Our journey through infertility, failed adoptions and now parenthood through the miracle of embryo adoption/donation.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

treatments vs. adoption

I love a good debate, especially when it is about infertility and fertiles are involved. I love how some fertiles love to give advice or have opinions about infertility. Kind of ironic. Like me giving weight loss advice.

A recent debate/discussion I jumped in on was in regards to fertility treatments. Someone claimed that it was selfish to do fertility treatments when there are so many kids waiting to be adopted. They also said that God must want you to adopt or you wouldn't be infertile. This must be easy to say when you are surrounded by your three littles. I could not help but to reply with the following:

First, if I should not try fertility treatments until all the adoptable children have forever homes then the same thing should apply to fertiles. Why should they have babies when there are children still waiting? God never said that only an infertile couple should adopt.

Second, if infertility meant that we are to adopt, then diabetes means that were are supposed to die. Just because someone suffers from a disease or an illness does not mean that we are not to explore our options. Medical science has allowed us to live longer, healthier lives. It has also allowed us to treat non-life threatening issues such as infertility. Does it make me selfish to do treatments? Maybe. But is is wrong? I don't think so.

Now don't get me wrong, I am very pro-adoption. But I do not believe that adoption is right for everyone, especially adopting older children. To adopt just to adopt is wrong. You must have a place in your heart for these children as they all come with some sort of hurt. They deserve a home filled with love and parents filled with patience. Not everyone is equipped to handle it. I think that my hubby and I are able to handle it and hope to one day be able to do so, but that does not erase my desire to have a baby. We hope to be able to do embryo adoption one more time and then move onto foster care adoption. Why wait, you ask? Because it will be easier to adopt when I am 38 than it will be for me to get pregnant. And if we were to have multiples I need to be at a place where I am not overwhelmed and can devote enough time an attention to a child that needs it.

So what do you think? Should infertiles adopt the children that are still waiting instead of pursuing treatments? Are we just being selfish? Share your thoughts!


  1. Though I am very pro adoption, I also agree with you...not everyone is right for adoption. The last thing I want to see if people to selfishly adopt. Those are the people I see that don't cope well, and aren't able to give the children the extra mental and emotional support they will need to understand and accept their adoption journey. People who aren't in a place to adopt for the sake of the child, more than themselves, shouldn't do it. I think sometimes people are only able to get to that humbled, selfless place, once they've exhausted all other treatment options. So, if that is truly where their hearts are, than they should definitely pursue treatments first. Then, if they end up on an adoption journey, hopefully they can fully love the children they adopt without the bitterness of the "what ifs".

  2. Oops...*is people who selfishly adopt.

    And...for the record, I am a fertile who had 2 bio babies and then made the CHOICE to adopt. :)

  3. I really appreciate that you tackle issues like these on your blog!

    As far as this discussion goes, I really wish more people would understand that it's not always easy to adopt, even if you have the heart to do so.

    I would love to adopt someday. But I know that before we could do so, we would need to make more money and buy a different house. And there's no way we could afford anything other than foster-adoption even then probably.

    I have cousins who are adopted through the foster system, though, and I've seen how difficult it can be to give such a child the kind of home he/she needs. It's a huge commitment and one that, depending on the child, may last much longer than 18 years if the child ends up not being able to be independent because of issues with abuse or prenatal alcohol/drug use. Adopting a foster child is often equivalent to adopting a special-needs child. This is something that should never be done lightly because it is a huge commitment. I have known a family that ended up relinquishing their special-needs adopted child to another family because it got too hard for them to handle him. Situations like that should be avoided.

    At this point, my husband isn't sure he is ready and able to parent a special needs child the way such a child deserves, and since we can't afford to adopt as things stand anyway, and since we still want to be parents, we're pursuing treatment using donated embryos.

    Sometimes treatment IS the only option.

    But even if that's not the case, I don't think it's selfish to desire to experience one of the fundamental parts of being human: procreation. That's like saying it's selfish for a person without legs to wish he/she could walk or to get a prosthetic. I just want to experience what most people take for granted.

    I completely agree that infertiles are not the only ones called to care for the parentless in this world.

  4. I think you said it well. I have a friend who often says "we should get on with it and adopt." I finally asked her why she didn't adopt (she has 2 bio girls), and she's not brought it up again. You definitely need to have the heart for adoption. Fertiles also don't realize how expensive and competitive adoption is. As with many things, it's all about perspective, and people who don't walk in our shoes will probably never get it.

  5. I think you are very right! Every person, every couple is different. You can't just adopt to fill a void and as you know, infertility creates one HUGE void. You have to be right with your decision. I LOVE that adoption is an option for people who chose not to go through the medical jungle of infertility (like we have). I love that adoption is available for families who want to "help". I love that adoption saves lives of children. I don't feel adoption is only for infertiles.

    Thanks for posting this!

  6. I couldn't agree more Jess. I'm going to see how treatments can help me while I'm still relatively young, then work on adoption. There is a bit of selfishness in it, but aren't we all a bit selfish?

  7. I think that it's like every other choice we have to make in life- it's an individual decision. Each couple has to research their options and choose what they feel is best for them. Those kinds of statements made by fertile myrtle are just ridiculous.

  8. I don't think selfishness is at play in either option of family building. I do agree that not everyone is made for adoption...especially an older child. My husband and I adopted a 6 year old boy from Serbia in Dec and let me tell you.....it was NOT EASY!! We chose to adopt due to infertility, but I know what you mean about it not taking away my desire for a baby. We have thought about embryo adoption (although I just turned 37 so I'm not sure what a fertility doc would think of that) I would love to adopt an infant...but as was already discussed, there is a lot of "competition" there. We will probably adopt again. Although it is not an easy process (adoption and parenting) it is difficult to say no once you have seen the need first hand.

    p.s. I hope I did not offend anyone by this comment. (I tend to offend regularly without realizing it)

  9. As a fellow IF-er who is pursuing treatments and strongly considered adoption, I have thought about this often. What I have come to is this... even as a person with IF, God has given me many options of building a family: adoption, embryo adoption, donor eggs, remaining childless... I think that each couple has to seek out what is right for them. I feel like saying all people with IF should adopt is like saying everyone with blue eyes should be a doctor. Adoption is wonderful and challenging but it should be undertaken when people feel called by God to pursue that journey. I've worked with many children who had disrupted adoptions and believe me that is far more harmful than waiting for the right family.


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