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

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Should fertiles adopt?

**Please read the whole post before you respond!!**

Last year I was listening to the Delilah Christmas show on the radio. She had listeners calling in to tell a heart touching story, something about their lives. A woman called in and told of how she and her hubby had adopted. Immediately I tuned in to listen to what she had to say. She and her hubby had 3 children and they had always had a heart to adopt, wanting to provide a home for a child in need. Once they were done having their own children they decided to adopt a newborn. They had a good relationship with the birth mother and had a very positive experience. Delilah went on to say how "selfless" this family was to have adopted.

Today I read another story about a woman that wants to adopt because she thinks that adoption is great. She is trying to convince her hubby to adopt instead of having another child themselves.

Both of these stories have gotten to me to think about the couples that choose to adopt. Most couples/people that pursue domestic infant adoption are couples that suffer from infertility. Though I do not know the statistics I think that international adoption and domestic adoption of older children are done by both infertiles and fertiles. What I had not thought of was that fertiles are adopting domestic infants.

After hearing these two stories I am not really sure how I feel about it. Should fertile couples be "allowed" to adopt infants domestically? Legally, yes, of course! But morally? One of the couples mentioned giving a good home to a child in need, but does that really apply to an infant? Are there not enough families waiting right now? The families waiting far exceed the infants that are available. And let's be honest, adopting a newborn is not exactly altruistic. There is a bit of selfishness involved in wanting a newborn. Now don't misunderstand, I am in no way saying that wanting to adopt an infant is selfish at all!!! But there is a difference in adopting a newborn as opposed to an older child, a special needs child or internationally. Those children are the ones in need and the goal there should be to help them and provide a home for them. And there are many, many waiting children that are not "healthy newborns".

As an infertile I want to say that fertile couples should not be allowed to adopt infants domestically. If your reproductive parts work and you have healthy pregnancies and have no known genetic issues, should you not have your own? Why take from those that are unable to have a baby? Or, if you want to help a child in need, should they not adopt internationally? Or a child in the foster care system? But then I wonder if I am just letting the pain of infertility overshadow my thoughts on the subject.

So what are your thoughts on the subject?


  1. Well, I speak as a fertile, who adopted PURELY by choice, not because I had infertility issues. I had a GENUINE desire in my heart to make a selfless difference in the life of a child(ren). Since I was in grade school, I told everyone that would listen that I wanted to have 2 babies and then adopt. Most shrugged me off and say yeah, yeah, sure you will. Well, after marrying my high school sweetheart and being effortlessly blessed with a boy and girl, we decided to become foster parents. We did stipulate that we would only take a child under 3 years old, but that is because our youngest was 4 and they recommend you keep them younger than your youngest. The very same day we became licensed, we were called to pick up a baby from the NICU. We didn't ask any questions...we didn't care boy or girl, or what special needs they might have. This was our journey and we accepted it wholeheartedly. We picked up a 4 week old, 5 pound baby girl. We spent 15 months fighting with a system that fails children and enables people who have no right to be parents. We lost her, got her back and jumped through more hoops than you can imagine. I dare anyone that saw what we went through to say one single thing we did was anything short of sacrifice for a little girl who had no one else fighting for her. Yes, she was a newborn when we brought her home, but that was God's choosing, not necessarily ours. 2 days after her 2nd birthday her adoption finalized. I truly believe that for every selfless deed we do, God blesses us tenfold.

    All that said, I did not miss your exclusion of fostering in your statement, so I don't personally feel that you would include us in your adoption exclusion. :) I can definitely see your point on people who pay obscene amounts of money, go through prestigious agencies, wait for the baby in the sex and race they choose and then boast about how they "rescued" a baby. Unfortunatley I have known infertiles who have done nearly the same thing. Paid the obscene amount of money, stipulated specific race/sex and then tell about how they are so great because they "adopted". I realize that with infertiles, part of that is probably a deflection of pain and having to explain WHY they adopted, but I don't agree with anyone using adoption as some gold star to put on their resume. It is an amzing, wonderful thing and although we all get to it for different reasons, the bottom line should always be the child. Adoption should never be done with anything less than a selfless heart. But that's just my opinion.

    On a side note, I've really appreciated some of the subjects your posed questions on and how you seem to embrace different views. It's refreshing. Thanks for making us think. :)

  2. I'm infertile... And I disagree with you. I'm also an adopted child. My parents are fertile and I cant imagine what would have happened had they left me where they found me. (They've raised me from infancy).

    Parenting should be about the CHILD not the parents. Our desire to parent is great; but children NEED parents. Regardless of whether they are fertile or infertile or (and I know most people will disagree with me) gay, straight, married, or single. If you can provide a good, stable home for a child and can provide them with good role models of both sexes, then I see no reason why anyone (save criminals, etc) should be able to adopt.

  3. I am an infertile with 2 living miracles that are biologically related to me. We have 8 babies in Heaven and cant seem to get another one to stay. I know that God has given me the inspiration that my family is not done. I want a baby not a 5 year old. I want the cuddles, smell and stories that you only get form birth on. I want to adopt. We have thought of every possibility to adopt. Foreign is insanely expensive and I want a white child since my two are white and I wouldnt want the adopted child to constantly look at us and feel"adopted". My oldest son died when he was born full term but none the less died at 9 hours old from complications at birth. The stupidest reason ever. Its still hard for me to see teenage moms screwing up and abusing their children.I'm a great parent, a loving wife and a daughter of God why couldnt I have a living baby? It was hard to remember that God has a plan for each of us. So I understand, but once you get your first, I think you will change your mind as you will want more and then you too will be "taking" a child from someone with empty aching arms.I believe that our children are meant for us, so the child that another person adopts isn't yours the one you are given is Gods appointed child for you. From Gods arms to someone elses tummy to your arms. Its a beautiful thing.

    * When you struggle so hard to achieve your family once you have it, you wont take them for granted, you will have more patience and you will love that much more.

    All my love and prayers that God will soon give you the child your heart so desires!- Asia Lowe

  4. My understanding is that there is no shortage of infants available for adoption domestically, but there is a wait for certain ethnicities. After the legal stuff and approval process was finished, a couple from my church met with a latina birth mom who delivered a week later and they took him home 2 days later.

  5. I love a good debate Jess!!! I obviously speak as an infertile and my prayer was always to just have "A" child. I am very blessed that our sweet baby will be arriving soon. I am certain my heart will want more but, I couldn't imagine going to adopt a young baby, if anything we would look for a child already in foster care for that very reason. I can also say that my baby sister was adopted at 4 weeks old while my parents already had two biological children. I do agree with you. I feel like those who have no children should be bumped to the top of the list and some adoption agency do take this into consideration. In my opinion everyone should have the chance to have a "baby" and if you took any waiting couples who already had children out of the mix I am certain that the wait for a baby would not be near as long. I understand that many want to adopt a "baby" but for those that have already gotten to experience that tiny miracle, I would think they would be willing to step aside and let others have that experience too. Our foster care systems are brimming with children who are looking for homes, and these children come in all ages, baby to teens. It does seem a bit selfish to me if you already have children to overlook these children to truely are waiting to be rescued.

    And one a side note my sister is not the same race as myself and my brother. While we have had to explain this to (in my opinion) nosey people on occasion. I have never once looked at her a day in my life as "adopted" as a matter of fact sometime I forget she is adopted, she is just simple my sister. I do believe God puts children in the arms that they belong in but to put stipulations on what you will and will not accept it seems a bit hypocritical.

    I could debate all day long but I have to go to work. Thanks for throwing out something to think about Jess!

  6. I agree with you Jess. Our closest friends are infertile (female factor; she can't carry a child) - and we are also 'infertiles', but different (ours is male factor.)
    When we began our adoption journey, we were shocked to find that there are ~20 WAITING COUPLES FOR EACH INFANT BORN, regardless of race. (We were open to any race, and were still placed on an 8 month waiting list to even begin our homestudy.) That was the greatest factor in our decision to pursue embryo adoption. I can carry a child - we just can't genetically make one. Perhaps because our friends are waiting with the same agency we considered, it was very real to us: we could be taking a baby that they might otherwise get to raise. Since I am capable of carrying a child, we chose to adopt an embryo and leave the infants to those who are less fortunate than I; couples who can't carry a child.
    When we met with the agency, they talked about the spectrum between "the parent needing the child" and "the child needing the parent." If you're adopting because a child needs a parent, then you'll look to foster care, or international orphanages, etc. But if you're adopting because you NEED a child, then you'll look for a newborn of a particular race. That's all about the parent, not the child. Look at the language in the other comments, even. "I WANT a newborn".. "I want it to look like me".... "I want the baby smells" I want. I want. I want. Don't get me wrong, I want all that too. While we plan to adopt internationally when we can afford it, we both wanted our first child to be a newborn. But WE READILY ADMIT TO THE SELFISHNESS. I know that's all about me and what I want. We aren't going to pretend that we deserve a ticker tape parade for 'rescuing' an infant. We are very aware that if we don't adopt any particular infant, there are 19 other couples out there who will. Strong, financially secure, loving families. No newborn placed for adoption will go without a great familiy.

  7. Anonymous - you have definitely misunderstood somewhere along the line. The IS a shortage of newborns, regardless of race. Thus the reason for Jess's post. There are plenty of older and special needs children who need homes - but there are WAY more families wanting to adopt infant than there are infants to be adopted.

  8. As an infertile who adopted (domestic infant and going through international), I think fertiles and infertiles alike should be able to adopt an infant. Not for a gold star, but because they feel it is right for their family. I don't think it's anyone's business to judge how a couple chooses to grow their family. Telling someone that they shouldn't be allowed to adopt an infant because they have their own biological children and they are being "selfish" is like telling an infertile who is suffering from secondary IF that they should just be happy with the child that they have. Besides, it is typically the birthmom's choice who will parent. And different birthmoms will be looking for different things. Some want a family with other children already in it. Some want an infertile couple.

    Seeing adoption through the eyes of IF can cause misunderstandings. Adotion is not about IF. It's about a child who needs a family. Not about a family who needs a child.

  9. Really interesting debate, it has given me a lot to think about in regards to infant adoption.

    Deep down, I guess I selfishly feel infants should only go to infertiles. I know my view may be skewed, but it's just my initial reaction. Others have already had the experiences, they could much more easily adopt an older child. Let's be honest, adoption of a baby is a fairly selfish thing to do. We are doing it to be parents, to extend our family. There are so many people waiting for a baby to adopt, that it's no longer about saving or rescuing. If we don't adopt that baby, there are dozens of wonderful couples who will.

    I think it is wonderful when people chose to adopt, whether they can have kids or not, I guess I just wish us infertiles had more of a chance!

  10. I AGREE! I am also infertile and what it seems that a lot of you don't get is that those of us who can't have our own babies would like the opportunity to feel like a Mom. A HUGE part of that is first having your own baby/infant. My husband and I would love to adopt a newborn and then once we get the feel of parenthood, adopt some older children. Adopting an older child right off the bat would not make me feel like a Mother. I would feel like an Aunt or older sister to a kid. It's so frustrating that women who are perfectly capable of having their own babies, would seriously wait on a list to get a baby that so many other women cry night after night longing for. I also disagree with many of you...adoption is NOT selfish. How is it selfish to long for a child to take care of, give all your love and life to?? It's not about "completing" a family, it's about being given the chance to be the loving parent to a child and for those of us who would like to start with a newborn so we can actually get the feel for parenting, I see nothing wrong with that. With that said, I think that fertile couples should be allowed to adopt infants but they should be on the bottom of the list below every infertile couple. And in my personal opinion, I think if you are a woman who can have your own babies..HAVE YOUR OWN BABIES and adopt older children. Let those of us who hardly have a chance, have that chance! Also, (whew, I promise I'm almost done) of course being infertile gives you a different perspective. In no way do I think it's skewed or wrong. Just a deeper glimpse and understanding of the desperation and longing to hold a child in your arms (which again is NOT selfish to want) that any other woman who is fertile cannot and will never be able to fully comprehend what that feels like.

  11. It sounds like in both of these casesthey were open adoptions. Thus, the biological mother made the choice. I think the problem with regulating domestic infant adoption is that it becomes a slippery slope and could lead to too much regulation and in the end the person that gave birth to the child deserves the choice.

  12. Rant 1. I have a beautiful 9 month old angel. I love her more than anything. Everyone has heard of post parddom dreprssion right? Well what most people don't know is that it is possible to have pregnany depression. This is what I had when I was pregnant. It really really messed me up. Instead of having highs and lows I had only lows. I didn't want to be pregnant. I didn't want to be alive. I wanted to die. I wanted to kill myself. I just barely made it 9 months without ending up in a mental institution. For obvious reasons I DON'T want to go through this again. So would I be a bad horrible person if me and my fiancee wanted to adopt a baby. Were planning on adopting special needs too but I would like to adopt one baby. Have you ever thought that at least some if not the majority of fertile people who adopt babies might have a VERY GOOD reason for not having another child of their own?? Rant 2. You have your own free will. When you had fertility problems you chose to go through fertility treatments, adopt embryos, or adopt a baby. That was your choice. But you think its ok to take that choice away from someone else just cause their fertile. Like I said before maybe someone who is fertile has a good reason for not wanting to get pregnant again like me. (PS being fertile is not all its cracked up to be. I would love more than anything to adopt from nepal and they only accept infertile couples.)


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