People seem to be so convinced that adoption is the perfect solution to infertility, but the truth is, one does not eradicate the other. There is no “baby store” to wander into in the pursuit of your happy, healthy, perfect infant; and there is no magic eraser to wipe away the pain of not being able to carry that baby yourself. Even now, as I raise my beautiful daughter, I can honestly say that I absolutely love the life we share — but I still often wish that I had carried her myself. Adoption does not erase the scars of infertility, and infertility is not a reason alone to adopt.

So seriously, it’s about time we shelve the “just adopt” advice already.

The words themselves completely discount the loss and grief that almost always accompanies infertility. Loss and grief that needs to be felt, explored, and processed before moving on to whatever comes next. For some, that means more fertility treatments. For others, that means walking away from the hope of parenting entirely. And for a small percentage, that means turning to adoption.

For most people, adoption can take years and cost tens of thousands of dollars. It also comes with no guarantees — sometimes a baby is taken home, only for minds to change after you’ve already fallen in love. There’s a piece of the puzzle that involves accepting how little control you have over the environment your baby was exposed to in utero, and the necessity (for your child’s best interest) of speaking about his or her birth family with only grace and love — because on some level, your child will always identify with that family.

Which is all to say that entering into adoption with the same desperation that can sometimes accompany infertility grief is a dangerous tightrope to walk.

The reality is, adoption isn’t for everyone — and that’s okay! It isn’t something anyone should do unless they truly want to. Unless they have reached a point in their journey where they are fully prepared to take on the challenges ahead. And because there is no “just” about it.

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