Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Please don't say to me, "You can always adopt"...

Thanks to an unfortunate Facebook message I got this morning, I felt compelled to post this on a messageboard I frequent.

I'm sure most of you know that my husband and I don't have kids, not because we didn't want them, but because he had a vasectomy when he was with his ex wife. He had the vasectomy reversed, but I haven't gotten pregnant and, at this point, probably never will get pregnant on my own. We have come to the decision that we're going to stay childless, unless I happen to get pregnant naturally. It took awhile to come to that decision, but we've finally made peace with it.

There are people in my life who, for whatever reason, feel the need to ask me why I don't have kids. Then they remind me that we could adopt a child who needs a home. Most recently, this was suggested to me by someone who knew me when we were both earning MSWs. If anyone should know that I know adoption is an option, it should be her. But no... apparently, she feels compelled to repeatedly tell me about all the kids over age 2 who need a loving home. She makes it sound like I could just go out to the local adoption center, pick out a kid I want, take the kid home and raise it with my husband, living happily ever after. If anyone should know that adoption isn't always a simple, straightforward process, it should be this woman. But apparently not. Incidentally, she's been asking me about my motherhood status ever since we graduated and I got married. She is herself a single woman in her 40s with no kids. I wonder if she feels the need to live through me vicariously or something.

It's not just my MSW friend who does this, either. Other people have suggested it... even my mom has. I'm flattered that these people apparently think I'd make a good mom, but I do not understand why people feel the need to make suggestions about such a personal matter. It's just as offensive to tell me I "should" adopt as it is for me to tell someone it's time they had a baby, regardless of what might be going on in their lives. It's a personal matter and no one else's business.

I think it's wonderful when people who want to adopt are able to do so. I think it's something that people should feel "called" to do, because I think a lot of adopted kids and parents go through a lot of special issues that people with biological ties don't necessarily go through. I don't feel called to adopt a child. Moreover, I think it's offensive for people to say, "You could adopt." as if I've never considered it or as if an adopted child is some sort of consolation prize because I'm not able to get pregnant by my husband. My feeling is that people should never adopt just because they can't conceive. They should adopt because they really want to be a parent and won't feel complete unless they are one.

I have come to the conclusion that I'm okay with not being someone's mother. I wish my husband and I could have had a baby together, but I don't feel strongly enough about it to spend thousands of dollars on medical procedures trying to conceive or thousands of dollars on legal fees trying to adopt. Maybe the fact that I don't feel strongly enough about being a mother to move me toward an adoption agency is a prime indicator that I shouldn't be one. God knows, there are plenty of parents out there who should have thought twice about it. No one ever seems to consider that, though. People act like they're doing me a huge favor or sending me a news flash by reminding me of how many needy kids are out there in the world that need a home.

Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest.

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