Why Adoption Isn’t Always the Answer.
When infertility strikes a couple, well-meaning friends and family often say, “Have you considered adoption?” For some couples, this is the perfect solution. They want a child, and adoption will provide a family for a child who doesn’t have one. But adoption isn’t for everyone.
“If I had a dollar for every time I heard the phrase ‘you can always adopt’ I’d be retired in Bora Bora with a drink in my hand,” says Donna, 39. “In fact, the next time I am asked this ridiculous question, my answer will be, ‘Yes, I’ve thought of adoption, but, you know me, I’m TOTALLY selfish, and want MY OWN child.’ Adoption is a means to a family, but it certainly does not cure infertility. I want a biological child, the chance to create another human being who has my eyes, my sense of humor, by bloodline. It is just not possible for adoption to ever be a substitute for having a birth child.”
Sometimes the couple can’t agree on whether adoption is right for them. “I would be open to adoption,” says Dawn, 35, “but my husband is absolutely opposed.” He has concerns about unknown parentage, genetic diseases, and other issues. “I realize that most of those things are possibilities with one’s biological children, but I respect his decision. I love him dearly, and I would not trade him for anything. A good marriage is rare these days, so I will learn to live without the possibility of adoption.”
Susan, 35, considered adoption as well, but “was shocked to learn the length of time it takes and how expensive it is.” For her, physically having a child is important. “I feel it’s not worth it because you lose the birth experience.”
Sarah, 49, found the emotional strain of being on an adoption list and fertilization treatments at the same time was too much to handle for her and her husband. “We both agreed that we had to resolve the ‘can I conceive’ question to our satisfaction before we could commit to adoption. But by that time, we were both emotionally exhausted from it all. He was 44 and I was 38. I had an opportunity to enter a graduate school program and I knew that trying to do that and become a parent would just be overwhelming. So we both opted out of adoption. We decided to accept our child free marriage. It was not an easy decision, but we have found peace with it.”
“Why adoption isn’t always the answer” is PART THREE a four part series on permanent infertility. Check back soon for the final installment…
PART FOUR: Finding support
To read “PART ONE: Dealing with the News” and “PART TWO: How infertility affects your marriage,” click on the links in the upper right hand corner of this screen, under the heading “Related Links.”