This is a difficult post to write because it’s such a touchy subject. But I need to get it out: I hate that adoption seems to be linked to infertility 90% of the time, at least in people’s minds. I don’t have any problem with infertile couples adopting. If medical intervention isn’t their thing, or they’ve tried that and had no success, many couples who are unable to conceive turn to adoption. I think birth mothers who are unable to parent their children (and willingly surrender their rights) like to know they’re helping out a couple who couldn’t become parents without adoption. That’s all fine and dandy. My problem is the assumption that adoption is (only) for people who can’t have babies biologically.
It bothers me on two levels.
First, quite a few people have made the assumption that Jason and I really wanted—or still want—to have children biologically and we turned to foster care and adoption as a Plan B. They say things like, “Maybe you’ll get pregnant after you adopt! That’s what happened to my second cousin” and “We adopted two kids and then my wife finally got pregnant after 7 years. You never know!” It’s always said with kindness and sympathetic smiles. But, in our case, we felt like we were supposed to become foster parents and open our hearts to adoption and put the idea of having biological children on hold. Perhaps, indefinitely. I don’t know if we will ever have a child biologically. Honestly, at this point, I have no desire to become pregnant. We have chosen a different route to building our family.
Second, and the main reason I have a problem with the adoption=infertile assumption, I would LOVE to see more kids adopted. My passion is for the orphans in our own country, though there are millions around the world waiting to be adopted, too. There are over 130,000 kids in the United States with their mugshots next to short biographies on photo listings, desperately waiting for parents who will adopt them. Another 300,000 kids in foster care need loving, stable, temporary (but potentially permanent) homes. I don’t have patience to wait for 130,000 infertile couples to exhaust all other possibilities and get desperate enough to consider adopting an older child. And the kids don’t have time to wait either. Every year, 24,000 of them turn 18 and get pushed into adulthood alone, unprepared and unsupported. It’s tragedy upon tragedy.
We need some of the millions of fertile couples in this country to join us on the adoption road!
If you feel compelled to do something, check out:
or call your county Department of Childrens Services (Dept. of Human Services in some states, I think) and ask about becoming a foster parent.
(Look at the photo listings of waiting kids if you’re feeling brave.)