Monday, January 25, 2010

"Have You Thought About Adoption?"

While checking in at the bible study registration table tonight, I ran into a lady I met three years ago at the new membership class at our church.  We had talked for a bit then and somehow discussed my TTC issues.  She had trouble conceiving 30 some years ago, and went through some treatment, but had miraculously conceived 2 daughters naturally.  So she told me not to give up hope, keep persevering and keep praying.

Tonight, she remembered our conversation and asked if things have changed for me since we last talked.  I said no and that we are now pursuing IVF.  "Have you thought about adoption?  You know, with what's happening in Haiti, there are lots of babies that need homes.  That might be an option for you".  I politely said yes we have considered it, but no, we just feel we are not quite ready for it.

This lady is really sweet and I know she means well.  But I wish people wouldn't think that adoption is an easy answer to our TTC issues.  Of course we have considered adoption.  We attended two different informational meetings at two separate agencies.  We even put in an application and paid the application fee for one.  I was excited when we received the adoption packages thinking that we are finally starting our family.  But then, we realized we weren't ready.  I felt torn between excitement of having a child, and sadness of giving up hopes of having our own biological child.

Some people think just adopt and you will get pregnant.  So and so did it and now they have a baby on the way.  That is just such a stupid thing to say!  Even if that happens, that is the exception, not the norm.  I personally know of someone that this happened to.  They TTC for 8 years and 3 months after they brought their son home from Ethiopia, she found out she was pregnant.  So I know it happens, but that is not the norm.

I've had others that suggested since we want to be parents, we can start the adoption process.  In the mean time, we can still try to get pregnant.  Though this is true, many that have not gone through the heartache of trying for their own babies or losing them may not understand the emotions that it involves.  You can't just "settle" for something in the hopes that something better comes along.  I think it is wrong and unfair to the adopted child.  You need to stop fertility treatments.  You need to be willing the give up the hopes of having your own biological child.  You need to grieve this loss and have peace about it.  You need to really want this adopted child more than anything in the world, just like you would your own biological child.  You need to be ready.  You need to be adopting for the right reasons.  And if you actually get pregnant after you adopt, then it is a wonderful blessing.

Adoption is an expensive process, and it is a long and tiring.  It is an intrusive process, with all kinds of people and agencies getting involved in your lives, and for many years too.  Your personal life is no longer personal.  You have to be ready to accept this and not resent the adoption process.

I know there are some of you reading this that are pursuing adoption, and I am truly excited for you.  And there are others out there that considering it, and I think it's great that you are.  I personally know families that have either adopted or people that are adoptees themselves, so I understand adoption can be a great way to start or expand families.   Please do not think that I am against adoption, because I'm not.

I think adoption is a wonderful and beautiful thing, I really do.  It is just a path we are not ready to take right now.

Maybe we will revisit it again in the future.

**Please note that the above are just my personal thoughts and feelings about adoption and our own TTC journey.  You may have a different experience or opinion, and that's OK.**


  1. Happy ICLW!! I totally understand and have been frustrated on many occassions when I have heard this sentiment, I mean, are there any of us that haven't considered adoption? We did but I felt the same as you and couldn't give up on my own journey. Great post!

  2. My local newspaper had a story about the outpouring of people who want to adopt from Haiti and think they can just sign up and take home a little kid next week. Also about Haiti, they require adoptive parents to already have one child, or you need extra special permission. So that is not an option for IFers.

  3. We get this comment all of the time and it drives me insane. One thing I always want to ask is if they think its so wonderful and easy to do, why don't they adopt?

    We are pretty much done with ttc and like you have attended multiple adoption seminars and have decided that as of right now it isn't for us. Maybe in 5 or 10 years it will be but as of today it just isn't and no one understands that.

  4. That is the hardest thing DH and I faced as well. People constantly offered that up as an option. And while it is an option, your heart has to be ready for it. And until then it won't solve your IF problems! I think it is so hard for "outsiders" to understand that. My favorite is still..."You should adopt, then you'll get pregnant!"

    Thanks for the love and support you gave me on my BFP announcement! It is so wonderful to have such an amazing group of women to share this journey with!

  5. Thank you so very much for this post! People tell me that all of the time and you captured how I feel perfectly. You are right, you need to be 100% ready for the adopted child, otherwise it's not fair to either you or the child. My DH and I are going through our second IVF cycle in summer. If that doesn't work, we will consider adoption although we're not sure if adoption is the answer for us. What we do know is that after our second IVF cycle we are done - emotionally, physically, and financially with trying to have a biological child. Which is exactly what you were talking about.

    Why do people presume to give advice on such a personal topic? Honestly, it's like going up to someone and telling them who they should marry, which career they should choose, and which house they should buy. It's none of their damn business!

    Thanks for you post.

  6. I hate the "you can always adopt" comments. My MIL told me that back in June when we were only 7 months into TTC. I wanted to scream, it seemed so insensitive! I know she was trying to be helpful but IT DID NOT HELP!
    Its as if people don't have enough faith in you to conceive.
    Great post!

  7. I agree with everyone, that is by far one of the most annoying statement that people make. I myself am guilty of it until I embarked in the journey of TTC and now I finally get it! Geez!

    Somehow, people think that adoption is the easy solution for IF. It is NOT. It is expensive and extremely intrusive. To make matter worse, we were told that the availability of healthy infants are few and far between. Unlike back in the days when the society scorn upon single mothers, most teenagers and single mothers today no longer feel the need to give up their babies for social acceptance. I'm not saying that this shouldn't be the case. But in other words, the infants who are given up, are often from parents are incompetent and many are crack babies. Yippee, that's all we need. Or unless you have LOTS of money to pursue private adoption.

    We are lucky that we finally have our own child but now I'm getting "I told you so!"

  8. I have been following your blog for a couple of weeks, and I must say, that was perfect for how my DH and I are feeling right now!!! Thank you for expressing it so beautifully!!!! If you don't mind...I would like to share your link on my blog to help my community understand more of how we feel also?? THANK YOU!!! Carrie

  9. Thanks for your very honest sharing of how you feel about adoption. Didn't fully understand how you feel until I read this blog. Am so sorry for times I've asked you the same question. You guys are in our thoughts & prayers.

  10. I feel the same way. I'd like to try everything before starting the adoption process. I don't have anything against adoption either, I just want to do everything I can to try for a biological child, so I don't play the "what-if" game the rest of my life. I've found that alot of people at my church are actually opposed to IVF, but not IUI. I think they believe once you remove the egg and do things in a dish, it somehow superceeds God. I don't believe this, but this is certainly a reason why we really haven't discussed doing IVF openly with our sunday school class. It's such a touchy subject especially at church, but I always have felt you should go with your heart and God will lead the way. If it isn't the right thing to do and it doesn't work out, then you know it wasn't meant to be. I hope time flies so you can get started on your IVF.

  11. Thank you for visiting my blog during ICLW and for now following. I am now doing the same!

    Appreciate your support - I hope that I can be of some to you.


  12. I hate getting that comment and some how people think that adoption solves all. Thank you for your honest post, I really appreciated it.

    So glad to have found your blog, while stopping by for an ICLW visit...
    No. 36: the unfair struggle (mfi, speedskating, weight loss)

  13. I was talking about the same type of comments with both a friend and my DH today. I know that people mean well when they say that kind of stuff but it shows they do not quite understand. You were very nice with your response!! Wishing you the best as you get closer to your IVF!

  14. Thanks guys for all your responses. I am glad that I am not the only one that feels that way. If only more people understood what adoption really means to us who are TTC, the world would be a nicer place.

  15. I came across your blog on my Google Reader and have to tell you that I'm really glad you are not considering adoption right now.

    I'm an adult adoptee and life was really difficult for me growing up with parents who adopted just for the sake of having children they could call their own.

    In peace,

  16. I hate hate hate it when people, however well meaning they are, suggest that Hubby and I "just" adopt. We've even had people suggest to us that maybe god gave us our fertility struggles because the real path for us is adoption. Sure, god wanted us to lose 7 babies just so we'd adopt. So annoying.

    I finally explained to my MIL, who has been pushing us towards foster care adoption, that my emotional reserves are tapped right now and I do not have what it takes to give a child who might have come from a bad situation everything that he/she would need. Sad, but true.