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If you could give one piece of advice... - Page 2

post #21 of 69
"Sometimes people who have come to adoption after infertility, and have been waiting to adopt a while, and are getting (understandably) raw in the process, will express feelings like "couples with no kids should get placements before couples who already have kids" or "couples who already have Korean kids should get placements before other families." There is a feeling out there, in some places, that if you can have "your own" kids, then you shouldn't be making the waiting lines longer for couples who can't conceive, who have to/want to adopt. As if it's insulting/frustrating that fertile couples would make the process any harder/longer for couples that have already faced infertility.

Honestly, that's how I feel. Even though I KNOW it's largely a false dichotomy, that the worldwide number of babies who need homes exceeds the worldwide number of parents looking to adopt, I'm deeply uncomfortable with the idea of "getting in line" for an 4th(!!!) infant in front of a woman who's never had even one, because she is physically unable to.

I realize that it's not logical, but I feel it very strongly. And all the people in my foster/adopt training sure as heck felt it as well - they were horrified by us until they realized that we weren't there to compete for a baby, but rather to take one of the older ones that none of them wanted.
post #22 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
I'm deeply uncomfortable with the idea of "getting in line" for an 4th(!!!) infant in front of a woman who's never had even one, because she is physically unable to.
Kids are not prizes to be awarded to "more worthy" (infertile) couples. I have never encountered this attitude before, and I am shocked to hear it. Maybe I was just lucky to be in adoption classes with people who all supported each other.
post #23 of 69
Another situation where "it's about finding a family for a child, not a child for a family" makes so much sense, yes? There's nothing about ferility or infertility that makes a person a better or worse parent, so why should it matter?
post #24 of 69
Oh, I agree. It's just that my gut and my brain are not in accord on this one.
post #25 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
Another situation where "it's about finding a family for a child, not a child for a family" makes so much sense, yes? There's nothing about ferility or infertility that makes a person a better or worse parent, so why should it matter?
totally true. but if you're looking for a family for X kid, and there are 100 families, and they are all prescreened and homestudied and wonderful loving people with various different great traits, why not move the people who cannot otherwise have children to the top of the list? They'd all be awesome parents for X child, right?

I am sort of playing Devils Advocate here, because I don't know exactly where I stand on this issue.
post #26 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
On more mainstream adoption boards I have seen occasional tension between intfertile/fertile adoptive parents. Sometimes people who have come to adoption after infertility, and have been waitint to adopt a while, and are getting (understandably) raw in the process, will express feelings like "couples with no kids should get placements before couples who already have kids" or "couples who already have Korean kids should get placements before other families." There is a feeling out there, in some places, that if you can have "your own" kids, then you shouldn't be making the waiting lines longer for couples who can't conceive, who have to/want to adopt. As if it's insulting/frustrating that fertile couples would make the process any harder/longer for couples that have already faced infertility.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithie View Post
Honestly, that's how I feel. Even though I KNOW it's largely a false dichotomy, that the worldwide number of babies who need homes exceeds the worldwide number of parents looking to adopt, I'm deeply uncomfortable with the idea of "getting in line" for an 4th(!!!) infant in front of a woman who's never had even one, because she is physically unable to.

I realize that it's not logical, but I feel it very strongly. And all the people in my foster/adopt training sure as heck felt it as well - they were horrified by us until they realized that we weren't there to compete for a baby, but rather to take one of the older ones that none of them wanted.
Honestly, this is how I feel. I know it's not the "right" way to feel and that adoption should be focused on the needs of the child over the needs of the parents, but at a gut level it bothered me when we were waiting to adopt. Please don't bash me for being honest about how I feel on this subject.

I desperately longed for a baby and couldn't conceive, and I couldn't believe that couples with biological children who were still fertile and could conceive again were in the pool of waiting families along with infertile couples. It wasn't an issue for us personally because our agency only allows infertile couples, but I heard about it happening in other agencies and was disbelieving...it didn't make sense to me at all. I know that the intentions of fertile families who adopt are good, but I just don't understand it at a gut level.

I would LOVE to experience pregnancy, feel a baby kick inside me and be able to breastfeed naturally, and I simply can't comprehend why someone who can do that again would instead choose to adopt a newborn. I know there are reasons, but they don't make sense to me, personally.
post #27 of 69
It seems to me the only true back-up of waiting families is in white, domestic adoption. For every other type of child, there don't seem to be enough willing parents. And in the case of domestic newborns, shouldn't it be up to the expectant mom to decide who adopts? Maybe she'd rather have a family that already has kids (bio or adopted), or maybe she'd prefer to place her child with a family who can't have kids on their own. I think artificially ranking infertile couples ahead of fertile couples, when really the priority is good parenting/good families, does a disservice to the choice of the birth/expectant parents.

As for why fertile couples might want to adopt....there are so many reasons.

1. Pregnancy is difficult or life-threatening
2. A deeply held belief that we should not be adding people to the planet, but rather taking care of the children who are here
3. The dream of adopting a child (which, honestly, is the first-choice way of many of my friends to become parents...fertility or not)...once you have in your heart that your baby will join your family through adoption, I don't think it's fair for others to say "well, if you can birth a baby, you have to do it that way." The heartbreak of infertile couples who desperately want to have a baby by birth but can't? I know some of my friends would be exactly that heartbroken if they were told they were ineligible (or second-rate) for adoption.
4. All sorts of other reasons, as varied as the answer to "why'd you want to get pregnant and have a baby?"

Honestly, loving parents--no matter their fertility--should all have the right to build the family they choose. If you are infertile, think of the pain of having your family-building options limited by something outside your control. Is it fair to do that to a couple who chooses adoption first? No one wants their choices dictated when building a family. Children available for adoption aren't there to be sorted out to famlies who weren't able to conceive on their own...it's not as if they're the universe's balm for the pain of infertility. Children are there for their own sakes, and deserve what's best for them--the family that's best for them. Fertility status, unless it affects parenting, is completely irrelevant.
post #28 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissinNYC View Post
totally true. but if you're looking for a family for X kid, and there are 100 families, and they are all prescreened and homestudied and wonderful loving people with various different great traits, why not move the people who cannot otherwise have children to the top of the list? They'd all be awesome parents for X child, right?

I am sort of playing Devils Advocate here, because I don't know exactly where I stand on this issue.
Carry this logic out to some conclusions, though.

So should fertile couples be able to adopt from the pool of waiting children that the inferile couples would reject overall? (The babies of color, the drug-exposed babies, the babies with special needs or medical conditions?) The newborns without any issues could go to infertile couples who wanted them, then the rest of the babies could go to the second-rate fertile couples?

So....fertile couples need to be humanitarians/do-gooders, who don't expect or want to have all the typical joys of parenthood and family life? If fertile couples adopt, they should have less say in what kind of parenting experience they have? Fertile couples should avoid the pool of newborns, and instead focus on the special needs kids, the older children, the Black/Asian/Hispanic children, or the children with mental/emotional issues? As a mom to a special needs child, or even as a mom to a transracial child, that is crazy-talk. And totally opposite of what's best for kids. Families should parent the children they feel most able to parent and most excited to parent...that's what's good for kids.

And really, what about grey areas? If you've had a miscarriage? Three? If you have secondary infertility? If you've never tried to have kids and have untested fertility? If you CAN conceive, but it takes you a year? Or it if takes drugs that mess you up? Or if you CAN conceive, but it's a rollercoaster of losses and miscarriages along the way? Do these things somehow make you more or less worthy of a child? With each step along the path (I had a miscarriage, I tried fertility drugs, I lost a baby at birth, etc.), does a couple move up in their deservedness for an adopted child? I think we cross a line when we say that children should be awarded to the parents who have the hardest time building a family.

Adoption should always be about what's best for the child, not what society owes to a couple for the losses they've faced (the death of a child, or infertility, or whatever). Children are NOT pay-back. It's just icky to think of adoption through parent-centered lenses rather than through child-centered ones. Wrong to the child, wrong to the birth/expectant parents...
post #29 of 69
To be honest, the idea that some people actively persuing adoption truly cannot *imagine* why anyone would want to adopt a child if they could have a biological child deeply frightens me.

Though maybe I'm reading more into that that I should. Oldbies know my personal background on this one (I was adopted by a couple deeply scarred by their infertility experiece, amonst other things, that was never resolved--and I always felt responsible for not being able to heal their pain as well as very distinctly aware that I was second best at best).

It's one thing to say that you really only became interested in adoption because of your own infertility. I mean, that to me makes perfect sense. But saying that you can't even imagine why anyone would want to adopt a baby otherwise--I dunno, that veers into very unsafeland for me. I think perhaps the PP meant the the former while phrasing the latter.

To me though, that does bring up the point that IF you reach this journey because of infertility, you need to be aware how how deeply not only will that effect you, but probably your child as well. I'm not saying it's not okay to grieve, I think it would be even scarier if one felt it but did not! Just that...I dunno. I think it's good to be honest with your ambivalence towards adoption but you have to keep in mind that it may (or may not) mean something very VERY different for your child. Just saying.
post #30 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
Though maybe I'm reading more into that that I should.
I don't think so. I cringed too.
post #31 of 69

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Edited by BF124497 - 6/1/12 at 8:38pm
post #32 of 69
Hm. I don't think you have to carry it to those conclusions, because I'm not talking about making rules or regulations.

I don't think anyone should dictate what others do, or tell birth parents how to choose. But I do understand why infertile couples feel upset about it. And I say this as a plenty fertile women who had 3 bio kids, 2 adoptive kids, both of whom are nonwhite (I am white) and one of whom has special needs.

I personally wouldn't have felt comfortable adopting a healthy infant, given the needs for other kids. Once we had established that we wanted to pursue adoption, we decided to choose to adopt from the situation with the most need, which, we feel, is domestic foster care adoption, specifically of slightly older/SN kids.
post #33 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissinNYC View Post
I personally wouldn't have felt comfortable adopting a healthy infant, given the needs for other kids. Once we had established that we wanted to pursue adoption, we decided to choose to adopt from the situation with the most need, which, we feel, is domestic foster care adoption, specifically of slightly older/SN kids.
I didn't feel comfortable joining the pool of waiting families wanting a healthy white infant, either. But I felt plenty comfortable joining the pool of waiting families wanting a healthy little girl from Korea. In choosing international adoption (which was what we always wanted), we also gave up some of the things that seem so coveted in the US domestic adoption process....infancy, looking like the birth family/adoptive family (race), an opportunity for much more knowledge of the birth family, birth cultures in common, and (to a certain extent) an unknown maternal history of drinking/light drug use.

Those "losses" were okay to us, though.

I think it all comes down to finding the child you want to raise. If there are a lot of families who also want to raise a child like that, then yes--you're going to wait. (In our case, the wait was also contributed to by the adoption quota policies of S. Korea.) What I don't want to see are a bunch of families choosing adoption paths with losses that AREN'T okay to them....some families are just not equipped (or truly, internally willing) to raise a child of color, or a child with special needs, or an older child. "Settling" for a child is soooooooo not good for a child, and that's what I would worry would happen if fertile couples were excluded/ranked.

Something similar happens with age of the parents in (some) international programs. Younger parents can adopt a young child, but older parents can only adopt special needs children or older toddlers/children. I've seen this work out great, and I've also seen instances where I want to cover my eyes and not think where this is going for the family/child. If a family is so desperate to make their dream of adoption come true, I've seen that they will take the chance that they're able to parent a child that is less than ideal for their family or parenting circumstances. This is not good. Not at all. I strongly believe that children deserve better than to be a risk or a gamble...or to be the plan B that parents "hope will work out." In the case of particularly vulnerable children (like with special needs, or older kids who have gone through a lot in their young lives), I think this is even more important. The adoptive parents of these children should walk into parenting WANTING these children...not settling for these children because of agency adoption policies.

So yes, if there is a fertile couple who really isn't sure they can handle the challenges of being a transracial family, or raising a child who's been in foster care (domestically or internationally), or raising a child who starts out in their family at age 1 or 2, then YES they should be able to get in line with the rest of PAPs and wait for the child they feel they can best parent (...even if that means they end up in the white, domestic, newborn adoption process.) That child, whomever it turns out to be, deserves nothing less than ready, able parents.

We all have our own circumstances that, internally, tell us what we feel we're able to do and what we feel we aren't. Based on those feelings, we go out and try to build our family. Sometimes fate/life throws us a curve ball (we got two), and yes...some families learn to cope. But some don't. I would never want an adoption rule or exclusion based on fertility to make it harder for a PAP to choose the family they feel they can best parent. Doing so would be such a loss to that adoptive parent, to the children of that family, and especially to the adopted child.

I admire you for wanting to adopt special needs older kids. Really I do. In our case, that wasn't ideal for us (and wouldn't have been ideal for the child). Our two oldest (bio) children had/have severe special needs, and we didn't want to parent another child with special needs. So yeah, we entered into a program that was more popular, had a longer wait, etc. But the point is, we were excited and able and willing to raise our [adopted] daughter. I would have been very upset if I'd been turned away from adopting a healthy child, or from entering a popular adoption program, because we could conceive/birth a baby. To me, that's not the point at all. The point is being a great parent to a child that needs a family. If we were good enough for her, and for her needs, and we wanted and embraced those needs as parents, then that's all that should matter. The functionality of our reproductive organs has nothing to do with our parenting skills.
post #34 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
It seems to me the only true back-up of waiting families is in white, domestic adoption. For every other type of child, there don't seem to be enough willing parents. And in the case of domestic newborns, shouldn't it be up to the expectant mom to decide who adopts? Maybe she'd rather have a family that already has kids (bio or adopted), or maybe she'd prefer to place her child with a family who can't have kids on their own. I think artificially ranking infertile couples ahead of fertile couples, when really the priority is good parenting/good families, does a disservice to the choice of the birth/expectant parents.

As for why fertile couples might want to adopt....there are so many reasons.

1. Pregnancy is difficult or life-threatening
2. A deeply held belief that we should not be adding people to the planet, but rather taking care of the children who are here
3. The dream of adopting a child (which, honestly, is the first-choice way of many of my friends to become parents...fertility or not)...once you have in your heart that your baby will join your family through adoption, I don't think it's fair for others to say "well, if you can birth a baby, you have to do it that way." The heartbreak of infertile couples who desperately want to have a baby by birth but can't? I know some of my friends would be exactly that heartbroken if they were told they were ineligible (or second-rate) for adoption.
4. All sorts of other reasons, as varied as the answer to "why'd you want to get pregnant and have a baby?"

Honestly, loving parents--no matter their fertility--should all have the right to build the family they choose. If you are infertile, think of the pain of having your family-building options limited by something outside your control. Is it fair to do that to a couple who chooses adoption first? No one wants their choices dictated when building a family. Children available for adoption aren't there to be sorted out to famlies who weren't able to conceive on their own...it's not as if they're the universe's balm for the pain of infertility. Children are there for their own sakes, and deserve what's best for them--the family that's best for them. Fertility status, unless it affects parenting, is completely irrelevant.
Again, I'm not trying to say my feelings are "right" only that it's the way I feel. And we were open to all races when we adopted, so why did we have to wait 18 months until DD was born?

ETA: I'll answer my own question, we live in the midwest and being open to all races doesn't have as much impact in our area of the country.

ETA #2: I'm not trying to argue with you, RedOakMomma, I just want to stick up for myself that we did NOT adopt with the stipulation that the child be only white and healthy. We were open to all races and a variety of medical needs, and without going into it too much, DD did have medical needs at birth.
post #35 of 69
Honestly...18 months doesn't seem like that much of a wait to me. Whether adopting or having a baby by birth, waiting 18 months from the decision to adopt to having a baby in your arms seems really normal. Three of my children (2 bio, 1 adopted) were the same or longer than that, actually. I thought you were speaking of some of the domestic newborn stories I've heard...where parents are waiting years to be picked by an expectant mom, and have an adoption actually take place.

Is that the real fertility/infertility unfairness issue? Wait times? That having to wait longer, after already using so much time TTC, is unfair? If so, then I think it's just the way parenting goes. Fertile or infertile, we're none of us sure how long it's going to take to bring our next child into our family, or which methods of growing our family will or won't work. I don't think people who come first to adoption should see their waits get longer because other people have come to adoption after using a lot of time pursuing pregnancy.

Similarly, though I feel for the people who are dealing with plans/hopes that didn't work out, I don't think that people who have been in failed adoption programs, or unsuccessful adoption programs, should be moved to the front of a line. We make the choices to pursue the family-building methods we do...sometimes it works out, and sometimes it doesn't. Making others move aside out of some sense of payback or fairness isn't really fair at all.

We use our time pursuing what we want. If couple A wants to adopt from day one, then they got in line/in process at day one. If couple B wants to give birth, but uses two years trying to make that happen, then they weren't pursuing adoption--they were pursuing something else they wanted. When they change their wants from pregnancy to adoption, then they can start pursuing adoption like anyone else.

I get that things don't work out the way we always want them to, or that in our hearts we might battle jealousy, bitterness, or other negative thoughts. The timing of our children is not what I would have planned...but it is what it is. We take our chances and pursue what's in our hearts. Honestly, after watching a dear friend go through the international adoption process, and having that process unexpectedly stretch out for years (plural!) longer than they expected, I'm happy with the unexpected addition of 12 or 15 months our wait (bio or adopted) here and there. Even after the wait stretched out a year longer than we anticipated, the end result is still the children we adore. That's not so bad.
post #36 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
Though maybe I'm reading more into that that I should.
Yes, you are That's not what I meant at all. But I'm not feeling the love in this forum, and I'm remembering that unfortunately sometimes online people assume the worst of me because they don't know me. I'm going to just tiptoe away slowly from this conversation because I'm not confident I can express myself anymore without being further bashed. I don't like arguments, especially online.
post #37 of 69
I understand why someone might feel its unfair that a person with no children has to wait and wait while someone with several sort of impacts the first person's wait time. Or why its unfair for someone who has other options to choose adoption and "compete" for babies with someone for whom adoption is pretty much the ONLY option for having a child. I understand that intellectually its not 'right' to feel that way, but emotions are what they are.

That being said, how far do you carry out that thought process? When i was placed with my son, i sometimes wondered if it was "unfair" for me to have him...here was this beautiful, healthy newborn baby, and he was placed with me, a single mom, living in a small apartment, i can pay my bills but am "lower income"...while there are "picture perfect" married couples with nice houses and money in the bank who would have loved to have him. How fair was it that there are probably families with my agency who only wanted babies, while i was open to school aged kids with "issues", and yet i was placed with a baby? On the flip side, i remember how i felt when i was waiting so long for another foster placement and then found out that other foster parents were getting placed with multiple (individual) placements, and yet i wasnt getting any. Or that the foster mom my first son was initially with had TWO newborns (my son and another baby) placed with her, while i sat empty for more than a month with no calls.

The bottom line is that waiting is hard, its painful...whether you have other kids or not, or are waiting for a newborn or an older child, or whether you are waiting to be matched or waiting for your identified child to come home. There is nothing you can do to explain how awful it is to someone who hasnt been there.

To answer the original question...i adopted from foster care and most of the parents who do so with my agency also have bio kids, so its not really an issue. I was VERY surprised though that my stbad's current foster mom was completely confused and disgusted that i wanted to adopt her and her brother (and more, in the future) even though i "can" have kids of my own (and have a bio son) and she was even more horrified when i told her my friend who has two bio kids is adopting a sib group of three with plans for many more in the future. She couldnt wrap her head around it "why you all want to adopt kids?? why not just have your own???" and she is a *foster parent*...how horrible is that?!
post #38 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
I understand why someone might feel its unfair that a person with no children has to wait and wait while someone with several sort of impacts the first person's wait time. Or why its unfair for someone who has other options to choose adoption and "compete" for babies with someone for whom adoption is pretty much the ONLY option for having a child. I understand that intellectually its not 'right' to feel that way, but emotions are what they are.

The bottom line is that waiting is hard, its painful...whether you have other kids or not, or are waiting for a newborn or an older child, or whether you are waiting to be matched or waiting for your identified child to come home. There is nothing you can do to explain how awful it is to someone who hasnt been there.
lyra, . I think I wasn't giving you the space you needed to explain how you felt. And really...I think several people in this thread have vocalized what queenjane wrote above...that even though their minds know the "right" way to feel, people can still struggle with that internally.
post #39 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissinNYC View Post
why not move the people who cannot otherwise have children to the top of the list?
Because there is absolutely no reason to, other than feeling sorry for the infertile people.
post #40 of 69
Quote:
On the flip side, i remember how i felt when i was waiting so long for another foster placement and then found out that other foster parents were getting placed with multiple (individual) placements, and yet i wasnt getting any. Or that the foster mom my first son was initially with had TWO newborns (my son and another baby) placed with her, while i sat empty for more than a month with no calls.
Riiight, but it you're fertile, you can have bio kids, you don't have to "sit empty."
Quote:
If a family is so desperate to make their dream of adoption come true, I've seen that they will take the chance that they're able to parent a child that is less than ideal for their family or parenting circumstances. This is not good.
But, why are they desperate? They can have the kid they feel ready to parent! They can have a bio-kid!
Quote:
Because there is absolutely no reason to, other than feeling sorry for the infertile people.
I don't think it's an issue of "feeling sorry." I think that if all things are otherwise, on balance, equal (all parents have been deemed safe, loving, kind, etc) and an agency wants to prioritize parents who haven't had that chance out of compassion, it makes sense to me. And PERSONALLY, I would feel horrible adopting a healthy infant when I know so many parents struggle to conceive, want that experience, and I am taking a kid.

Again, I don't think this should be a policy or law, but I understand the sentiment and I think if a birth mom or an agency wants to prioritize this, it makes sense.
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