Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Say What?!

It comes with the territory. You choose to adopt you open yourself up to a seemingly endless array of inane remarks. Jacek and I are no exception. Since we first announced our intention to adopt we’ve heard a great variety of negative comments, judgments and directives from friends and family. While we don’t believe any of them had bad intention, we present them in our “Say What?” series as an educational opportunity for those outside of the adoption community.

By far the number one crazy comment we’ve received has been “You’re adopting – now you’ll get pregnant for sure!” (Um, we don't want to get pregnant!) The person then goes on to tell us of a friend of a friend of a coworker who adopts and then magically conceives and births a biological child. If you said this to us, don't feel bad - almost everyone did. Other not-so-innocent related comments we’ve received include “Just have your own!”, “I think you should [have your own]”, and “I was really hoping you’d get pregnant and forget this whole adoption thing.”

Some emotions that ran through my head in particular when I heard the comments included amusement, anger, annoyance, disbelief and sadness that there are people who will be in our child’s life who might think that she is second best because she does not share our genetic material or that we "settled".

We don’t see having a biological child as preferential to adopting. In fact, quite the opposite is true for us. Completing our family through adoption is our first choice. We’re what some call “preferential adopters”. We chose to adopt because we want a child (or two) and honestly don’t see the point of giving birth when there are so many orphans in the world in need of homes. We are not attached to our DNA and I have no desire to experience pregnancy or childbirth. That’s right, none. Never have had the desire, never will.

For others in the adoption community who have struggled with infertility, I’m guessing that the emotions associated with "now you'll get pregant" and related comments sting extra hard.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Say What?! when we'll discuss comments based on misconceptions about adoption...

8 comments:

kris said...

I am SO thrilled to have stumbled upon your blog today. I had yet to meet anyone that felt like I did. I have wanted to adopt since high school, and though when married my ex and I did try to conceive, neither of us cared that we couldn't (I was secretly happy) and we never investigated why and just moved forward with the adoption. My heart had always been set on China (since high school), he was Chinese, there you have it. Sadly, that adoption was cancelled. Now I'm doing it on my own, (yeah, pretty scary), and lately I've been getting "the comments". Got 2 yesterday. "How much will she cost?" and "Why don't you do in vitro or artificial insemination?".... I didn't have a lot of energy, but tried to be educational without getting offended...

Like you, I have no attachments to my DNA. If life has taught me anything, it has taught me what family really is, and it is not confined or defined by blood.

Anonymous said...

Someone did research on that one. Out of all potential adoption parents in a given year, less than .2% (that is really low) get pregnant during that wait. And out of that .2%, 90% planned to. I hate that one.

We are another family quite happy to be adopting and dont compare to the "bio" option.

cavatica said...

We're also "preferential adopters" and are actively trying NOT to get pregnant. Thanks for the statistic, Wicked Witch. I'll remember that. Mary, I'm looking forward to more of your "Say What?" installments. We've been pretty lucky on this stuff overall.

secret agent said...

I feel the same way...did the fertility treatments for DH.
I have to share my last dumb-ass comment....
DH's friend told him to tell me to
GO TO A CHIROPRACTOR!!!!! because.... he and his wife had trouble conceiving until she saw a chiropractor.
Yep--straightening that old back is surely gonna replenish my fried eggs.
It never ceases to amaze me...
Great post!!!!!

Rosie said...

Oh gosh..I have three bio kids(boys)and I also agree with you.We've had loads of comments!! Like"make more of your own""why do you need to adopt".People are so cruel,thoughtless and have no brains...we all arrive at adoption for different reasons.
We'd love a girl,would rather adopt and give a baby girl a chance of a family and that seems far more sensible.Yet people still make judgements..doesn't everyone..human condition I guess..everyone thinks there way of doing things is better than others..or try to justify.
Our reasons are obvious..we'd love a girl to complete our family and love is thicker than blood any day.
Just thought I'd add a different angle!!(I love all my kids...however they come to us)

blondetrader said...

Wow - I am SO GLAD I can across this. I was doing a statistical analysis on adoptions from China and started to cry when I read those stats - that was 'the calling' I think. I am married, can get pregnant, and don't want to. I really would like to adopt. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone or crazy.

Reversal of Tubal Ligation said...

information well and good ... I like your way of thinking.
Thanks for sharing

from Uruguay said...

Hi!!! Amazing blog!!! My husband and I have Just decided to start the adoption process Also 'preferential adopters' thanks for sharing it!!!