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Six Myths about Adoption
a blog by Ellen Glazer, October 7, 2010
I can easily remember a time when couples struggled with infertility for a year or so and then moved on to adoption. While this sometimes meant that people were adopting with unresolved grief over their infertility, it also meant that adoption wasn’t seen as some distant “booby prize” for those who were not able to triumph in their battle with infertility. Adoption seemed to be a natural “next step” and one that folks took without feeling defeated, diminished or “like failures.”
Adoption Viewed Differently These Days
Times have changed. Although I meet some couples in my adoption work who simply said “no thank you" to assisted reproduction, most who choose adoption after infertility do so with great struggle. The prevailing message in today’s world of infertility treatment is: "Keep trying — fortitude and perseverance will pay off.” While adoption is not explicitly labeled a “last resort,” that is often the feeling one gets in the world of infertility.
This blog and others will begin to tackle some of the myths that surround adoption. These myths include:
- Adoption is second best,
- All adoptions are open,
- Adoptions often fall through,
- You have to “market” yourself in order to be able to adopt,
- Adoption is unaffordable, and
- You have no control in adoption.
I’ll begin here with "adoption is second best" and address some of the other myths in subsequent blogs.
Ask an Adoptive Parent
If you ask an adoptive parent if adoption is “second best,” I think that most feel that they got their “first best” child through a second choice path to parenthood. Most would not have chosen adoption, but now that they are adoptive parents, they are “over the moon” with delight.
In the words of one woman who, with her husband, struggled with infertility for over a decade, tried to resolve without children and very reluctantly came to adoption said, “If someone told me I could be pregnant, but I couldn’t have the children I have, I would say 'no.' These are my children — I don’t want others.”
This is not to say that adoption does not involve losses. There are a pile of them: the loss of genetic continuity, the interruption of a blood line, missing the pregnancy experience, the costs of adoption, etc. But when prospective adoptive parents take stock of their losses, many realize that although much has been lost, something very big, grand and awe-inspiring awaits them: parenthood.