General Question

KatawaGrey's avatar

Why must infertile women adopt? (Please see details)

Asked by KatawaGrey (21305 points ) October 13th, 2011

A common thing I hear and read from other people is that women who are infertile and spend thousands of dollars and many years trying to get pregnant should just adopt.

What I want to know is: why? Why should these women be more greatly pressured to adopt than, say, a woman who has six children and conceived them all naturally?

I am especially interested to hear from other people who were not conceived or who did not conceive the natural way but I do want to hear from everyone on this subject.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

84 Answers

tinyfaery's avatar

I think everyone should adopt. I guess it’s just hard to fathom spending so much money, time and having such heartache when there are alternatives. I’ll ever understand that biological need to conceive. Maybe I just don’t have it.

LezboPirate's avatar

I have no idea. Maybe because they want a child badly enough to spend all that time and money on it and there are plenty of children out there who want parents? First thing that comes to mind.

I mean, if they can make it happen doing all of that then that’s awesome. But if not..there are other ways to be a parent.
I think I’d like to have children of my own, but I’d also like to adopt. Why not? I want a kid and they want a parent. Seems perfect. :D

JilltheTooth's avatar

The fairly sad irony is that at the time I was spending so much money trying to conceive, I was also pursuing the adoption alternative, and it would have been more expensive than the infertility procedures.
I got a lot of those types of remarks, @KatawaGrey , and I figured many people are ignorant of what it really takes. It’s a tough go all around. Which doesn’t really answer your Q, as I don’t know why people are so insensitive as to suggest that to an infertile person/couple.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@LezboPirate @tinyfaery: I agree with both of you that everyone should adopt. However, it seems that no one tells the people who can conceive naturally and easily that they should adopt. Women and couples who are conceiving “unnaturally” seem to be singled out by people who think this.

I asked this question because I am the child of artificial insemination. It took my mother a very long time to get pregnant but I made it through! :)

Pandora's avatar

I think the point is, if they tried every other way and really do want children than why not adopt. If a person keeps trying and refuses to adopt children because they have to have that biological connection than by all means, don’t adopt. Then you really don’t want a child.
I’m with @tinyfaery. I think more people should adopt.
However, I know I had my children naturally but if I couldn’t have than I would’ve tried to adopt. I know I wouldn’t have had the money to pay for the medical route. I may not even had the money to adopt.

marinelife's avatar

Why adoption over in-vitro or sperm donor? I don’t see a reason why except that there are children who need homes already in the world.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Pandora : I think @KatawaGrey‘s point was that in general, people are quick to tell infertile people to adopt instead of trying alternative conception. It’s a hugely personal circumstance, and when someone says “You should just adopt” as if it’s like going to a pet store and picking out a puppy it’s grossly rude. It’s never that simple.

Aethelflaed's avatar

I actually usually see the opposite, people privilaging biological options over adoption.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t think anybody should pressure anybody with respect to how or whether they produce or acquire offspring. It’s an intensely personal matter and doesn’t concern anyone but the party or parties directly involved, unless the prospective parents are expecting someone else to pay for and support their parenthood decisions.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m not sure what kind of pressure you are talking about. I think that people mean well and I’m sure they can imagine the heartbreak that a person might feel if they want children and yet can’t have them. So I suspect they believe that the easiest way out of the dilemma is to adopt a child. I think they are doing it with kindness, not any other kind of agenda.

I doubt if people know much about infertility unless they or someone close to them has experienced it. In general, it is something that is stigmatized in our society, although other things, such as mental illness, receive a much larger stigma.

I think that people tend to have strong feelings about issues around having children. For some, it’s a simple thing: adopt. We have too many kids in the world, already. I don’t want to pass on my genes. Kids need good parents. For these folks, the idea of desiring a biological child may make no sense.

Other wonder how anyone could adopt. A biological child is who they feel closest to. They can see themselves in the child and understand the child. It reminds them of themselves, unlike an adopted child who comes with unknown genetic and personality issues and who will most certainly have to deal with abandonment issues. No matter how much adoptive parents love their adopted child, it seems hardly human not to wonder what was so wrong with you that your birth parent didn’t want anything to do with you.

I’ve had to consider all these issues and so I know where I stand with pretty good clarity. I’ve been told that had I adopted, I would have come to love the child no differently from any genetic child I might have had. Personally, I think that’s a story people tell themselves to reassure themselves they are good parents. I’m sure they are good parents, but I don’t see how it is possible for doubts similar to the ones the kids feel to appear in the parents. It’s not so much why was I abandoned, but why do I understand this child as well as a biological parent would? And if I don’t, can I really be a good parent?

I was lucky. I was able to have a biological child, so when I see my kids do these crazy things, I can instantly relate, because I did the same things throughout my life. It reassures me and makes me crazy at the same time. It reassures me that they actually are my biological kids, but it makes me crazy because it was not fun doing those things. It still isn’t. It makes me appreciate the strength of genes in our makeup, although I curse that strength, too. Still, since I’ve been through it, I’m better prepared to deal with it. I think these things would be very difficult for an adoptive parent to understand. I can barely understand them and I live them. I’m pretty sure that my kids would have seen a lot more of the inside of various psychologists offices had they been brought up by unrelated parents.

But that’s my prejudice and that’s the reason for my prejudice. I think you can’t make any reasonable generalizations about the pressure infertile women face because they go every which way. Let’s face it. Whether you are a biological, adoptive or foster parent, parenting is a damned hard job and you always get something wrong.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@wundayatta You guys were fortunate if you weren’t on the receiving end of the judgement remarks. I heard a lot of them, most were not well meaning. Occasionally, of course, some people were quite caring about their concern and I appreciated that, but mostly the rematrks were nbot stand alone, they had add-ons: “You should just adopt, what you’re doing is unnatural” or “You should just adopt, what you’re doing is really selfish”, stuff like that. It got old very quickly.

GabrielsLamb's avatar

Because some people like best, what looks like they do.

I say adopt, fertlilze, it’s none of my beezwax

KatawaGrey's avatar

@wundayatta: Good for you for not getting the nasty comments. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say, “If they have so much trouble getting pregnant, they should just adopt. It’s stupid to put that much effort into getting pregnant when you can just adopt.” Mind you, these people usually don’t know that I am a child of IVF, but their ideas still stand.

@Aethelflaed: It’s not about biological or not biological. It’s about taking advantage of infertility treatments vs. just adopting. Many people think my mother should not have bothered to try and get pregnant once it became apparent that she could not conceive naturally. They wanted her to adopt because, apparently, going through infertility treatments rather than adopting is selfish, whereas just popping out one kid right after the other is totally fine, as long as they were conceived naturally.

LezboPirate's avatar

Some people are ridiculous. I don’t really think there’s anything unnatural about having babies any way you possibly can. It’s completely natural to want babies of your own with your DNA and everything. I don’t know if I would have the same opinion if I didn’t have to do the “unnatual” way, but nevertheless, that’s what I think.

I just also think that adoption is a good way to go, because that’s one less adult left childless because they can’t conceive and one less child left parent-less.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@KatawaGrey Ok, first, adopting is not “just” adopting. Adoption is a long, hard, and tedious process in which you have to jump through tons of hoops. Different hoops than infertility, and lord knows trying to conceive biologically when your body doesn’t want to is a far cry from a walk in the park, but let’s not make adoption out to be the “easy way out”.

Second, people are scared of these new technologies. They think it’s playing God, that if you can’t get pregnant without medical help then either you don’t have children or you adopt, because that’s how it’s been done for so long. I don’t agree with them, but it takes time for new things to become accepted by society. And people always think they have a right to voice their views on how a woman deals with her body.

JLeslie's avatar

Great question. I hate when people ask me, “why don’t you adopt?” Or, “you don’t want to adopt?” Worse when they say, “you’ll love the baby just as much.” what do I look like an idiot? Do they think I don’t know adoption is an option? If I haven’t adopted yet, obviously I have decided against it, at least for now. And, of course I would love my baby, natural or adopted.

I think they ask because, and this is what many many people ask to me, “well, do you want to be a mom?” To them they just think about being a parent I guess, however you get there.

creative1's avatar

Why not adopt a child that was born but for some reason that the child had no control of is now parentless. Adopt from the country you live instead of going to outside countries, there are enough wanting children for good homes. Even if you are able to concieve why not give a child that is stuck in the foster care system a chance for a good home. I know I am able to physically have children and I adopted rather than give birth.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@creative1 : Did you read the details? The Q is not about the benefits or not of adoption, but about the attitude that strangers have, wherein they push their own judgment onto the infertile ones.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Aethelflaed: Oh for god’s sake, I don’t think adoption is easy. Please read the question again. My point is that people think that women going through infertility should “just adopt.” I know that adoption isn’t easy, please tell that to people who think that adoption is an easier, better option than going through infertility treatment.

dabbler's avatar

“Did you consider adoption?” is a pretty fair question from someone to whom it is revealed that natural fertility is just not happening.

However, I’d say that people who ask: “Didn’t you want to adopt a child?”, or worse: “Why did you decide not to adopt a child?” or the unthinkable: “You should adopt! C’mon, there’s all those kids out there”, those folks had better have adopted kids themselves or they are way out of line. Do they not realize they’re talking to people who might well be shell-shocked over their “failure” ? By most accounts it’s almost impossible not to feel failure due to the facts in your face if you’ve tried methods and procedures and have no baby to show for it.

Adoption is not like getting pregnant either because the child is a clear expression of the intimacy of the couple. There are extra primal reasons for loving your own child and they seem to overwhelm any need to consider the complexity of the commitment being created. It’s just clear the parents are game for whatever happens.

If the couple already have a child they have some idea what a commitment to another one is about, but I think it takes a sophistication of the soul to recognize that all the same powerful creative commitments a couple can make to having their own child can be focused on others’ children too. And then a decision to do so, too.

JLeslie's avatar

@dabbler No. Did you consider adoption is not a fair question, because basically unless the infertile woman lives on Mars, of course she has considered it. It is stating the obvious. When someone asks me that, I have to answer yes, and then say why I have decided against it. If I say no (which I don’t see how any infertile woman answers it no) I have to hear why I should right? No one ever would leave that no alone, they would follow it up with some adoption story in their family, or how they were adopted themselves. Do you really think there are infertile women who have not considered adoption?

Hibernate's avatar

It’s not like they MUST. Most who try to get their own kid after a few years see it’s in vain so they adopt so they can have a kid.
A family with 6 kids if they find a difficult situation for another kid and can offer him a place to sleep/clothes/food will adopt because they just love kids.

Hibernate's avatar

Oh and I forgot… Some families who have money don’t even bother making life easier for those who are orphans… I never understood why a family [wife+husband] with a lot of money can’t adopt .. let’s say 2–3 infants… I always pondered on this .. what are they going to do with that money. Awful.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@JLeslie makes a really good point. It’s right up there with someone stating that bacon is too fatty and salty for a healthy diet. Yes, we know about adoption. Yes, we have explored more possibilities than anyone who is not somehow affected has thought of. It is not unnatural to want biological offspring, and it is really unpleasant to be asked questions that assume you haven’t already lived and breathed every possible permutation of becoming a parent.

@Hibernate : I don’t think you read the details of the Q. It’s about the attitude of the askers, not the actual options available to infertile people. And your judgment in your second post illustrates the point perfectly.

JLeslie's avatar

@dabbler Sorry if I sounded harsh. You did seem to understand why women may want their own biological children, why it is different having a biological child than adopting one, even though in the end I think it winds up the same. Hard to explain.

Bellatrix's avatar

I don’t think people should suggest women who are infertile and want to try to have their own baby using IVF or other methods should be reminded they can adopt. Your own biological child and an adopted child are not the same.

I would prefer those who adopt do so because it is a choice they have made. Not the only available option to have a child but a conscious decision to provide a loving home for a child that is not biologically their own.

I understand what you mean @JL.

bkcunningham's avatar

I really want to understood your question better, @KatawaGrey. You don’t understand why anyone would suggest to a woman that adoption is an alternative if the woman is having difficulties conceiving?

Pandora's avatar

@JilltheTooth I get that but at the same time I would have to say, I think most people usually ask if they tried everything else first than just jump to adoption. I don’t think friends and family see it as being rude and unkind in any way. They are just trying to help them find a solution to something they feel this person will really want. I’ve known people who would tell me they are having trouble concieving and some times I have asked if they considered adoption and other times, I just say oh, sorry to hear that. Believe me when I say the sorry to hear that is more of an insult. If I think you should adopt it is because I feel this person will make a great parent and some child out there will be happy to be their child.
When I say, oh, sorry to here that, it is because I feel they want a child all for the wrong reasons and will make a lousy parent.
I think if it was a truly personal issue and they don’t want to be told to adopt, than they should keep it to themselves. I’m sure when a doctor tries everything possible and suggests adoption it is because the person in question is all out of medical options.

JLeslie's avatar

@bkcunningham Have you read any of the answers so far?

JLeslie's avatar

@Pandora I think you need to decide what is more important, your intention, or how it feels and sounds to the person struglling with infertility. I never think their intention is to hurt me when they ask. I think they just really don’t get what it is like to be infertile and really want their own biological child.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Pandora : I didn’t wear a sign around my neck. I would talk to friends and family (who were not the offending ones, BTW) and people would overhear conversations and make comments. Or, if someone would ask if I had kids, I might casually say “I’m working on that” in order to not be so rude as to just ignore someone. As has been discussed on this site, if you’re of child-bearing years and answer “no” to that question then you are barraged with well-meaning and rather intrusive comments. In the real world, it comes out. It just does. “I don’t know why you’re trying, why don’t you just adopt” is not a question that fertile people hear nearly as often. It’s just a fact of life, it sucks, the lack of education on the subject of adoption really surprises me. Merely wanting to adopt does not make it so. Often it’s more expensive than infertility treatments, and, frankly the thought of strangers having the power to decide whether or not I am worthy to have a child is just a bit daunting.

dabbler's avatar

@JLeslie no worries, and I meant to say that IF you were telling someone about infertility experiences then “Did you consider adoption?” could be an acceptable thing for them to bring up.
But anyone who was being nosy goes in the out-of-line category.

Jude's avatar

Really busy. Let me get back to you.

dabbler's avatar

@Hibernate “I never understood why a family [wife+husband] with a lot of money can’t adopt .. let’s say 2–3 infants… I always pondered on this .. what are they going to do with that money. Awful.”

There are plenty of people, wealthy or not, who would not be good parents and they know it. They’re doing everyone a favor going on about their lives with out kids.
Pretty presumptuous isn’t it, to assume folks with a lot of money aren’t doing anything you’d consider worthwhile with it? Maybe it just wasn’t covered in the newspaper as they’re discrete about their charities. Maybe they’re leaving it to a seeing-eye dog institute, ... or an orphanage, who knows?

JLeslie's avatar

@dabbler Again. No. It isn’t that I feel they are being nosy, it is that the question feels hurtful.

dabbler's avatar

@JLeslie agreed. Even if it were invited that question is still going to bite.

cookieman's avatar

My wife and I could conceive, but we chose to adopt (as I’ve said numerous times here on Fluther). I’m a huge advocate of adoption and (in an ideal world) would like everyone who wants to be a parent adopt at least one child. But I realize that’s a pipe dream and unrealistic.

I have known a bunch of couples who struggled with infertility. Many of them very close friends. One of them pursued pregnancy so vehemently, they depleted their entire savings and ended up divorced over it.

But in all these situations, even when asked, I never voice my opinion to them. I generally say something like, “You have to do what makes you happy”, and change the subject.

Because I realize the desire for biological children is very strong for most people and they have a pretty myopic view about becoming parents. I also realize it’s none of my business despite us being friends. I also know that if I were to be completely honest with them, we probably wouldn’t remain friends.

Because, personally, I think they’re fucking insane.

JLeslie's avatar

Myopic, insane, and supposedly we are happy with the situation. Nice.

It’s ok, I am sure I have implied or said similar about some people on fluther on other Q’s. Next question please.

cookieman's avatar

Who said they were “happy”? The couples I know of were quite miserable (rightfully so). Note the eventually divorced couple.

But I know enough to keep my mouth shut when people are clearly hurting. Doesn’t mean I have to agree with their decisions or not have an opinion to share here.

JLeslie's avatar

@cprevite True. You certainly don’t have to agree.

Pandora's avatar

@JLeslie and @Jillthetooth Got ya!

fizzbanger's avatar

The perception (not saying this is correct or how I feel) is that it’s “selfish” to put so much effort into creating your own seed, saying “well, I want to be a parent, but I want it to be exactly my way”. Or that the woman is more obsessed with the idea of being pregnant and giving birth than the actual child-raising part.

JLeslie's avatar

@fizzbanger I am completely not obsessed with being pregnant or giving birth. That does not factor in for me at all.

fizzbanger's avatar

@JLeslie I wasn’t making personal implications.

cookieman's avatar

Also: The argument that adoption is cheaper, faster and easier than fertility treatments is bogus.

Adoption can be as big of a pain in the ass. Adoption took us two years, twenty thousand dollars and an obscene amount of paperwork.

JLeslie's avatar

@fizzbanger I know, I didn’t take it personally.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@cprevite: It took my mother seven years, countless drugs, multiple invasive procedures and overcoming both a healthy dose of sexism two of those years were spent trying to find someone who would willingly help a single woman get pregnant and her own family’s nastiness towards her plus all sorts of lovely issues during pregnancy that could have resulted in both her death and mine plus an obscene amount of paperwork and a fear that my biological father would swoop in and take me away because some of that paperwork was filled out incorrectly. I do not know how much money she spent, but I imagine she would have been happy to trade her ordeal for your two years and your 20,000 dollars. :)

Then again, as a child of one of those insane people who tried so hard, I don’t think it’s insane to bring a child into this world who is so loved.

cookieman's avatar

A common thing I hear and read from other people is that women who are infertile and spend thousands of dollars and many years trying to get pregnant should just adopt.

@KatawaGrey: My last quip regarding cost and such was not one-upmanship. I was simply stating that (as mentioned in your opening paragraph above), people who say “infertile women should just adopt” use a bogus argument when suggesting adoption is cheaper and less of a hassle. Not (in my experience) true. I was siding with you on this point.

As for me thinking it’s “fucking insane” to go through all your mom went through to conceive (when there’s thousands of homeless children out there) – well that’s just my opinion based on my experience with adoption and my numerous friends’ experience with infertility. I was very clear that, in real life, I keep this opinion to myself as I undestand what an emotional minefield this subject is.

None of this negates how much you are loved, but (last I checked), you posted this question seeking opinions.

No need to get pissy simply because you disagree with mine.

trailsillustrated's avatar

@JLeslie and @JilltheTooth have it. I have been through this too. They have said exactly what I would have.

Response moderated (Spam)
JilltheTooth's avatar

@fizzbanger has it right: “The perception (not saying this is correct or how I feel) is that it’s “selfish” to put so much effort into creating your own seed, saying “well, I want to be a parent, but I want it to be exactly my way”. Or that the woman is more obsessed with the idea of being pregnant and giving birth than the actual child-raising part.”

Well said, thank you for reading the details.

JLeslie's avatar

I just don’t think of myself as selfish at all. I think I really want my baby, a baby I created with my husband who I intensely love. I also resent having my fertility taken from me. I am not one of those women that just has infertility, I have had doctor negligence, illness, and pain leave me unable to have children. I fight against it. I rail against. I don’t try fertility treatment after fertility treatment, although I have done some, but I hold out hope my reproductive system can heal. Because the fertility problem is just a symptom of other problems that cause me anguish. People don’t think that there are many many reasons women are infertile, and how complex psychologically the total situation can be. Whenever a person tells me to just adopt, it is also saying to me, forget it you will be sick forever. I have trouble accepting that. I don’t want to.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@cprevite: My apologies for misunderstanding your meaning about posting about time and money.

Perhaps I didn’t word this question as well as I should have. I was not looking for answers that called my mother insane for wanting to have a biological child and trying very hard to do so. Did you honestly think that calling women like my mother “fucking insane” was a nice, respectful way of showing your disagreement? I certainly think it wasn’t.

Also, do you think people who can get pregnant easily and naturally and choose do so are also “fucking insane”? Or is it just people like my mother?

JilltheTooth's avatar

To be fair, sometimes I am “fucking insane”. It just never has anything to do with this issue… ;-p

cookieman's avatar

@KatawaGrey: Well, to be truthful, I think it is fucking insane that we (humans) continue to have biological children when there are thousands of homeless children in the world. As I said above, in an ideal world, I’d like to see everyone adopt one child before they have their own.

But I realize I’m deluded and an idealist and in the minority with this viewpoint. Which is why I keep my mouth shut in real life when this subject comes up. The only reason I voiced my opinion here is because you asked for opinions and if ya can’t be honest on Fluther, where the hell can ya be honest.

As for my choice of words (“fucking insane”), I apologize if that offends you, but I’m equally offended by the foster care system, crack mothers, orphanage conditions, malmourishment of orphans, and rampant homelessness of children around the world.

I’m offended that we were unable to adopt our second child as planned because my wife was laid off for 3+ years. I’m offended that many company benefits packages don’t cover even the partial cost of adoption or didn’t afford me paternity leave because my daughter was adopted instead of birthed. I’m offended that adoption is so expensive and convoluted a process as to be prohibitive for many people.

So, hyperbole aside (and I do love me some hyperbole), let’s say pursuing infertility treatment is not “fucking insane”. I’d still say it’s a sizable amount of time and resources devoted to creating a child that doesn’t exist versus saving one that does exist.

Again, my opinion. Im certain someone might look at my devotion to adoption and think I’m “fucking insane”. S’okay by me.

JLeslie's avatar

@cprevite Well, you will like this, my husband’s company gives $5K or $10k can’t remember which to employees who adopt as part of theor benefit package and zero towards fertility treatment. That pisses me off. Why not offer towards become a parent period?

I too am sickened by the children in the world living in poverty, homeless, etc. But, generally what disgusts me about it is women have babies they can’t care for. Sure once the child is here, I, and as a society, want the child cared for.

By the way, from what I remember children in the “system” are pretty much free to adopt. If I were going to adopt I would be perfectly willing to take an older child. I am not obsessed with a baby. And, a lot of problems are known by 3 years old, when you take an infant you don’t know yet if the baby might be autistic, or whatever. So people who tell me foster and older adopted kids have more problems doesn’t faze me. There is just that tricky thing about wanting a biological child, and wanting to be healthy and the whole psychological mess that comes with it.

JilltheTooth's avatar

And again I say, at the risk of sounding redundant well, no “risk” really, it’s out and out redundant it’s not unnatural to want a biological child. It is, in fact, the biological norm.

cookieman's avatar

@JLeslie & @JilltheTooth: Yes. I don’t disagree with any of your last points.

Minor point: Children that are wards of the state in foster care (“in the system”) are not necessarily free to adopt. Depends on the State. It is generally, much less expensive than International adoption though.

While I am opinionated about this topic, I don’t, for a minute doubt your sincerity or ability as a once or future parent. I know you too well to assume otherwise.

JLeslie's avatar

@cprevite You might be interested in Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) adoption experience. The adoption was practically free. Here is one article.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@cprevite : This is such a hot button issue, we can all get rather…er…excited about it.

cookieman's avatar

@JLeslie: Thanks for the link.

@JilltheTooth: Yup, which is why I never voice my opinion about this in real life.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Wise man. Let’s have some cookies together, very calming, those…

trailsillustrated's avatar

I could hear my children calling me. Seriously. I had fertility treatment. Here they are. I would never have considered adoption, ever. It’s difficult to explain, but I can totally understand why a woman would not choose adoption. Just my own experience. and opinion. If I could not have biological children, I would not have adopted. This is not a selfish thing, I think. Again, @JLeslie and @JilltheTooth have it right- they have been there and know. It is a very personal, and subjective thing.

cookieman's avatar

I would never have considered adoption, ever.

@trailsillustrated: I’m glad you have the children you wanted, but that statement makes me terribly sad.

JLeslie's avatar

@cprevite Why sad? Am I supposed to be sad you don’t have 6 children if you only have 2? I made up the numbers I don’t know how many children you have. You are sad for the kids not adopted? Sad for us that we might miss out on parenting? I am not angry at you, but you make me feel shit. Not because I feel judged, but because I feel my reality, my desires, my sadness is completely ignored by you. I know this is fluther and we all feel free to discuss, that is the point of the site, so I am not trying to hush you, but let’s just say I am really glad you don’t say such things out in the real world.

cookieman's avatar

@JLeslie: I meant, I am sad that @trailsillustrated “would never have considered adoption, ever” (her words)

You, in an earlier post said you considered adoption and decided it wasn’t for you. Which is great. At least you gave it a thought or two.

I’d be happy if prospective parents (regardless of fertility) would, at least, consider adoption. But some (many?) do not, as er illustrated by @trailsillustrated‘s quote above.

Thats what makes me sad. Sorry if I wasn’t clear.

JLeslie's avatar

@cprevite To me considered means knowing the option is out there. I am sure @trailsillustrated knew the option existed. “Have you considered adoption” to me @trailsillustrated of course had the option run through her head and decided it was not for her. I don’t think she is any different than me. When is “considered” enough for you? How long would she have to think about it for you to be ok with her thought process regarding having children? I guess maybe this is part of the miscommunication, you are defining the word differently than we are.

cookieman's avatar

Perhaps. Perhaps not. I cannot read @trailsillustrated‘s mind. I can only take her at her word…

I would never have considered adoption, ever.

I can’t say how literal she was being.

Doesn’t matter. It’s strictly an academic discussion at this point (as she already has her children).

What I wanna know is, how does my (admittedly dogged) advocation of adoption as a parenting option “make (you) feel like shit”?

Advocating adoption does not negate the existence of fertility treatment. Nor does it limit your ability to pursue fertility treatment. Nor does it make fertility treatments a bad thing. These are merely options.

Now if my championing one option over the other “makes you feel like shit”, well – I’m terribly sorry. That wasn’t my intention.

That being said, you do realize I’m advocating for children here right? Surely you can think of more inflammatory positions taken here on Fluther – no?

JLeslie's avatar

@cprevite Well, when you made your statement about @trailsillustrated you were not just advocating, you were questioning her decision. That’s how it feels to me. It’s different when people are just having an academic discussion about the children in the world who need to be adopted. But, when you are talking to a woman, even man, who has decided against adoption and has fertility problems, it feels like you are questioning their judgement or pushing your own agenda. All infertile couples know adoption exists. if you said to me, “we adopted, if you ever have any questions about it I would be happy to answer them.” Then that is offering your knowledge, and the person can decide whether to ask for your opinion or not. That would be my advice if you feel like you want to offer your own thoughts on the topic. I know you said you don’t press anyone in real life, I believe you, just offering an idea if you find yourself in a situation where you think you might be ale to help.

cookieman's avatar

@trailsillustrated: I’m glad you have the children you wanted, but that statement makes me terribly sad.

Where exactly did I question her decision or push an agenda? I led by saying I was glad she had her children. But yes, it makes me sad that someone (not necessarily @trailsillustrated, as we discussed) wouldn’t even consider the option of adoption.

Someone once told me it was a terrible thing that we could get pregnant but chose not to. We were wasting what god gave us.

I disagree, but I wasn’t offended by it. Perhaps I just have thicker skin.

JLeslie's avatar

@cprevite You have thicker skin because you were able to choose. You did exactly what you wanted. The person who said that to you is an idiot.

cookieman's avatar

@JLeslie: Yes, I completely agree that having your ability to choose how to become parents taken away by infertility is awful. I have no idea how that feels.

And I hope you do get to be a parent someday, however you decide to get there. I’m sure you’ll be a great one.

dabbler's avatar

@cprevite I agree with @JLeslie‘s perception that your sadness seems a bit judgemental.
I’m also glad that you celebrate your adoptions, and admire your commitment.

To my ear @trailsillustrated‘s ”I would never have considered adoption, ever.” is so adamant that it actaully suggests the subject had been considered way before fertility issues came up. All the reasons and feelings and conclusions had been considered, and adoption was crossed off the list ahead of time.

I’d suggest to not take @trailsillustrated so literally, no need to be sad about that, people will have their reasons.

cookieman's avatar

@dabbler: Fair enough.

tinyfaery's avatar

Being sad is judgmental? Sad is an emotion, the exact opposite of judging. Oh, me, and my petty logic, I mean emotion. No, I mean reason…oh, whatever.

JLeslie's avatar

@tinyfaery It is when they are sad about your thought process.

bkcunningham's avatar

I have a very, very dear friend who was 48 when her only child was killed in an auto accident. She nearly lost her mind. Her sanity was regained when she adopted a toddler from Russia.

I worked with a woman who tried every procedure known to man to conceive a child “naturally.” After many years of loss and heartache, she adopted through a private adoption arrangement. She had the infant two months and the birth mother changed her mind and they had to surrender the baby in the middle of the night. It was devastating to watch this unfold on a day to day basis.

She didn’t give up and finally adopted two children from South America who, I imagine, are gown adults now.

One of my older sisters had fertility problems and tried everything to have a baby. She never got to know the feeling of having a child grow within her womb. For their own reasons, she and my brother-in-law decided not to adopt. As a woman who is now in her mid-50s, she says she wishes she had adopted but everything happens for a reason.

I could go on and on with many stories from all sides. Everyone is different. There is no right or wrong. The desire to have children, or to not have children, is very personal and isn’t black and white.

I lost two young children in a car accident. I became a childless widow in the blink of an eye. There came a time in my life later when I tried to conceive and lost three more babies. One when I was six months pregnant. After exhausting every avenue known to man, a child was presented to me who needed to be fostered. A little girl.

After more struggles and heartache than I care to mention, I adopted her and her two brothers. I’m a strong advocate of doing what is right for you. Life is short and we have no promise of tomorrow.

I see nothing wrong in doing what is right for youself if it doesn’t hurt someone else in a direct manner. Adopt or don’t adopt. Conceive naturally and have as many children as you can afford and love. Conceive artificially. Just do what is right for you and what makes you complete and happy.

But the process doesn’t end with conceiving or adopting. Please be good to your children.

tinyfaery's avatar

My eyes might end up in the Antarctic.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m not quite sure I understand the imbroglio here. Best I can tell, we’re talking about people being judgmental about others’ fertility decisions? Some people tell others they should adopt or shouldn’t adopt or should use fertility treatments or shouldn’t use fertility treatments or should be parents or shouldn’t be parents of should drop their eyeballs in the Antarctic?—-Didn’t quite get the point of the last, but….—

People off their opinions about the lives of others all the time. For free. Whether such advice is desired or not. Why do people feel qualified to offer advice? I don’t know. They’re alive? But think about it. What qualifies people to offer advice about life changing decisions?

They’re alive?

There is no objective right or wrong on these choices, although that does not stop people from acting as if there is. What else is new? Personally, even though people may be hurtful, I do not think they do it on purpose. I believe they think they are being helpful. How do they know you haven’t considered adoption? Do most people even ask about your fertility adventures? Not really. They just jump in with both feet without thinking. Trying to be helpful.

Infertile women often get all upset when a friend or family member gets pregnant or has a baby. The pregnancy reminds them of how they can’t get pregnant. Why can’t they be happy for their friend? Perhaps they are, but they are also sad for themselves.

The thing is that most people don’t know how to relate to someone who can’t have a baby. First of all, they may not even know. But second, it isn’t in their realm of experience. For most of us, infertility is not in our experience, especially those of us who find out for the first time that we aren’t having our own kids (which is to say, biological kids). Non-biological kids can be “our own” but that is in the sense that we parent them. Adopted kids can never be our own genetically.

It was a huge shock for me. The thing that everyone else could do as easily as falling off a log; the thing that everyone else was trying to stop; the thing that is the most creative human act; the thing that defines humanity; was the one thing I could not do in a natural way. Maybe I couldn’t do it at all. I felt like I was no longer a member of the human race.

I had no choice.

People who adopt have a choice. And if you adopt because you have a choice between having biological children and adopting other people’s children, that’s one thing. But to tell people who have no choice that adoption is what they should do is an extremely insensitive thing to do. I have just discovered I’m an alien. I have to deal with that first, before I can even begin to think about alternatives ways to be a parent.

Maybe I didn’t want to just be a parent. That’s a choice people make. They don’t care who the kids are. They just want to parent. I feel differently. I don’t just want to parent; I want to parent kids I feel that deep, underlying connection to that comes from knowing you share blood with them.

At one point, I asked my best friend to donate sperm and we tried AI a couple of times. I wanted to know where my child was coming from. The idea of having a stranger’s child made me… well… I didn’t want to do it. Maybe I’m selfish. Maybe I doubt my ability to parent. Maybe both. If my children weren’t my own, I would always be wondering why they were the way they were. I thought I was a pretty bad bet as a parent, anyway. My ideas about parenting seemed pretty unconventional. I have no business visiting my ideas on someone else’s kids. I’ve always felt that way. I’ve never touched another parent’s child because I’m sure the parent would not appreciate the way I handle things. With my own kids, no one else has a say.

To be told I should adopt is like hitting me when I’m down. Already I’m an alien. Now you want to tell me to bring up alien children? Now you insist this is what I do? You have no idea who I am. Hell, I don’t even know who I am any more. Just keep your advice to yourself. No one asked you for it.

bkcunningham's avatar

LOL. Good post. Regardless of where the child comes from, @wundayatta, there are going to be many, many times in your life as a parent that you will wonder where that child could have possibly come from. You’ll swear they are the product of aliens.

wundayatta's avatar

@bkcunningham I guess you are right. But it is not as often as all that that I have found myself seeing them do something and wondering where the hell that came from. Really, not much at all. My son has recently turned into a literalist lawyer. Of course, I’m the literalist and my wife is the lawyer. Should have seen that coming.

trailsillustrated's avatar

It was a very, very personal thing to me as I am sure it is for @JLeslie and @JilltheTooth. Again, I would never have adopted. It is my right and decision. And should not be judged nor questioned, because it is a very personal matter. It sounds crazy, but I knew in my heart my own children were coming. I could hear them. I could. They just needed help with the door. No one should ever have to explain how they feel about this. Those that adopt, do, and it’s a wonderful thing. Those of us, that want our own biological children, do, and if we feel we cannot adopt, then so be it. That’s the way it is with some. It does not mean we are heartless, unloving and unaware individuals.

trailsillustrated's avatar

ps @tinyfaery—oh yes——haha you always make me giggle

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther