When I would tell people I didn’t have children and the topic of infertility came up, they would often ask if I’d considered adoption. Can I tell you how hard it was to keep my sarcasm at bay and to not answer, “Adoption? Really? No, I’d never thought about that. I’m so glad you brought it up.”
But now I’m in a better place I can answer that question easily and in a more friendly and helpful way. I’m doing it today, not for those people who want to make sure I’ve thought of every avenue, but for those of you on this site who might be thinking of adoption and wondering why I didn’t do it.
My answer could be very complex and I could talk about how our adoption options were limited by age and finances, about how much more complicated and heart-wrenching the process was than we’d expected, and about how we didn’t have the emotional strength to risk being matched with a child who could be snatched away again in an instant. But having some distance from that time in my life, I see it more simply now.
We didn’t follow through with adoption because we hadn’t yet dealt with the loss dealt by infertility.
During our adoption training we were warned about the importance of resolving our infertility before diving into this new avenue, but at that time, I didn’t want to hear that. Now I think it was perhaps the most important piece of advice we were given. Adoption isn’t the next logical step on an infertility journey; it’s a step off that road and onto another completely different path. But the infertility journey still needs to be brought to a resolution. You still have to work through that grief.
When we ventured into adoption, we didn’t fully understand this. Perhaps if we’d taken some time to heal first, we might have been better equipped to deal with that wild emotional rollercoaster, but we didn’t, and we weren’t, and that’s the way that story went.
I know that some of you are still weighing your options and making some big decisions. My story is unique to me and my opinion is based solely on my experience, but I hope hearing it helps you.
Mary Perez says
We looked into adoption, but there were so many roadblocks. We didn’t own our own home, or have a big savings, we are mixed racially, and weren’t members of a church. One agency wanted us to pay them just for an initial interview. It was too daunting and we also hadn’t properly grieved the loss of never having a biological child. I tried fostering my niece, but she had another foster family 11 years prior that she loved more. That’s when I decided that I just needed to accept I would never be a mother, and now that I’m older, a grandmother. I’m still grieving, not sure I will ever stop.
Thank you for your honesty and candor . It is what I loved so much about your website/ blog. I wish someone would have told me that back then, but I don’t think I would have listened. It was like I became obsessed/ possessed to be a mom and nothing was going to stop me , till it stopped . Hugs
Analia Toros says
I wanted to get pregnant…
If my brother (he & his wife ALSO can’t have kids) won the lottery, he would have adopted. They have many health issues and if he could have afforded it, AND afforded the security and extra care of a NANNY! (because he knows they could never have raised a kid on their own) for the kid, he would have adopted.
I don’t think, even if I were rich enough, that I would have. But I don’t know. Poverty keeps me from even thinking about many things…
The grief of infertility is what side lined me. I had never dealt with such depression and despair once I finally acknowledged that I would never be able to have children. You don’t – or at least I didn’t – wake up one morning and say, Okay well that’s over. Now on to adoption. The mourning process of infertility can be a long treacherous process. It was for me. It took time and patience to work through it, and lots of tears, and lots of self destructive behavior. It was several years before I ‘felt’ better; before I could return to family events, before I could deal with my sister-in-laws and their on-going laments of their children centered lives, and before my husband and I could centered ourselves in our lives and our ‘new’ normal. The ‘why don’t you just adopt’ advice is mean, uncalled for, and comes from ignorance. I realize that now.
I have strong faith and I simply never felt called to adopt.
I understand 200%! I thought about adoption but I still don’t have a partner. I am still not married and don’t want to do it alone. Even if I could I can’t financially and from a friend I was told that it was so hard to try to adopt as a couple. I wish I could turn the clock back and have a kid on my own. I’m 52 years old and it’s never gonna happen to get pregnant but still being single I can’t adopt but in reality its still not the same. I watch my coworkers get pregnant and watch their stomachs grow and it kills me. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t alive to have to see it all around me. I try to keep my head up. People with kids don’t understand at all! It’s so lonely. I don’t know wat to do to feel better. Thanks for this forum to talk.