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Has anybody else struggled with the decision of whether to adopt or have biological babies?<br><br>
I am feeling so torn up about it right now. I always knew that I wanted to have at least one pregnancy, but I've also always felt a strong desore to adopt. When we began planning for our family, we decided to try for a bio baby first because we thought it would be easier. We planned to adopt any subsequent children. I am a woman married to a woman, so conception was not as simple as it could have been, but conceiving a baby was certainly a simpler path than adoption. I went to the doctor for a check-up, we ordered some sperm from a sperm bank, I went back to the doctor for the insemination, and wah-la, I was pregnant.<br><br>
Because I was pregnant with twins, my pregnancy did not go exactly as planned--I was unable to find a homebirth midwife who was willing to take me on--and I ended up having a highly medicalized pregnancy that ended in a scheduled c-section due to the breech positioning of both babies. It was a very traumatic experience for me. The first few months post-partum were also really hard, as I struggled to exclusively breastfeed and care for my two high-needs newborns. In many ways I felt cheated out of the experience I'd always hoped to have.<br><br>
Now, as we begin to talk about adding a third baby to our family, I am having a really hard time choosing between trying for another bio baby or adopting a baby. Dw feels strongly that we should adopt; we have already brought two more humans onto this over-populated planet, and there are so many babies who need homes. I know that I would love a baby who came to us through adoption with the same intensity as I would love a bio baby, and I would love to feel as though I was part of the solution rather than part of the problem. But I also feel this NEED to have another pregnancy, to try one more time to do it the way I wanted to, to have the experience of mothering and breastfeeding only one newborn. We already have sperm from the same donor paid for, in storage, so if we did conceive a third baby, it would be a full bio sibling to Luke and Jaz.<br><br>
Do any of you feel guilty about conciously bringing more babies into this world? Is it selfish of me to conceive another human life just so that I can go through another pregnancy and birth?<br><br>
I am so confilicted.
 

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My hubby and I felt strongly at one point that at least part of our family should be adopted. We both have adopted first cousins from our family of origin. But delving deeper, it just so expensive. My "homegrown" babies are just way cheaper than adopting. It is so sad and it has turned us off.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lexbeach</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Do any of you feel guilty about conciously bringing more babies into this world? Is it selfish of me to conceive another human life just so that I can go through another pregnancy and birth?<br></div>
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Personally, I feel that it is sort of selfish to have a lot of kids. BUT, it's a highly personal choice, one of those things you have to decide for yourself. I have one, and I wasn't planning on having ANY. But now I think I'd like another. Preferably adopted, esp since I am single. If I get serious with someone and he wants a baby, it makes more sense to me to adopt so that my 1st isnt jealous that #2 has a daddy and a mommy together. you know? and if I don't find someone, well, I'd either do AI with an unknown donor or adopt.<br><br>
However, adoption isnt a rosy picture all the time, either. I personally find the adoption industry troubling. If I do that, I want to get an american child, first of all, to avoid the issues I have with the internationa adoption market.<br><br>
Anyway, it's a tough choice!! But if you don't think you need to promote your DNA, then don't bother. Go with your gut. Either choice is real and valid. I subscribed to Adoptive Families magazine for a while and it gave me some good insights. They are heavily heterosexual and christian last time I read them, though. I'd be interested in any more progressive publications out there as I fantasize about another little one.<br><br>
Take care
 

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I have also spent a lot of time exploring my thoughts on this issue and researching the possibilities. We have a bio son and I was feeling like it might be "better" somehow to add to our family through adoption.<br><br>
The conclusion I came to--when I really looked into my heart--is that I don't think I was drawn to adoption for the right reasons. It feels kind of like a rescue fantasy. I realized I don't really want to deal with anything like explaining how our family looks to others (in the case of a transracial adoption), or coping with the emotional issues of an older child who was in the domestic system.<br><br>
Which leaves adopting from eastern europe at $20-30K, and as a PP mentioned, if one does not have fertility issues it is certainly easier, quicker and cheaper to grow your own baby from scratch, so to speak. I also learned, to my surprise, that there is sufficient worldwide demand for young, healthy, caucasian infant/toddlers that there is a wait to adopt internationally from most eastern european countries. I'd had this idea that there were thousands of needy children languishing in underfunded orphanages. That is somewhat true, but the ones "languishing" are not the most adoptable ones.<br><br>
I don't know if I'm explaining myself well, but I ended up feeling like if I couldn't open my heart unconditionally to *any* child in need of a loving home, my motives for going into adoption weren't quite what they needed to be in order to go through with it. So we've kind of shelved that topic for now, although I could see my feelings changing one day.
 

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This is an interesting topic and I am glad you brought it up. I am wrestling with similar thoughts. I won't be adding anyone to my family anytime soon, but I would like another. Part of the reason is so I can have a different pregnancy and delivery experience next time. I struggle with whether that is enough of a reason to bring yet another person into the world. My girls were conceived with a donor who is from Eastern Europe, so I had thought I would like to adopt from there. Because they are full siblings, I have reservations about having another biological child who would not be their full sib. The semen I used last time was dated 1998. The bank said it is good for 5-10 years. That is a pretty big range! I'm, like, so which is it? 5 or 10? If I have another it would probably be right around 10 years old (the semen, that is) I am thinking of calling the bank to see if there is any possibility of getting any newer donations. I don't know. I don't know what I will do, but I can relate!
 

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I've always wanted to adopt, and I still hope to one day. The thing is, I don't think I'm allowed to adopt (legally). There are requirements you have to satisfy and I don't think that I do. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"> If we ever adopt, it would probably have to be a private adoption, someone we knew who had a baby and wanted us to raise him/her.<br><br>
I have looked into adoption, and I feel like we'd be doing it for the right reasons. It is easier, especially for people who have no money to speak of (us!) and no fertility problems to make one from scratch, but there are no guarantees either way. My son has a (very easy to control) genetic disorder and my daughter has dysplastic kidneys; neither was a problem that either of us had any reason to suspect. In other words, even with your own biological children, you never know what you're going to get.<br><br>
My best friend is adopted. He says that it's messed with him his whole life-- he was a mistake that someone made, and he feels like he was never really wanted. When I pointed out that his (adoptive) parents wanted him, he corrected me: they wanted a white, male infant, and that's what they got. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"> It's messed with his head his entire life, and while he loves his parents, he still can't wrap his head around the idea that his biological mother "gave him up." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying">
 

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I have not faced the decision you have, as my pregnancy was a wonderful surprise. But as far as overpopulation goes - overpopulation is nothing that we Americans (or insert other industrialized nation here) are really contributing to. It is the countries that are desperately poor, have no access to medical care, don't even understand what birth control is, etc. like Ethiopia that are churning out babies at an astonishing rate. So, I don't think you should really feel guilty about overpopulating the planet by having babies.<br><br>
Why not save the thousands of dollars it would take you to save one child by adopting, have your own, and donate a wad to some of the organizations that do wonderful work in seriously overpopulated areas? A few thousand bucks could save dozens of kids. That seems like it would be win/win. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
Just a thought. Good luck with whatever you choose to do. You sound like a wonderful mama. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lexbeach</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Is it selfish of me to conceive another human life just so that I can go through another pregnancy and birth?<br><br>
I am so confilicted.</div>
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First off, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> ! It's really difficult to face a decision like this, and I totally respect you for taking the time and energy to really think about it.<br><br>
On to my (controversial) opinions:<br>
Just so you know, I was raised by total ZPGer parents (zero population growth - they signed a pledge and everything), and I continue to embrace that idea/ideal. I am also a doula, aspiring midwife, aspiring crunchy parent, and all around birth junky. So the idea of using one birth to heal the trauma and pain of a previous one is familiar to me, and meshes well with my general birth philosophy.<br><br>
So, is wanting to have another birth even though you have two bio children "just" so you have the chance (though not the guarantee) of healing your previous birth trauma selfish? Yes, but. But, I don't believe "selfish" always equals "bad". But, taking care of yourself is vital to taking good care of your kids. But, sometimes following the right path includes being selfish.<br><br>
On the other hand, I do think it is wrong to add to the population of the planet beyond generational "replacement", and that, in fact, it would be best - for all of us! - to slowly decrease the planet's population over the next several generations. I love and respect many, many people who have three, four, more children, but I still get a strongly negative viceral reaction when I hear about someone trying to conceive their third, fourth, or higher child. (Not that I blame them for wanting that, nor even necessarily for choosing it - but I still think it is, in general, wrong. So does my DP, and he's a seventh child.)<br><br>
Of course, in a balanced population, there would be room for the whole spectrum, from my "spinster" aunt, who never had nor wanted children, to the "professional parents" who want nothing more from life than raising the next generation, and all of us "couple kid" inbetweeners. But, we're not in a balanced population. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
All that said, I can't answer the question of whether to add to your family via bio or adoptive paths - no one other than you and your wife can. You, the two of you, have to decide together. Which value is more important in this case, the one of healing old wounds, or of not adding to the planet's population burden? Which will take precidence? How will you honor both values while choosing one path? Part of this deliberation, of course, is making sure that your wife understands the seriousness and degree of importance having a healing birth is to you, just as you (I hope) understand how important not adding more children to the world is to her. I also hope that you can both become (or are) aware that the "other" position is important to you also, if only because it is so important to your lifemate.<br><br>
I also want to respond to the previous poster who related a friend's feelings about being adopted - yes, there are, of course, people who have problems because of being adopted. But then, there are many who have problems because of the natal family they were stuck in. And, there are many other adoptees who are grateful to their birth parents for giving them up, and many bio children equally grateful for being kept. How a child feels about himself growing up has much more to do with how he was raised (and how he is inclined to be, that is, pessimist or optimist) than whether or not he was adopted. One example does not a proof make - that is, it's pointless to base a decision to/not to adopt based on one individual's experience.<br><br>
So do I have any actual advice? Well, no, not really. Just wanted to say that I'm sure you (plural) will end up being wonderful mothers to the child(ren) you add to your life, however that happens. They will benefit from this time you've spent contemplating how best to bring them into your life.<br><br>
Good luck.
 

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You should adopt because you want to, not because you will feel guilty if you don't.<br><br>
My son is a biological child, and my daughter was adopted. I had a less than ideal pregnancy (3 months bedrest) and lots of emotional upheaval my son's first year (not related to post-natal issues, just other family issues). Our nursing relationship was fine, but I had recurring mastitis, which was a bit of a nightmare.<br><br>
My husband and I had always planned to adopt after one bio child, and I decided that fate stepped in to seal that decision. We adopted domestically and transracially, and feel complete as a family. There are several two-mom families that went through our program about the same time as we did.<br><br>
Best of luck on your journey,<br>
L.
 

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I don't have any advice or anything substantive to add, but as a birthmother I just want to plug open adoption. Using eilonwy's friend as an example - what if he had grown up his whole life getting letters and pictures, and maybe even visits, from his birthfamily? What if he knew exactly why she "gave him up" because she told him in her own words and answered any questions he had? What if he knew that she continued to love him even though she decided it would be best if she didn't raise him? ... etc ... Lots of good reasons why I chose open adoption. I'm proud to be part of one, I believe it was the best choice for everyone involved, and I can't wait to see my 9 (!!!) y.o. birthson in 13 days. (It's been 6 mo since the last time I saw him.)<br><br>
So if you do decide to adopt, please consider open adoption. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>KristiMetz</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I have not faced the decision you have, as my pregnancy was a wonderful surprise. But as far as overpopulation goes - overpopulation is nothing that we Americans (or insert other industrialized nation here) are really contributing to. It is the countries that are desperately poor, have no access to medical care, don't even understand what birth control is, etc. like Ethiopia that are churning out babies at an astonishing rate. So, I don't think you should really feel guilty about overpopulating the planet by having babies.</div>
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On the other hand...<br><br>
"Americans constitute 5% of the world's population but consume 24% of the world's energy. On average, one American consumes as much energy as 2 Japanese, 6 Mexicans, 13 Chinese, 31 Indians, 128 Bangladeshis, 307 Tanzanians, or <b><span>370 Ethiopians</span></b>."<br><br><a href="http://www.mindfully.org/Sustainability/Consumption-Industrialized-Commercialized.htm" target="_blank">http://www.mindfully.org/Sustainabil...ercialized.htm</a>
 

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Gosh, Lexbeach, we really are in the same place right now, aren't we?<br><br>
This is a topic that DH and I have occasionally. We agreed to 2 bio and maybe some adopteds even before we were married. I had a great pregnancy and birth with DD and we are so tremendously in love with her that now we're talking more - 3 bio maybe?<br><br>
But the reasons we had said 2 in the beginning was overpopulation, economics (could we give more the life we wanted to?), etc. Those reasons still exist but I am starting to find "excuses" to bear more. Like "we need to outnumber the idiots" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">: I suppose we can do that with adopteds, though, too...<br><br>
Due to costs and the fact that we'd be looking at an older adoptee, that choice is at least 5-6 years down the road for us.<br><br>
Anyway, it's such a personal decision. Why <i>doesn't</i> DW want to bear more? Why <i>do</i> you?<br><br>
If it's just for the healing aspect, I think you should think about it more. That is an awful burden to place on one (or two) unborn babe(s). Besdies, what if you don't get pg with the stored sperm? What if the pg is complicated? What if you can't get someone to do a VBAC? What if, what if, what if... would you want a third pregnancy then? I'm not being snippy, I'm just playing devil's advocate... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Personally, I'm a list-maker. Do a pro/con list for the scenarios and see what feels right when you look at the big picture all at once.<br><br>
I'm so interested to read more responses...
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>guerrillamama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">On the other hand...<br><br>
"Americans constitute 5% of the world's population but consume 24% of the world's energy. On average, one American consumes as much energy as 2 Japanese, 6 Mexicans, 13 Chinese, 31 Indians, 128 Bangladeshis, 307 Tanzanians, or <b><span>370 Ethiopians</span></b>."<br><br><a href="http://www.mindfully.org/Sustainability/Consumption-Industrialized-Commercialized.htm" target="_blank">http://www.mindfully.org/Sustainabil...ercialized.htm</a></div>
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<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> THanks for mentioning this! I wanted to remark on this too!<br><br>
Another great resource in this vein is the <a href="http://www.myfootprint.org" target="_blank">ecological footprint quiz</a> where you can see how many resources people in your community use. It's eye-opening!
 

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I have not been in your shoes, but i do feel very keenly your lingering pain and frustration with the memories of your pregnancy and birth of your boys (who are just beautiful, btw <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">). One thing that struck me was one of the previous posters saying that you should adopt if you feel a strong conviction or desire to do so, but not do it if you really don't want to. And you need to make sure that your wife really really understands how important it is to you to have another physical pg'cy and birth so that you can heal from and redeem what happened to you before.
 

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ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I do know how you feel. I suffer from such a strong desire to "get it right". Yet my dh cannot imagine going thru another rough pregnancy, bed rest, risk of death, emergency csection, hospitilizaion... and I understand his fear. But there is that part in my that really NEEDS to "do it right".<br><br>
I don't know what advice to give you. I'm working it out for myself each day. I mean, why would I (you) even want to risk that hardship again, isn't that a strange desire?<br><br>
Good luck in your decesion!
 

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Lexbeach, I can understand the desire to 'try again' for the pregnancy & birth that you wanted with your first children..... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> My first was born, after an uneventful pregnancy, not in the beautiful & gentle surrounds of home as we had planned, but in a high stress hospital environment after multiple interventions. Fortunately I was able to avoid the c-section & deliver her vaginally, but nonetheless it took me a long time to come to terms with what happened during labour & her birth. At first I thought I would never have another child, but then when she was about one, I started to think maybe I might just like to have a go again. Fortunately DH was agreeable to another baby, & I was lucky to fall pregnant again fairly soon after. This time tho, I didn't really <i>expect</i> anything. I mean, with my first child, I just thought if I was determined enough, & strong enough, then a homebirth would just naturally follow & it would all be wonderful & natural. Wrong! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> With my second child, I planned for a homebirth, but this time I accepted from the outset that nothing is for certain when it comes to birth.... the story is a little more complicated than that, but the short version is that our son was born at home, after a very short & intense labour..... & it very much healed a lot of old wounds..... that was a blessing & a gift, but not expected, kwim?<br><br>
Not to discount your wife's feelings on having another child with regards to population & resources...... but 'natural' twins (I'm assuming yours aren't ivf babies- pls do correct me if i'm wrong) are a rarity, & it's just life's lucky lottery that gave your family twins. A dear friend of mine & her partner thought a long time about trying for a second child- they considered the population growth issue, & in particular the issue of western overconsumption of global resources in general, & in the end they decided that they would still like to have one more child, & go through the experience of childbirth together one more time...... well, guess what?? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> They had twins.... beautiful, lovely, bouncing, loud twins who are a delight, & great friends to my kids. I guess my point is that if you feel strongly that you would like to have another child, then I hope your wife is able to understand that.....<br><br>
One more thought occurs to me..... is it possible that she might like to have a child as well, & is thinking ahead about how many children your family can 'afford' in the long term? Dunno, just a thought......... best wishes with this one, lexbeach.....
 

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Thank you so much for all of your thoughtful responses.<br><br>
I wanted to clarify that I DO have a strong, real desire to adopt a baby, unrealted to any guilt issues or rescue fantasies. I feel like if we do choose to adopt, we will be doing it for the "right" reasons. My ultimate dream would be to have another bio baby AND adopt a baby. But I'm not sure that having four children is realistic (I mean, we wouldn't fit in the car!), and Dw feels like 3 is her limit. Of course, we could have another child (through conception or adoption) and then decide a few years from now that we would like another one afterall, but I'm going into this decision thinking that this is my last baby.<br><br>
For those who posted about the cost of adoption, I would like to point out that not all adoptions are costly. Adoptions through the foster system--while often drawn out and sometimes risky--can be completely free. We are friends with two couples and one single woman who have adopted babies this way. I don't think that it is the path we would choose, but it is an option.<br><br>
I don't know that I ever will reach a place where I feel sure about the decision. Dw says that she would prefer to adopt, but will support my decision to have another bio baby if it is THAT important to me. So it is pretty much up to me, which is stressful.<br><br>
I've thought about maybe trying to get pregnant with the sperm we have, and if it doesn't work moving on to adoption. But that seems like a lot of pressure to add to the already excrutiating ttc process. And also leads to issues such as what would I do if I did get pregnant with the last of the sperm and then miscarried? I doubt that I would feel happy with abandoning the idea of a second pregnancy at that point. In some ways, choosing to adopt would be the easier option because it wouldn't be about my body at all. Surely there would be a similar sort of waiting and hoping and possible disappointment, but it wouldn't be happening inside of me. I did take clomid last time (a fertility drug which gives you a 5-10% chance of twins), and I wouldn't take it again. I don't think it would be an issue because at this point my cycles seem much more regular than they were before I got pregnant, but there is a chance that I wouldn't be able to conceive without fertility drugs. Perhaps it would be better to choose adoption now before getting to the point of realizing that I won't be able to get pregnant without drugs. Because then choosing to adopt would be all mixed up with the let down of not being able to get pregnant. And if we just choose adoption from the get-go we will avoid that possibility. I just don't want to always regret not having a second pregnancy and birth. I know that there are no guarantees that it would be a better experience, but I think there's a good chance that it would be. And of course I would love the resulting child entirely regardless of the pregnancy/birth experience.<br><br>
But, having brought two more lives onto this planet already, I do feel a lot less callous about the impact of having a bio baby, especially since we are a family that would be so overjoyed to have a baby--any healthy baby--through adoption. Sigh.<br><br>
Please continue to respond, as it is really helpful to hear everyone's opinions; your responses have certainly fueled our discusion at home.
 

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What about adopting now and then go bio if you and DW decide on 4 later? You're young (and presumably healthy) so that shouldn't be an issue. How long does the sperm keep?
 

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As far as infants are concerned, there are always more adoptive families than domestic adoptable infants. There isn't really a need for more parents who want those infants. Even "hard to place" infants (minority or mildly disabled infants) aren't that hard to place.<br><br>
There is a very high need for older adoptable children who are in foster care. If you want to approach this as a social concern, the real need is with those older kids.<br><br>
However I would never adopt a foster child older than my bio kids. so if you want to have a abby, do that, wait till the child's older, then adopt a foster child or sibling group younger than your DC.<br><br>
I want to adopt too, but DH says no way. He wants his own "superior" genes replicated. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:
 

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Let me ask you a question I don't know if you've considered. What if your next birth were as bad/hard or worse than your first? Would you continue to keep having children just to get it right? My son was born almost 2 months premature because I had severe pre-eclampsia. It was a horrible experience. I was so sick I couldn't even move and hooked up to all sorts of machines, plus the baby was breech so he was a c-section. I also wasn't able to nurse him. I have to admit the reason I wanted to get pregnant again so quickly was to have the birth experience I wanted. Don't get me wrong, I wanted more children, but I also wanted to have the more peaceful birth. With my daughter I had a homebirth planned and I had laboured for 25 hours. But my daughter went into distress because she aspirated meconium and was born by emerg c-section. She came out blue and not breathing. So after 25 hours of labour, 8 cm dilated I had to have a c-section anyways. I was (and still am) able to nurse her so that part has been better. But I also had ppd after her, quite severely. After she was born and for about 18 months I REALLY wanted to have another biological child. But when I thought about it deep down it was because I wanted to have a chance at a vaginal birth. Through a lot of soul searching I realized that I already have two beautiful children. How they came into the world doesn't matter in the long run. And as my experience shows, you can't predict birth and who knows - my third birth could end up being worse. I always wanted to adopt as well and I know that there are so many babies who already need homes. I just couldn't justify it to myself when I already had two. We are currently in the process of adopting and I couldn't be happier (oh and I don't have tons of money sitting around either, we are raising it all through fundraisers and donations).
 

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I read an article recently about how there are not enough children being born to keep up the economy of places like Canada, the United States and most of Europe. Has anyone else seen it?<br><br>
So maybe the money would be best used to promote birth control and education in third world countries. This also might help out with the AIDS epidemic that runs rampent in the same areas. Just a thought.<br><br>
Jen
 
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