for us as individuals and as couples. I would just like to see a little less judgment thrown onto the already heavily burdened shoulders of those of us who are disabled by IF. We are doing the best we can-to be good people, to learn as much as we can, and (maybe someday) to be good parents to our future children. PLEASE cut us some slack by holding off on the judgmental attitudes-it doesn’t help anyone! Thank you
I echo your comment Greg-it is the decision of PAP’s (and PAP’s alone)what path toward parenthood that they pursue, and when they choose to pursue said path. I just find it hard to navigate all of the differing opinions about adoption without feeling like those of us with IF are greatly misunderstood in terms of our motives, our desires for parenthood, and the effort that we will actually put into parenting our children once they are really part of our lives. IMO much of what I have read is an example of the pendulum having swung too far the other way-where once the FP’s were treated like second class citizens, it is now the “politically correct” view to treat IF sufferers and PAP s the same way-at least online. I find it especially hard to take because as an IF sufferer (or survivor if you will) I see it as kicking a vulnerable group of people while they are down by questioning the ethical nature of their remaining choices for becoming parents by saying that there is only one or two truly right ways to do it. I do not believe that it is right and so I feel called to challenge it whenever I see it. I wish I possessed your compassion and understanding. I wish you and your wife all the best on your path to building your family!
“Thus a persons personal reasons for choosing adoption are their own – however, adoption AS AN ENTITY should only ever exist to provide homes for children who actually need them. When a person asks “but if adoption didn’t exist, then how would we be able to build our families”, then they need to actually look at what they are saying”
I agree with you on this to a point, but I also urge you and everyone else who hears this question for what it is-a cry for help to help us to build our families. This is the question that IF sufferers are trying to get answers to, this is the problem we are trying to solve in our own situations. The natural way has been closed to us-we are IF, after all and so now we are asking this question looking for an answer that will help us to build our families in ways that we ourselves can live with. When we ask this question “if adoption/ART/alternative family building options do not exist/are not encouraged to exist as options, how will we build our families” and all we hear are judgments from the fertile community about why we would choose these options over other “more approved by the fertile community” options, or you respond by suggesting that we might only become parents if we meet certain conditions (wanting only to give a child a home or to provide them with a temporary home while they are waiting to be reunited with their REAL (biological) family, the question has not been answered for the person or group who has asked it in the first place. It might be that we keep asking these questions because the IF community has not yet received an answer that is life-giving or satisfactory for us-in other words, an answer that will help us to overcome our disability and become parents in a permanent, life-affirming way. All we seem to get in response to our question is criticism of our motives and suggestions that our purpose is to support the choices of those who are able to get pregnant and bear their own children by all natural means (here I am talking about the suggestions that I have heard from some that we who are IF should throw our support 100% behind the family preservation movement instead of pursuing paths that would help us to become parents to children that we could raise as our own through adoption-not “pretend that they are our own as if they were born to us” but children that we might raise in the position of parents, adoptive or otherwise. Perhaps when this question from the IF community is answered in a way that compassionately supports our desire to be parents in a way that feels right for us, rather than trying to dismiss that desire as coming from an unwholesome place, or suggesting that any solutions to this problem should come with strings attached that are meant to bolster the lifestyle choices of our fertile neighbours in community moreso than anything else, we won’t need to ask such questions anymore, because we will all know the answer and will be able to find our way to it and the life that it can give to parent and child alike. Thank you
For a while I’ve gotten offended by those in the adoption community who say “adopt a child in need from Foster Care”. But after a discussion on a birthmother blog last month (Claudia D’Arcy) I’ve come to the realization that those people generally have good intentions when they make those suggestions. It’s like friends and family who tell infertiles to “just adopt”, they have the best of intentions. But I do think that both sets of people don’t understand an infertiles perspective when it comes to family building. Still I give them the benefit of the doubt most of the time.
I’ll listen to just about any perspective on adoption even if they are dismissive of the pain that comes with infertility and childlessness. I feel there is something to be learned from everyone positive or negative in the adoption community and even the third party reproduction community.
Here is the difference while my wife and I have choosen to adopt a greyhound. I wouldn’t suggest to anyone to adopt a greyhound. It’s not easy. Our agency we adopted our grey from completely misled as to the personality of our dog us as she would have been better off with someone who had experiences with shy greys. They were lucky we are patient caring people because our dog had already been returned once. We love her for the dog she is not the outgoing dog she isn’t. I don’t judge the people who want to buy a puppy from a breeder or puppy mill. It’s their choice how they would like to get a dog not mine. Whereas you and others are judging and suggesting to adopt from Foster Care.
But I understand that because of your perspective that you feel others adopting from Foster Care is better than Domestic Infant Adoption. I don’t think you mean any harm by it. And as you admit there are plenty of ethical issues in adopting from Foster Care. I think regardless of the adoption you take a risk that your adoption isn’t going to be ethical no matter how much you work not for it to be.
Greg, you exemplify the spirit we all need to have of entering a discussion with the idea that you just might learn something and even if you don’t completely change your mind, your opinions are better informed and more flexible. Thank you for showing us all that it is possible. 🙂
While I’m sure your intentions are good natured in that you don’t want to see any child we may parent suffer, but I don’t think you know where I am at in my grieving process. I’ve accepted my infertility for what it is and accept my wife and I will never have a biological child even on her end. I will always have to cope with my infertility regardless of whether we become parents through adoption or not. And I’m coping with it better than I was 6 months ago and much better than I was almost one year ago when I first got my diagnosis. While you may understand grief from the adoptee perspective I don’t think you understand it from the infertile perspective. Everyone’s story is different. Ours is unusual in that we never pursued treatments or even third party reproduction before turning towards adoption. Plus how we are dealing with it is very different than other couples do.
Whether and when my wife and I begin our pursuit towards parenthood is not for you or anyone else to say. It is ultimately our decision. While we aren’t there yet as a couple we maybe get there in the near future. I can’t comment for AspiringAP but I don’t believe it’s your place either to tell them when they should parent. That’s their decision and no one else’s. Just as you have made decisions in your life regarding pursuing parenthood that were yours and no one else’s.
You still aren’t getting why I asked that question of what have the trends been in Australia for infertile couples of what they are doing since Adoption Reform was enacted. Do you know or you don’t? That might shed some light on your question of what infertile couples in the US would do if Domestic Infant Adoption didn’t exist.
I’m sorry, Dawn, I don’t really want to be attacking Aspiring AP and Greg but I’m just “over it”.
My message to both them is that RIGHT NOW, neither of you should consider parenting at this moment in time. In a few years, then yes, but right now, no.
However, I don’t think either of you should ever be told to ‘get over” your infertility, it will always be part of who you are. I saw an article once re grief in general, called “when closure just isn’t possible” and understanding that one is allowed to have part of them grieving and one doesn’t have to have closure can actually help one to integrate one’s feelings of grief into one’s life.
As I’ve said in another post, I think a person’s struggle with IF can actually help them to understand their children if they do adopt because they can understand the contradictions of grieving IF yet loving their children – just as an adoptee might love their APs yet feel sad that they were relinquished for adoption.
At present, Greg’s grief over his IF is oozing over everyone else’s feelings and he does need to deal with that.
“On your first question, yes we have been outcasted by our friends and family that have children. It’s not our circle of friends changing it’s that from their POV it’s become hard to relate to us anymore.”
Greg, if your behaviour on here and other blogs is anything to go by, I’m hardly surprised that no-one can relate to you anymore. Judging by some of your other comment in the blogosphere, you seem to actively despise the fertile – perhaps your friends themselves feel judged for just being able to have children.
cb, I’m not sure you and I are reading the same comments. From my perspective Greg has been the model for being respectful of others opinions while trying to open others to understanding his position. I’ve seen him time and again be open to changing his mind, and I’ve never seen him be anything but gracious in his comments. Wish I could say the same for everyone.
Aspiring AP, you know perfectly well that no-one is FORCING you to adopt from foster care. As has been pointed out to you one billion times before, there are those who feel that both international and domestic infant adoption have their issues so they may have said that IF YOU ARE ACTUALLY GOING TO ADOPT, then they feel that foster care is the only type of adoption that they feel is at all ethical, which is why they are suggesting that IF YOU AR ACTUALLY GOING TO ADOPT, you might consider foster care as an option. They are NOT saying – GREG AND PALS, you MUST adopt from foster care.
Btw Greg, I too love rescue greyhounds and if I did get a dog, it would be a rescue greyhound. I would probably also suggest to people considering buying a dog to conside getting a pound dog or rescue greyhound (which of course a pedigree dog). However, if I suggested that to a person CONSIDERING BUYING A DOG, that does not mean that ALL people in the WORLD MUST get a rescue greyhound. NOT all people are suited to buying rescue greyhounds. However, my suggesting to a person to get one is merely that, A SUGGESTION – just as people who may have ethical issues with certain aspectfs of adoption MIGHT suggest that if one does want to adopt, to consider foster care adoption. That’s not to say that FC doesn’t have its issues – it most certainly does which is why it is not for everyone.
One thing about talking about adoption is that things can often get twisted around – half the trouble is that everyone’s definition of things can often be so different – even people’s definitions of adoption can mean that an online conversation between triad members goes pear-shaped because we are often all talking about different things.
I too will do all that I can to respect the person I will come to raise through adoption as an individual. I will learn as much as I can through non-judgemental sources (such as the actual articles on Creating a Family-I think I will start ignoring the comment sections from now on) how to help my future child(ren) to grow up whole and happy despite being able to call two sets of parents and two families his/her own). I will learn as much as I can about the complexities of adoption so that I will be prepared for what might lie ahead for my future family. What I will no longer do is listen to sources who try to coerce those of us who are IF that our condition is something that we need to atone for before we can become parents-by parenting only those children that they consider it ethical for us to become parents to (foster children who will ultimately be returned to their REAL (read:bio) parents). The only adoptees that I can truly care about are the ones that I will one day parent through adoption-they are the only ones that I can truly have an influence in their lives. The only first parents that I can really be concerned with are the ones whose child I will be raising as an adoptive parent. I will do everything in my power to ensure that my(offline, real world) relationships with these individuals are as ethical and respectful as I can make them I can do nothing for (and I feel no obligation to do anything for) first parents and adoptees who are incapable of changing what they perceive as being wrong in the past (the so called Baby Scoop Era-which was probably just as much of a Baby Dump era as anything else, in my view) and who seek to judge the choices made by IF sufferers today who are just trying to build their families in one of the only ways left for them-sorry but GOFI is not an option for us, and (cover your ears, children) for some of us happily accepting a childfree existence is not a life giving option, either-no matter what you yourselves may believe is the “right choice” for those who are IF. If you are IF and you choose to accept that fate as yours because you have an issue with adoption or ART, you are in fact making a choice-one that is yours to make. It does not make you morally superior to those of us who make a different choice-one that will lead us to the parenthood relationships that we ourselves can live with. I also don’t feel an obligation to make things easier for the fertile people of this world-they have a natural ability that they have the sole responsibility of managing and ensuring that they have what it takes to control and care for in a responsible way. I have been denied this ability through no fault of my own, so I do not see how my disability makes me responsible for ensuring that those who choose to exercise their reproductive freedom (whether or not they have what it takes to be responsible for the children who come from this exercise) have an easier time in living out their chosen way of life. I’m sure that those who do not believe in adoption or ART could enlighten me on this confusion, but since I do believe in the virtues of both adoption and ART when done ethically (and yes I do believe that both of these family building options CAN be done ethically-even if an individual has to go above and beyond the present system to insist that it is done so) I choose to disregard their views as opinion only. I cannot take away the pain you have suffered, but I will ensure that I do things better for my future family. Thank you.
Something that I forgot to add to my last post: I would have a lot more respect for the family preservation/anti-adoption crowd and their overwhelming support for parenting through foster care if they would promote it equally as a “family building option” for those who are fertile. Encourage those who are in full possession of their reproductive faculties to waive that freedom in favour of giving a needy child a home. Persuade these able bodied individuals that conceiving their own child through natural, unassisted means-even though they are fully capable of doing so-is less than ethical in light of the overcrowding in our foster care system. Perhaps all couples who marry before becoming parents should be strongly encouraged to consider becoming foster parents before they take any steps to become biological parents. Maybe a couple’s decision to conceive their own child should be made conditional upon how many children they have fostered before they are allowed to abandon all contraception in their relationship-if you haven’t fostered at least one child over the course of your life, you are not allowed to conceive a baby of your own. Of course, once the child was reunited with his/ her biological parents (who of course are now able to provide a fit home for their child) the fostering couple would then have the option of trying to conceive a baby of their own or opening their home to another temporary fostering situation. It would be their choice. As it is for all people who are fertile. As it SHOULD be for all those who are IF and who must seek out alternative means to build their families. I do not see foster care as a way of building my family. It is something else entirely in my view, and I do not believe that it should be forced on those of us who do not have the same reproductive freedom as our fertile neighbours in community as a family building option. To do so is a form of coercion, no less heinous than the claims of coercion that have plagued adoption in the past. For couples and individuals who seek to be foster parents of their own free will, it can be a wonderful thing for the children who will find homes through it. For those who are shamed into it because of circumstances beyond their control and for which they have no responsibility, it can only end in disaster for everyone, but especially the children who deserve better from those who are called into their service. Thank you.
I’m confused and not sure where your post is coming from based upon the conversation. Can you explain what you are responding to in this discussion?
Wow! I read just the tail end bits of comments and refused to read the rest as there’s too much hypocrisy going ont. Greg I think your last bit was spot on and completely feel the same. As far as someone saying that infertile couples adopting infants domestically or paying lots of money is selfish is absolutely ridiculous! It amazes me how judgmental some can be. My husband and I have spent a good amount of money on treatments and you know what if I was rich I’d spend a whole lot more. Not because I dont think adopting is a wonderful option but because me and my husband both would love to experience me being pregnant. To experience bringing a child into this world and all the first that come after. I have no problem with having embryos created a matter of fact we have that on our list for consideration as it’s the same price as IVF with a higher success rate. It’s not my job to take care of all the children in the world who don’t have somebody because their parents failed them. Being infertile does not make that my responsibility. We have looked into adoption and someday plan on adopting but it’s not our first option and I don’t think that’s selfish either. Regardless of all the back and forth rude comments I am happy to live in a country where people like some of you don’t run it and don’t get to make my decisions for me. I’m happy that I have all the choices I have to decide what’s best for me and my future family and that others who can get pregnant have their choices too, whether that be abortion, placing their child up for adoption or donating their embryos. I think whatever one chooses to do as long as it works for them and makes them happy that I’m happy for them.
Btw I haven’t forgotten about taking about Foster Care in Australia. It is just that as someone wh has considered itself, I’ve come across a few different things that I’d like to link to, however, I have to find them first.
“I don’t see the family preservation crowd doing anything to support infertile couples in other ways that don’t involve providing them with a child. The only thing I see this group doing is shaming infertile couples and making them out to be selfish entitled people.
I just think that if we want to be supported we also have to be willing to support others.”
Greg, I’m sorry if you feel shamed for being IF in real life which is where it matters. Things on the internet can be taken out of context where people who might have genuine issues about certain practices are accused of raining on the parades of those with IF and then conversations get out of hand. I can’t help having feelings about certain types of adoption and certain types of IVF etc and you can’t expect to abandon my principles can you? I do have issues with anonymous assisted pregnancy and I do have issues with certain types of adoption but those issues are related to those things. I certainly am not deciding to have issues about them just for the fun of it so that I can mess with the heads of those with IF. In fact, I feel bad that there aren’t more options open for you if I can wave a wand to help you all, I would. I have many online AP friends who also suffer from IF and feel upset that I’m being accused of hating those who suffer from IF. You may note that I always talk about those with IF as “people suffereing from IF”, I have and never will call anyone an “infertile” – I do find that disrespectful.
In regards to married couples with no children, I do know a few people and no-one has ever made them feel ashamed for being so. I have NO idea if they are “Childless by Circumstance, not choice” or whether they are “Childfree by choice”, I’ve never thought to ask and it is not my business. I’ve never known anyone to shame them either. I think there probably is the assumption that they suffer from infertility and thus I think that people do treat them kindly for that reason. In fact, there is probably more of an assumption that the unmarried with no children are unmarried because they want to be Childfree and thus there can be the assumption that the Unmarried with No Children are people who just didn’t want children which is not necessarily the case. Even then, I don’t think anyone really cares that much.
Now, I’ll be honest, most of those Married No Children that I know are now about my own age (just short of 50) so I don’t know whether they felt judged in their younger years. Also, I work in the medical field so am unsure if that makes a difference.
Where I live now and have lived for the last year is a beautiful quite large seaside town that is a haven for children and pretty well everyone up here seems to have children thus I am probably the only Unmarried with No Children woman where I work (apart from the former practice manager). They all know that as well. Not a single person could care less. No-one up here has ever made judgment against me. The Married Woman with No Children and the Married Man with No Children whom I worked with in my last company weren’t prejudiced against because of their lack of children either.
If you worked with my workmates and me, Greg, we probably would treat you no different to anyone else. I like most people I work with and I “judge” them on their intrinsic qualities rather than whether they have children or not and I am sure others I work with are the same.
If you worked with us and let us know about your infertility, I am sure we would treat you gently and with respect. The fertile ones would probably invite you to their baby showers but they would be doing it out of friendliness and not just to rub it in your face. My younger married with children co-workers do talk about their children a bit and I’ve been invited to 2 baby showers already. That’s not to say that sometimes there aren’t twinges, eg I know that there would have been no baby shower for me as a baby, and I am sure that with my bmother having lost premature babies at birth that baby showers can’t have been that easy for her either (I do know she attended and organised one at least) so there is nothing wrong with having mixed feelings about them and I that would be 1000 times harder for a person in your position and I’m sure people would understand if you didn’t go.
One interesting thing about family preservation and adoption is that with those welfare organisations(gov or otherwise who use methods designed at trying to prevent children being removed in the first place by using programs like “Homebuilders”, what happens is that the children who do get removed andplaced in foster care are those who truly need it and often in those cases, termination of parental rights and adoption happens much quicker. It is the cases where children are readily removed and then reunification is tried where it makes things more difficult. Thus family preservation and adoption/permanent care can cohabit quite well together.
“I don’t see the family preservation crowd doing anything to support infertile couples in other ways that don’t involve providing them with a child”
What way can we support them except offer moral support? I’ve just mentioned above how I would treat you if you were a workmate. I’m not sure what else I could do.
One interesting thing about family preservation and adoption is that with those welfare organisations(gov or otherwise who use methods designed at trying to prevent children being removed in the first place by using programs like “Homebuilders”, what happens is that the children who do get removed and placed in foster care are those who truly need it and often in those cases,because the system is less clogged, termination of parental rights and adoption/permanent care happens much quicker. It is the system where children are readily removed and then reunification is tried where it makes things more difficult.
Thus family preservation and adoption/permanent care can cohabit quite well together.
Greg-thank you for your last 2 comments (63 &64) I echo these comments and agree with them 100%. I will also recommend Robyn Chittister’s blog post entitled “Why We Didn’t Adopt from Foster Care” for a wonderfully articulate “explanation” of why some PAP’s and AP’s choose alternate routes to parenthood other than fostering and foster care. (I use quotation marks around the word explanation because I don’t believe that anybody is required to explain their family building choices, but our present adoption climate of attitudes makes it necessary sometimes for those who refuse to understand why we make the choices that we do). I found Ms. Chittister’s blog post really helpful in explaining why some people who become parents through one form of adoption as opposed to another, while still upholding foster parenting as what it is really all about and why it might be right for some as a family building option but not for others.
As for your comment to the family prevention (I mean preservation) supporters (64), I am right there with you. Thank you for putting into words what I have wanted to say for so long. You are made of stronger stuff than I am. All the best to you in your efforts to open people’s minds and hearts to those of us who dream of overcoming IF in ways that will allow us to become parents one day in a way of our choosing. 🙂
One more comment for the family preservation supporters, while infertile couples are not entitled to a child in the same sense expectant mothers are not entitled to being helped. I don’t see the family preservation crowd doing anything to support infertile couples in other ways that don’t involve providing them with a child. The only thing I see this group doing is shaming infertile couples and making them out to be selfish entitled people.
I just think that if we want to be supported we also have to be willing to support others.
Regarding your question what would those who were unable to have children do if adoption didn’t exist, are you referring to infant adoption or adoption in general? If it’s the former I think we can look to your country. I wasn’t able to find statistics but I would be very interested to know if there has been an increase in embryo donations since Australia closed the doors on their domestic infant adoption practices. From the research that I’ve done it doesn’t appear that the number of children in Foster Care has decreased in Australia which is sometimes a myth thrown out there by those who oppose infant adoption claim it will. The people who would have adopted infants are not adopting older children in Australia, they just aren’t adopting period. It’s my feeling that the use of embryo donation as a method of becoming parents would become more popular if the US banned all private domestic infant adoptions.
If your question was referring more towards any type of adoption being banned then I think we would see more embryo donations as well as an increase in the childless who are outcasted from society. I think the depression rates in those who were unable to have children would significantly increase.
This is just my feeling based on being infertile and what I’ve found in my research. It’s not fact, just a speculation on a hypothetical situation. For me if private domestic infant adoption didn’t exist my wife and I would likely live childless by our circumstance. I wouldn’t rule out adopting from Foster Care but I don’t think we would end up doing that. Embryo Donation is something we both decided is not for us though we don’t judge people who choose it. In living childless, we would just pay our taxes so those who are fertile’s children could go to school. We would continue to take on the load in the workforce as well. We would live as an outcast from society here soley to serve those who are fertile. Now we may not end up pursuing adoption and this would be our fate anyway but if private domestic infant adoption didn’t exist there would be no decision to be made on it. My dream of my wife and I becoming parents would be dead forever.
Greg you are actually super empathetic from comments on the other post and sound very mindful about wanting to respect the person you raise is an individual.
People generally have good hearts and don’t want anyone to suffer a loss to secure gain for themselves unless that loss is suffered willingly and even then it can be uncomfortable to benefit from the loss of others and we wonder if there was pressure or undue influence. We want to be ethical.
Human beings are not supposed to be the objects of private contracts for sale, barter or gifting because they are not property and though people can be responsible for the care of other dependent individuals (minors, elderly, disabled), they don’t own those individuals nor do they own their kinship titles over those individuals. So there is a big difference between a parent failing to take care of their child and the State finding a couple willing to raise the child for the absent parents vs an absent parent having been commissioned to make a child to be given as a gift to the person who asked for the child to be made and relinquished. One is ethical and one is not.
Interesting info.. very helpful. I have had no success for years at 44. At least i dont feel so alone I have 2 other friends in similar positions or well 1 friend now because my other friend finally did get pregnant after doing loads of research, using some of these tips an reading guide after guide.
The reason I asked you about Australia is that you had asked the question of what infertiles would do if domestic infant adoption didn’t exist. I thought by you living in a country where that was the case you would have insight into that. What has been the fallout to those in the infertility community for those unable to have children in Australia? Have there been studies on it or what have you seen?
I wasn’t asking you or anyone else to change your principles for anyone in the infertility community. I recognize and respect where they come from. I also don’t think there is anything wrong with having them. I’ve never felt at any time that you had something against those suffering from infertility. Others in the adoption community do (I recognize why they do though) but I don’t think you do. I just think at times you need to be aware of your audience and recognize that some of your feelings and how you express them could offend others. I know this from experience as I’ve done that many times. I can’t help myself at times.
I think your perspective is very different in that you choose not to have children for whatever reason and that currently you are older. The younger married couples who are childless by circumstance have a much different perspective. They might take an invitation to a baby shower to be upsetting. And not everyone who does the inviting is understanding, I had a friend who invited all of her friends over to her place today to meet her newborn son. I finally opened up to her what we were going through. She was very understanding, BUT I learned that she had a miscarriage two years ago and like us couldn’t be around babies and pregnant women. If not for that miscarriage it’s likely the reaction would have been different. I’ve had other situations where people were less understanding.
I think you misunderstand about what I’m saying about the workplace. It’s not so much socially as it is workload. By that I mean it’s expected that because I don’t have children that I’m expected to take on a larger work load and travel more than colleagues who do have children. Others have backed me up on this being true so please don’t dismiss it like Tao did.
What the family preservation crowd could do most importantly is stopping shaming those who are infertile looking at adoption. They could also provide moral support by not suggesting what they should do. They can spend time with them one on one and leave their children at home instead of rubbing their children in their faces. So it’s not what the family preservation crowd do for adoption/permanent care, I clearly said what they can do to help those that are suffering from infetility. Maybe if they did they would receive the help from the infertility community that they are asking for.
“I have no problem with having embryos created a matter of fact we have that on our list for consideration as it’s the same price as IVF with a higher success rate. It’s not my job to take care of all the children in the world who don’t have somebody because their parents failed them. Being infertile does not make that my responsibility. We have looked into adoption and someday plan on adopting but it’s not our first option and I don’t think that’s selfish either. Regardless of all the back and forth rude comments I am happy to live in a country where people like some of you don’t run it and don’t get to make my decisions for me. I’m happy that I have all the choices I have to decide what’s best for me and my future family and that others who can get pregnant have their choices too, whether that be abortion, placing their child up for adoption or donating their embryos. I think whatever one chooses to do as long as it works for them and makes them happy that I’m happy for them.”
Melissa, you might try reading what people are saying rather than what you think they are saying. This is often where misunderstanding happen in adoption conversations.
No-one is forcing you to adopt, Melissa. If that’s not what you want to do, then that’s your choice. I’ve personally never said anything different. Also, no-one is forcing you to not undertake IVF. If that’s what you want to do, then that’s your choice.
At the same time, I am sure you will agree that if you are bringing another being into the world or into your family, then one needs to be responsible on behalf of that human being.
All one just needs to do is say to themselves “I plan on taking this particular option to build my family. Will I feel comfortable about explaining my child’s back story to them?”. We might all have very different answers to the above question. Others may raise their concerns, that doesn’t mean that they are impinging on your rights. I couldn’t give a rat’s **** what you do, Melissa, as long as you also think about your future child’s rights as well.
Btw one of my main concerns is re anonymity and I think it is fair enough for people to raise those concerns.
They are not doing it to step on your rights.
For many that suffer from IF, not being able to a biological connection to their child can be one of the things they have to mourn (and I realise that that is not the case for all) so it seems strange to me that those same people have no issues about their child never being able to find out anything about their own biological connections. And, yes, not everyone cares about their biological connections but they should at least have the right to know if they so wish.
“The reason I asked you about Australia is that you had asked the question of what infertiles would do if domestic infant adoption didn’t exist.”
Greg, you might be misunderstanding me when I said “When someone is asking “but if adoption didn’t exist, then how would we be able to build our families”, then they need to actually look at what they are saying””. I wasn’t actually asking how you would build your family if adoption didn’t exist.
What I was trying to say is that if some actually asks that question, then they are more or less implying that people wanting to build their families is an important port of why adoption as an entity should exist, whereas people wanting to build their families should be a resource for those children needing homes rather than a reason for adoption existing. I’m trying to say that the entity of adoption itself should only exist as a resource to provide homes for children who actually need them (including newborns, I wasn’t excluding them).
I’m not judging personal reasons at all. In fact, I’ve been very clear to separate people’s own reasons for choosing adoption – those reasons are yours and you have a right to them. Most people’s reasons for choosing adoption is because they wish to raise a child to adulthood and I think that we are agreed that is what most of you feel and to me that is definitely the main reason a person should be choosing any sort parenting.
So, of course you are choosing adoption because you want a child and that is absolutely the right reason. I am also sure that most of you want to provide a home to a child/newborn who needs one, not one who doesn’t need one – see what I’m saying now about adoption as an entity being for children who need homes?
Rubbing their children in your faces? As people we morph into different stages in our lives. Your friends get girlfriends and wives you don’t cruise clubs for chicks and get lap dances as often, they get wives and kids you hang out as a group. Less often alone cause it means they are not spending time with their families. Nobody rubs children in anyone’s faces. They are raising their kids. Spending time with their kids after working 40 or 50 hours a week and sometimes on the weekends too. They’re trying to spend time with friends and family both how can you look at that as rubbing their kids in your face? Friends would not do something like that to hurt you.
No need to apologize to me. It’s not your fault you are doing what you have to do. I appreciate you making me feel like I’m not crazy. Others may believe I’ll benefit from it but the reality is unless I become a parent I never will. If I have a parent or family member that’s ill I’ll get what everyone else does even those with children. There are no bonuses in the workplace for the childless.
Greg said: “What I was referring to is you not having to deal with infertility gives you a different perspective. You never had to deal with having to make the decisions that Dawn is outlining in this piece.”
You do not know that Greg…
Greg, you’re not imagining the workload shifts, etc. I’m now on the parent side of things, and at work I know I’m adding more to my able-to-work-late colleagues’ plates because of family status. Due to the nature of our jobs, it just isn’t that easy to re-calculate and adjust available manpower over the course of a year. My coworkers are wonderful and understanding that having a 1 year old around makes it harder to take on the hours I used to, but it feels terrible to see what more they can and have to do to make the ship sail, as it were. My hope is that as our daughter gets a little older it will be easier to do what other coworkers with family do and work remotely after their kids go to bed, but right now we’re both operating at such a sleep deficit that working late is simply self-defeating. So, since I don’t know if it matters, but I’m sorry you have to pick up the slack, and I hope it’s at least recognized where you work. It’s crappy.
You know nothing about me if you believe it’s about not getting what I want. As someone who was diagnosed with ADD at a young age I’ve always had to do things differently. I’ve had my fair share of disappointment. Yet I’ve risen above it to make a nice life out of it. Still doesn’t mean it’s been easy. So it has nothing to do with “not getting what I want and not being able deal with it”.
What I was referring to is you not having to deal with infertility gives you a different perspective. You never had to deal with having to make the decisions that Dawn is outlining in this piece. Therefore you believe these are easier decisions and things to deal with than they actuality are. Just as someone who wasn’t adopted could easily tell you being adopted wasn’t that bad if you had great adoptive parents. Yet, they ignore the full scope of what it means to be adopted. Just as you are doing to those who are infertile.
Thank you for the feedback.
You’re right there is no right or wrong decision. I believe a couple is fine as long as they fully research their options, are aware of how their decision could impact their child (if that’s their decision) and understand the risks involved in their decision.
I wish you and your husband the best.
There are no laws preventing employers from doing what mine is. Because of my childlessness I’m expected to travel more and take on more of the workload. It has nothing to do with FMLA it’s day to day stuff as if I have no life and being away from home isn’t a big deal. To be fair I’m not the only one who is childless out there who experiences this.
Greg said: “I understand that your life experience is different than others. But you shouldn’t make it out like those who are infertile that live childless lives have an easy happy life when you were presented a different set of cards. I get the feeling that you are trying to convince me that living a childless lifestyle is wonderful and what I should do.”
Perhaps acceptance that you don’t always get what you want comes easier to me because of my closed adopted experience – I had to learn that lesson very early in life – I don’t know any different.
Bravo Aspiring AP – no assumptions in your post… 🙂
Greg it sounds like your employer is really insensitive and that you are truly being weighed down with work when they should hire an additional person. Anyone with a dependent relative gets cut a certain amount of slack, it’s the law. That dependent relative may not be their child; a sibling or step child or aging parent, even a spouse or spouses sibling all qualify people for family leave act time off, tax breaks, and other benefits for carrying the burden of a dependent human being that might otherwise be on the public dole under institutional care. You would hopefully be afforded the same relief as your coworkers that have children if you had a disabled sibling living with you or if you were caring for a parent with Alzheimer. You and your spouse are a family and if your spouse were ailing, you’d by law be afforded the same leeway that someone caring for a child is granted. It may seem unfair on the surface, but if your employer is abiding by the law, your rights are identical to those of your friends with children and you qualify for the same accommodations when and if you are called upon to care for a dependent relative.
This is so timely. We are going in for IVF consult due to advanced maternal age and male infertility. I haven’t had hormone panel yet, so I don’t know what my ovarian reserve is – so I don’t even know if IVF is an option…If it isn’t we’ve discussed how far are we willing to go. In going through this, I’ve come to realization that I don’t mind not being genetically related to my child, but I do want to experience pregnancy.
It is such a difficult decision with no right or wrong answers it seems. it is always nice to read about how other couples decided to stop with fertility treatment and their experiences in ways to grow their family.
AnonT, you are already ahead of the game if you know what is most important to you. It will make the next decision making steps easier. And you are so right that there are no right or wrong answers!!
Greg-AMEN to your response to both Marilynn and TAO. As someone who is struggling to overcome IF in a way that will help my husband and I to become parents (which will probably be adoption in our case), I find that this attitude is typical of the anti-adoption/anti-IF-persons-becoming-parents-through-any-alternative-means crowd. I find it very hard to tolerate this attitude in those who feel that they should have the last word on how we who are IF might build our families, while at the same time demanding that their agenda be respected and upheld as the only one that counts. I want to learn as much as I can about adoption, but agendas such as this leave a bad taste in my mouth and make me reluctant to learn more about the complexities of parenting through adoption or assisted reproductive technology. Sharing their views and ideas is one thing, and can even help us to become better parents to our special children, but when they cross the line and start telling people like us what we SHOULD do in order to become parents in the “right” way (which in their thinking is unassisted biological conception or temporary foster parenting), that is completely inappropriate. You have an incredible amount of patience and empathy with this type of ignorance. IF is ANYTHING but the walk in the park that TAO believes it to be-and it has about as much to do with a childfree by choice lifestyle as apples do to oranges. If you make the conscious decision not to become a parent-fine, live your life as you intended. But if you are IF-choice does not even enter into it. And the fact that our society seems all too eager to exploit those of us who are childless by circumstance (through the examples you so rightly upheld)is a disgusting abuse of human rights that should be challenged by ethical citizens as of yesterday. The fact that TAO actually sees these examples of exploitation as a positive step forward for our world is a clear indication of how he/she views the innate humanity of people with IF as being flexible. I often hear it said from these anti adoption crusaders that fertile people were not put on this earth to provide children for the IF. Well, people with IF were not put on this earth to make things easier for those who are fertile-either by working in their place or by paying their and their children’s way in this world. Fertile people already have the upper hand in this society IMO, and it is grossly unethical for them to expect that IF sufferers owe them anything at all. Thank you again Greg-I admire that you are able to keep the dialogue going. Hope things get better for you in a way that is lifegiving. Take Care
I stopped trying with my own eggs when I realized the likelihood of it happening were slim to none; the chances for genetic defects were high and it was more important to be a mom than to be a mom of a bio child. I went to donor egg – kept getting pg, but miscarrying due to immune issue. Finally went to adoption. Each step had it’s own grief – you give up something and you have to mourn that.
On your first question, yes we have been outcasted by our friends and family that have children. It’s not our circle of friends changing it’s that from their POV it’s become hard to relate to us anymore.
Since the childless have no children they don’t have the option it’s not an applicable situation. We have no children thus we get no benefit from our taxes going towards educating others children. What is good for society does not benefit the childless.
And I do not benefit in the workplace. I’m expected to carry the workload, take on more stress, spend more time away from home and lose more leisure time than those who have children. After telling one of my bosses last month what my wife and I have been through the last year he then turned around and proposed that I do more work travel next year because I was young and didn’t have children. He completely ignored the fact that I miss my wife dearly when I travel or that we are working on our marriage and spending time together is important. Yet he gives a colleague of mine a pass from traveling because he has a baby. What’s worked for you does not happen for everyone. Not everyone has your positive experience (where have we heard that one before?). In a downturn it’s a lot more complicated than who is dependable. Salaries, where the skill set needs are and other factors have just as much determination than who is dependable.
I understand that your life experience is different than others. But you shouldn’t make it out like those who are infertile that live childless lives have an easy happy life when you were presented a different set of cards. I get the feeling that you are trying to convince me that living a childless lifestyle is wonderful and what I should do.
When you say there is a right answer how do you know having never walked in those peoples shoes? That is where you are judging. There’s a difference between telling someone what you believe and another to tell them what they should do. It’s like someone judging the decisions you made in your life which is wrong.
You are correct that people morph into different phases in their lives. But when other members of a group of friends is unable to take that step they are in some cases looked down upon. It’s not so much rubbing their faces in it as it is looking down upon them. It’s when people make the comments “You haven’t lived until you’ve become a parent”. “It must be nice to have all that free time with you not having children.” “You don’t have children so you wouldn’t understand.”
Greg all my girlfriends and coworkers were pregnant the same time as me. It was an odd thing actually – we joked about proximity to certain desks in the office causing pregnancy. This was my pregnancy that stuck. Gone were the seemingly endless pregnancy losses of before, I had a big fat baby in my belly. I had a boy in my belly and he had a name, Sam. And Sam was born and Sam died and all my pregnant girlfriends and co-workers wept, then their babies were born and they’d bring them into work and I only had one or two Polaroids of my boy. I felt left out then as I did when I had miscarriage after miscarriage. People say stupid stuff sometimes in an attempt to make us feel OK about being different. It’s the very rare person who intends to hurt someone’s feelings who enjoys it. They were not rubbing their babies in my face they were happy at the birth of their new children and doing what they were suppose to do take care of them. I wanted to remain living and part of my friends lives I did not want them to tip toe around me but that was a personal preference. Just remember if your friends ever loved you they do still and empathize that they might not know how to make you feel included if they sense your pain. You need your friends your a guy you need your bros, don’t let go.
I’m closing these comments since we seem to just be going in circles. Thanks all, but let’s move on.
Do you really feel outcast or is your circle of friends changing – as you age and naturally grow apart. I moved locations various times throughout my life and found some friends will always be friends, and others you just grow apart from – your priorities, likes, dislikes just don’t match anymore but that is pretty normal. My circle of friends has also gotten smaller but more committed, and, has a depth to it that it didn’t have when I was younger. I’m good with that, and, surprisingly the long term friends all had children – I just didn’t let that fact stop me from being involved in their lives when the kids were young.
As to paying taxes for other children to go to school – that’s a good thing honestly, I have never regretted it because it is a benefit to society (and to you because it means SS and Medicare will hopefully still exist because of the workforce). Going back even when I was a child we were all sent to private school, and yes, mom and dad also paid taxes for public education without being upset about it, because it was good for society. Chances are you might have chosen that option too – so would you still not want to pay your share for public education because your kids were in private school?
As to working longer hours – you will benefit in the long run, you are the one they turn – too because you are dependable. When the company experiences a downturn you are the one kept if possible because of that. And I would bet if you had a family emergency – you would be shown the same grace that your co-workers are shown and perhaps more – at least that is how it worked for me. I can’t say enough good things about how the company supported me – because they appreciated what I gave to them.
Saying that those who cannot have children have to deal with their problem ignores the society we live in that outcasts the childless by circumstance. These are people that are expected to pay their taxes so that the children they can’t have get an education. These are the people that are expected to work longer hours and carry more of the work load in the work place. These are the people that are expected to give back in some way to a society that gives them little in return.
The whole idea of adopting from Foster Care is to help a child. When the goal of the childless by circumstance is to start a family how exactly does that motive fall in line with what the motive to adopt from Foster Care should be?
The right answer is that you shouldn’t judge others when your circumstance was different from theirs. Just as no one should judge yourself.
Now wait. You are giving some conflicting messages here. Your asking at what point did people accept the reality of their physical limitations and give up on spending lots of money on fertility treatments in hopes of creating a family. You go on to talk about people needing to weigh how important it is to them to be genetically related to the children they raise etc etc, but you still refer to the adoption process or raising donor offspring as “creating a family”. So you are trying to say that it is not necessary to create the child that your raising to have a really wonderful family experience, that it’s OK to not be biologically related to that child and get their priorities straight, but your still trying to cast that person in the roll of creator while simultaneously trying to counsel them to get over their obsession with being the creator of a family. How is a woman facing infertility suppose to reconcile the politically trendy message that a person can be a parent without creating the child the family themselves while in the very same breath same thought they are being told that they can be the creator of a child by “using a donor egg”? The people creating the kid are the people who reproduce and she knows that. This is why its hard to move on to raising another person’s kid. The kid is related to a bunch of other people so the experience is going to be different for them and for the woman than if she just boom made them herself. Intellectually she knows she’s not going to be creating any family and the issue is if she’s still interested in raising a family because that can be fun too. She can opt out of the kid thing altogether or she can raise a child that someone, not her, created. She can gestate and deliver, which is still nothing like creating because the only part the kid will remember is the raising part and the evidence of pregnancy will be in her body and not the body of the child. So it’s a good post because its practical. It should not cost money to offer to raise a child whose parents cannot or will not take care of them, it really makes no sense that a dime should be spent by the adoptive parents because it would save the state so much money over the life time of the child and the paying thing just looks shady anyway you slice it. But it does cost money to qualify yourself to raise another person’s child and you are wondering at what point people came to terms with physical limitations and decided raising another person’s offspring could be a cool experience too and invest in that, maybe have enough left over for some footy pajamas and a stroller. But its like the creating thing is such a big deal and its not such a big deal and the mixed messages about biology and reproduction are just crazy. Like an infertile woman being counseled to tell the child she gave birth to that SHE conceived them with the help of a donor’s egg. So is conception and reproduction what makes a person a parent or not, cause half the time people are telling the infertile woman that it’s the child rearing that makes a mother a mother and reproduction is not important and then the other half the time they are trying to convince her that SHE actually made the baby with her husband and that the child is hers, all hers and all she did was borrow a little cell to get the ball rolling. I have faced infertility I had a son die the day he was born so I sincerely get it. I had thirteen miscarriages too so I really get it.
But like take a position and stick with it, if childrearing makes a woman a mother then stay on that side of process and don’t lay claim to the creating/reproducing/conception part of the family making process and just earn the motherhood title through that daily grind of care-giving and don’t trip off not creating the family your raising because this is your contribution to these kids life. Not the creator but the person that raises them. I think part of moving on from trying for a biological child should be realizing that the individual you’ll be raising is going to have been created by other people or your partner and another person and you have to be cool with that or the kid will feel it. You don’t want to make the kid feel like you wish they were related to you and would rather not think of the people they are related to as their family. If you give up on creating a family you don’t have to give up on becoming one, joining one, raising one, leading one, participating in one, growing old in one, being a proud member of one. Should not cost a dime so sad that it does and so your right they have to plan financially.
Greg thank you for asking I had thirteen miscarriages and my son died when he was a day old in 2003. They studied the placenta and found clots and determined I have a condition called thrombofilia that causes blood to clot easily. My baby died in my arms he suffocated his lungs were under developed and they could not help him and i watched his mouth open and i asked if i should feed him and him and they said no he’s gasping for air he can’t breath and all I could do is hold him. My little boy until he died.
Wow I’m crying so hard I miss him so much. I don’t think about him very often any more because it hurts.
I have a daughter born a year after the road was long difficult she nearly died while I was pregnant. In the wild left to my own devices I’d have no children. she’s a miracle of modern science seriously.
I really miss Sammy. Wow. Yes. I have Greg. Everything I say is having been there I am right there.
I think you should do a f/u to this post about when the end of the road tx wise means being child free… because childless not by choice is not the same as choosing to be child free.
That comes from a post in another group where people were asking what others did once tx stopped AND adoption wasn’t an option. For some, tx stops and one is *forced* to live child-free and how to DEAL with that reality. When that was our reality, we threw ourselves into animal rescue which is how I met J. because being an animal lover has no life stage attached to it. I am about 15 years older than she is but animals made us friends =)
Well, the title may have been a bit misleading now that I think about it. It kind of depends on how you define “infertility treatment”. Most folks, myself included, would consider donor egg or donor sperm to be a continuation of treatment, although I consider the move to non-genetic parenting to be a step in a very different direction. However, I do see your point.
The blog post appears unfinished…. Is it time to stop tx and live child free or move on to adoption? Some do not want to adopt or would not be approved to adopt, so perhaps they pursue fertility tx more aggressively……………
May I ask whether you have dealt with infertility? The reason I ask is that it seems you are looking at this piece from an outside perspective. It’s not made to be an insult. It’s just something an outsider could never understand.
Dealing with infertility is a process. First you have the trying to have bio children which could take a few years. Then once nothing has happened you try to find out if and what is wrong. Then you get your hopes up and deal with treatments which comes with physical, mental and emotional pain. During that step there comes a breaking point where a person needs to step back and decide whether they want to proceed. That’s what Dawn’s piece is about.
Yes Greg, that is exactly what I was trying to say!
Look into Gift of Adoption
I agree that money and wanting to have a child should not be categorized the same way.
I would have adopted possibly but we are pretty poor I don’t think we could have passed the evaluation, we lived in an apartment and all. It did turn out that my husband was having lots of affairs. If he’d gotten one of the girls pregnant and I’d stayed with him I of course would have demanded that he take full responsibility for his child and if I stayed that would make me a step mother. That did not happen that I know of but I’d almost sooner have to deal with that kind of personal trauma than pay a woman to create a child with him and then abandon the child for my benefit. It seems terribly cruel to me that I would force my way into a child’s life being their step mother and try to get rid of their own actual mother. It would undermine their rights and the rights of all their relatives. My assumption is that because I’ve been exposed to so many separated families that I have a big picture of how everyone is impacted that people might not consider when they do things like make babies with donors. I think people have pretty good hearts and are not trying to hurt anyone and that they probably just did not realize that in trying to become a family the had to break one up. Adoption does not do that typically because most adoptive parents have nothing to do with the reason why someone’s parents are not raising them and so their presence is in reaction to parental absence rather than being the impetus or cause of parental absence.
After my daughter was born one of my very dear friends who I actually reunited with her mother and recently father was in jail and her adoptive mother did not want to take in my friend’s daughter who is the same age and good friends with my little girl. I was fully prepared to adopt her although again I doubt I could pass the test being an associate of the jailed mother and all. Anyway I was prepared to do that but I would have put her mother on a pedestal her father on a pedestal I would have been Auntie Marilynn (fictive auntie-kin) that I am and would have made every effort to make sure that everyone knew my involvement was to help a family in crisis not because I was trying to become a mother with someone else’s child. People have struggles they do stupid neglectful things they go there places where they should not go but it changes nothing. She did not loose her chance at being her child’s mother she just really was bad at it for a few years. But she owes it to her kid to try harder do more make amends be there and she has been she’s a great mother a loving and protective mother. I am so glad she did not loose her child. I do help lots of women that loose their children to CPS. Nothing is ever as it seems on the surface. Drugs can turn very loving people into zombies and sometimes kids need to be raised by other people but their parents should get right back in there as soon as they can. I mean where would be the justice in them never trying again if they got sobor?
Greg my Mother in law talked bad about me because I had photos of my son up she said that he was not a real baby because he was born so tiny she did not hold him she did not see he looked just like her son blond curly hair same body. Oh its just so sad.
I am so sorry to hear of your story. My wife and I are not pursuing treatments nor have we gone through miscarriages. I can’t imagine the pain of going through that. The one thing I want you it think about is if what if you weren’t able to have your daughter? How would you have proceeded? It’s easy to say that you would have turned to Foster Care and adopt. But do you really know how you would have reacted in that situation? You can try to imagine how you would have reacted in that spot but it’s impossible to say how you would have with 100% certainty.
Getting back to Dawn’s piece that’s what she was writing if you were unable to have your daughter and reached a point where it would become too much those would be questions you would ask yourself. For my wife and I we didn’t pursue treatments because there has never been a reported case of anyone with my microdeletions having any sperm through an extraction and more importantly I would pass the condition onto a male off spring. But that was us. Everyone is different and I don’t judge others for the decisions they make even if it’s something we wouldn’t do. I recognize the emotional pain infertility causes and that along with societal attitudes drives people to sometimes go all out to have a bio child at all costs.
What would I have done if I had not been able to keep my daughter? Like I said the last thing I would do is pay someone to create me an orphan. I don’t think that is how people want to look at it though. I think they prefer to look at it as if the child is loosing nothing as if they actually are the child’s only parent and that their actual parent is just a donor. Unfortunately reality does not work that way. That is not even what their agreements say. They are the ones who end up with offspring. I think we are all in a position to speak up when we see that someone’s behavior is compromising another person’s rights and freedoms. I think we almost have an obligation not to sit idly by and watch other people be victimized. This is particularly hard though because people acting to compromise the rights of others in this instance don’t see themselves as doing that and really want to be loving they are just unwilling to admit.
When people say there is no right or wrong answer I say that is ridiculous. The right answer is to make sure that all people with offspring have identical obligations so that their offspring have identical rights. It really is that simple. The rest of us whatever our situation is is our problem. We would have no impiracle right to expect other people to be neglectful of their children in order that we may have some of them. There will always be tragic circumstances separating kids from their families where they really need a safe and loving family to grow up in and be a part of and that is where ethical adoptions occur.
Greg I want more clarification on what you think that I am judging. My only goal here is to discourage people from thinking that what they call “donor conception” means that the donating party is not really a parent. Of course they are they are just absent and being absent is irresponsible.
What about couples that have exhausted all there medical options and exhausted all their adoption options?
If medical treatments are not the answer to their childlessness and adoption is not the answer to their childlessness, then what else can they do or try.
As a couple we endured:
4 rounds of IVF
4 failed adoption (2 from adoption agencies, 2 from Quad-A attorneys)
We also tried foster care adoption
We also tried international adoption from five different countries
Anon Childless Couple, sometimes there is simply nothing left to try and my heart breaks for you. I am truly sorry for your pain.