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We are about to start the home study process for adoption. We have two biological kids and knew we would adopt long before we had our first child. I really want to state on our application that we are only open to one sex. I won't say which and I don't want to get into my reasons even though I feel like they're good reasons because I don't feel like defending them. I'm a social worker and used to work in adoptions. Not going to lie...it reallllllly irritated me when adoptive parents would be open only to certain races, one sex, etc, but now that I'm in this position, I just feel like one sex would be a better match for our family. We remain open to any race as well as a very wide variety of special needs. It isn't like I'm looking for a blonde haired blue eyed doll to fulfill some personal fantasy. Still it somehow just doesn't feel quite right to be only open to one sex.<br><br>
Anyhow, I don't even know what I'm asking. I'm just feeling *guilty* like we shouldn't be choosing our child's sex, like people might make unfair assumptions, etc. I'm just hoping for some feedback from others who have considered limiting matches by sex or who have done so. TIA <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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<p>When we started our adoption journey, and really our TTC journey, I assumed all along that I'd have girls. I only had sisters, I don't know what to do with boys, I needed girls only. And I assumed I'd have two. Then we ended up adopting and our agency didn't allow families to choose based on gender. Their rationale was, people who conceive their babies on their own don't get to choose (yet), so why should we? I was okay with that, made sense....</p>
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<p>Now we're working on #2, through foster care. EVERYONE (friends, family, perfect strangers) are assuming we'll ask only for girls. After all, we need to have one of each, right? Except that DH and I really just want another boy. We love our boy, and want another just like him. And we already have all the clothes.... ;-) It just seems easier somehow.</p>
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<p>And yet, we have not narrowed our profile by gender. We are open to just about any race, and any gender, and any religion, etc. I want another boy, but if we're meant to adopt a girl, then that's what we'll do and we'll be happy with that.</p>
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<p>So while I'm not exactly going about this the same way you are, it seems like we're definitely in the minority. Just about everyone else we know has chosen/would choose based on gender, or at least has strong preferences one way or the other. Just do what you feel is right for your family -- the best advice I've ever gotten on this board, and it applies to so many different issues!<br>
 </p>
 

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<p>After ALOT of thought and discussion I just couldn't be comfortable with picking gender in either our domestic adoption or our international adoption.  Both agencies would have let us but in the end we left it open.  It really bothered me that most people, in domestic and international adoption prefer girls, I look at my boys and think I really can't pick a gender!  We have two biological children, a boy and a girl.  We ended up with a boy and girl through adoption.  We couldn't be more blessed. </p>
 

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<p>To be honest, filling out the "preferences" forms felt like picking out a refrigerator.  The whole thing was highly uncomfortable.  I felt guilty about every choice--so honestly, I don't think it's out of the norm to feel guilty about picking a gender.</p>
 

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I used to feel annoyed but other peoples preferences. And I felt guilt about my own. But it's fine to have preferences. It's normal. Sometimes those preferences are not rational or they might make a match impossible (if you're too narrow in what you will accept you may not ever get matched). But if you've really thought it through and you know what fits your family there's no need for guilt.<br><br>
Personally, I didn't care about gender for my first and we adopted our son. For a while I really wanted a girl next to have one of each but now I've decided a boy is better. Again I think we will be open on the application but now I'm more excited about a boy or boys.
 

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<p>In foster care, often your license is based on room availability, so its not unusual to be licenced for one gender only :)</p>
 

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<p>We said we only wanted boys when we were licensed.  We had 3 daughters, wanted to have the experience of parenting a boy(s), and only had one bedroom for foster children.  If we wanted to take in more than one child, they would both have to be the same gender.  Honestly, we didn't want 5 girls.  The jokes on us of course.  We got our two boys, but then their mom had 2 baby girls during the last 2 yrs while they've been in care.  We adopted the first 3 today and should be adopting the 4th in a few months.  We didn't know we wanted 7 kids, with 5 of them being girls, until they basically fell in our laps and we fell in love. </p>
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<p>I don't think there is anything wrong w/ stating a gender preference.  If you(general) have to wait longer b/c your preference isn't available, then you made that decision.  I don't think anything of it when a foster parent friend has a preference.  If we take another long-term placement, we would prefer that she be female due to our specific situation.  It's funny how things change. </p>
 

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<p>What type of adoption are you doing?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I think the gender thing is only "problematic" if you are trying to adopt a not-yet-born child. Obviously, if the child is already born, the sex is obvious so why not pick the one you feel more comfortable with? I dont know if you prefer a boy or girl, i do know that there are always more boys available than girls. People tend to want girls, for various reasons. Personally i think i prefer parenting boys but that may have more to do with the kids i actually have. My girl is the "hardest" one so far.</p>
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<p>But really, do what you're comfortable with. I think it isnt a bad idea to really look at WHY you would make that choice and see if there arent some unfair assumptions you may be making about expectations for each gender. But overall YOU know your family best and if you can choose, and want to do it, do it. Dont worry about what other people think. For me, while i wouldnt be comfortable saying "no" to a girl child presented to me on that basis only, when i adopt again i think a boy or boys would fit better, just would be easier in terms of bedroom space and all that. If you're doing a domestic infant adoption, i know people DO ask for one gender, i just think you may be limiting your options esp since not every expectant mother knows what she is having and even if she found out its not always accurate.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #9
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>queenjane</strong> <a href="/community/t/1361877/adoption-and-choosing-the-sex-of-your-child#post_17093919"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
What type of adoption are you doing?<br><br>
I think the gender thing is only "problematic" if you are trying to adopt a not-yet-born child. Obviously, if the child is already born, the sex is obvious so why not pick the one you feel more comfortable with? I dont know if you prefer a boy or girl, i do know that there are always more boys available than girls. People tend to want girls, for various reasons. Personally i think i prefer parenting boys but that may have more to do with the kids i actually have. My girl is the "hardest" one so far.<br><br>
But really, do what you're comfortable with. I think it isnt a bad idea to really look at WHY you would make that choice and see if there arent some unfair assumptions you may be making about expectations for each gender. But overall YOU know your family best and if you can choose, and want to do it, do it. Dont worry about what other people think. For me, while i wouldnt be comfortable saying "no" to a girl child presented to me on that basis only, when i adopt again i think a boy or boys would fit better, just would be easier in terms of bedroom space and all that. If you're doing a domestic infant adoption, i know people DO ask for one gender, i just think you may be limiting your options esp since not every expectant mother knows what she is having and even if she found out its not always accurate.</div>
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Thank you everyone who has replied so far! I appreciate your thoughts <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif">.<br><br>
We will be doing an international adoption. I would never adopt an infant domestically but I will say that if we were planning to, i wouldnt have a gender preference. I didn't want to get into the reasons I feel more comfortable with one sex over the other because of the whole idea of making unfair assumptions. I definitely am making assumptions (some of them certainly could be classified as 'unfair' as they are nothing but generalizations) as to which sex would be a better match based on my experiences supervising adoptive placements, working with traumatized kids in general, and watching a few friends who have adopted struggle. It's all anecdotal, and even I could argue with all my assumptions. Part of it is just a gut feeling. I have two boys. One is incredibly high needs, one is very laid back. I know I could go into this hoping that a child of one gender will be a better match for me personally to parent based on assumptions about sex and have my assumptions fly out the window. I will say that my reasons do go a lot deeper than wanting a boy because we already have all the boy clothes, etc., or wanting a girl so I have someone to take shopping with me. I think a big problem is I've just seen too much and although I'm very excited about adding to our family, I also don't have rose colored glasses on and know too well the impact early deprivation and trauma can have on kids. I've seen that manifest in different ways in boys and girls, and I just feel like I'm less capable of meeting the needs that present more often in one sex. Arguable, I know, and I guess the fact that i can argue with my own logic is why I'm on the fence and feeling guilty. Likes its not legit. But I just do have such a strong gut feeling about it. Thanks for helping me think this through.
 

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<p>Strong gut feelings are important, though. So your logic may have holes, but it also has a lot of truth. And you have to start somewhere, so personal experience and anecdotes from others are as good a place as any to start. I think it's more important that you're giving it a lot of thought than whether your logic is bulletproof. There's no reason to feel guilty about that. If you feel more equipped to handle one "thing" (whether that's typical gender issues or special needs or certain behaviors or medical conditions or...) than another, you're not doing anyone any favors by not following your strengths. But by choosing a child you feel most comfortable with (whether that's due to their gender, or certain issues or lack thereof), you will be a stronger parent to him/her. Which can't be a bad thing, right?</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Because typically domestic infant adoptions involve adults waiting for children. I would like to adopt child waiting for a family.<br><br>
When I worked in adoption, there could literally be fifty families "competing" for an infant. I've volunteered abroad. I know that isn't the case in most countries with orphanages.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I can't edit because I'm on my phone but I do want to say its a personal choice and I don't judge those who make a different choice. I wanted to experience pregnancy, child birth, and parenting an infant. I got to do that. I can understand why others would want to parent a child from birth as well. That said, I don't have that same need now that I've had the chance to do it twice, so I would rather add to our family in a way that also acknowledges that there are many children who would benefit from having a family as well as many hopeful waiting adoptive parents who would like to parent a child from infancy.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>APToddlerMama</strong> <a href="/community/t/1361877/adoption-and-choosing-the-sex-of-your-child#post_17094519"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
Because typically domestic infant adoptions involve adults waiting for children. I would like to adopt child waiting for a family.<br><br>
When I worked in adoption, there could literally be fifty families "competing" for an infant. I've volunteered abroad. I know that isn't the case in most countries with orphanages.</div>
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Yeah I can understand that. It was my reason for choosing to adopt from fostercare. But now that I've done that and now that I know how the fostercare system works, I am not willing to put my family through that again. We're currently considering a domestic adoption. Or we might just stick with one child and give up on trying for a sibling.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>marsupial-mom</strong> <a href="/community/t/1361877/adoption-and-choosing-the-sex-of-your-child#post_17094604"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
Yeah I can understand that. It was my reason for choosing to adopt from fostercare. But now that I've done that and now that I know how the fostercare system works, I am not willing to put my family through that again. We're currently considering a domestic adoption. Or we might just stick with one child and give up on trying for a sibling.</div>
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I can't see putting my family though it either at this point, though I would consider fostering when my kids are much older. Are you considering international or only domestic adoption?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>swd12422</strong> <a href="/community/t/1361877/adoption-and-choosing-the-sex-of-your-child#post_17094284"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
Strong gut feelings are important, though. So your logic may have holes, but it also has a lot of truth. And you have to start somewhere, so personal experience and anecdotes from others are as good a place as any to start. I think it's more important that you're giving it a lot of thought than whether your logic is bulletproof. There's no reason to feel guilty about that. If you feel more equipped to handle one "thing" (whether that's typical gender issues or special needs or certain behaviors or medical conditions or...) than another, you're not doing anyone any favors by not following your strengths. But by choosing a child you feel most comfortable with (whether that's due to their gender, or certain issues or lack thereof), you will be a stronger parent to him/her. Which can't be a bad thing, right?</div>
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I tried to give this the thumbs up from my phone earlier but apparently it didn't work. Anyhow, you have a lot of really good points and I think you're right. We are probably going to wait a couple months to start the process so we have some more time to think about it. Thank you <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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Discussion Starter #17
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>heatherdeg</strong> <a href="/community/t/1361877/adoption-and-choosing-the-sex-of-your-child#post_17092372"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
To be honest, filling out the "preferences" forms felt like picking out a refrigerator.  The whole thing was highly uncomfortable.  I felt guilty about every choice--so honestly, I don't think it's out of the norm to feel guilty about picking a gender.</div>
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Just have to go back to this. I never thought of it that way, but now that you say it, that is kind of what it feels like. One of the women I spoke to on the phone regarding countries when our worker was out of town actually said something to me like "ohhhh in that country the children are so beautiful and exotic!". I was totally horrified, asked dh what he thought and he was equally taken aback and disturbed by it. I honestly never encountered other professionals in the adoption world commenting on kids like some sort of product like that until this conversation. How strange.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>APToddlerMama</strong> <a href="/community/t/1361877/adoption-and-choosing-the-sex-of-your-child#post_17094618"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br><br>
I can't see putting my family though it either at this point, though I would consider fostering when my kids are much older. Are you considering international or only domestic adoption?</div>
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Not considering international.<br>
May consider foster kids who are already adoptable (no foster-adopt).<br>
May consider having a biological child.<br>
Considering no more children.<br>
But mostly considering domestic (doesn't have to be newborn, just has to be younger than our son).<br><br>
Edit to add: I still think a gender preference is not necessarily a problem. Someone said earlier that bio parents don't get to choose gender, but the truth is that sometimes they do! For example, if a couple does IVF then they might be able to chose gender.<br>
Also, I know some parents who chose adoption simply because they wanted to chose gender. They had bio children of one gender and wanted a child of the other so they adopted. I think that's fine.<br><br>
It would be ideal if all parents were willing to parent all children but that's not the case. We all have our preferences andour limits. Gender, race, nationality, age... those are just the first basics. Then it gets more complicated with special needs. I know there are some special needs that I would truly struggle with and may not be able to parent. There are others I think I would handle just fine. That's OK. We're not all perfect parents. We should think about what will fit our family and what won't.
 

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We're a foster-adopt family that only accepts placements of school-aged boys. DH and I felt strongly that this was the best fit for our family. It's easy not to feel guilty because there is much need in that demographic - but if we had an equally strong feeling that a girl under 3 was the best fit, we'd limit our placements accordingly. Joy and enthusiasm on our side is an important component of a successful placement. This isn't a selflessness competition.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I agree with you marsupial mom and Smithie. Somehow it seems less guilt inducing to make the choice with foster care vs adoption.<br><br>
Marsupialmom--my turn to be curious. Is there a reason international adoption is off the table for you?
 
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