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Adoption Myth No. 2

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a blog by Ellen Glazer, October 14, 2010

When I talk with people who are considering adoption, many flinch and say, “I don’t want to have to sell myself.” Or “Why should we have to be in competition with all those beautiful and wealthy couples?”

I know that after the struggles and defeats of infertility the prospect of putting together “the BOOK,” a small pamphlet of photos and texts, is daunting. Infertility can easily leave people feeling like “failures,” increasingly certain that nothing will work. The image of a birth mother going through piles and piles of books makes it seem like adoption will be an even more challenging mountain to climb than IVF. A few clarifications…

    First, most birth mothers are not looking for the most beautiful or the richest couples. What they want for their child is a good home, and most do not equate beauty or wealth with love, understanding, patience, acceptance and intuition.

    Next, most birth mothers don’t go through piles of booklets. If they are working with an agency, the agency will probably begin by asking them what they are looking for in adoptive parents — for example, childless vs. a family with a child — and then offer them the books of three families that seem to “fit the bill.”

    In addition, I encourage prospective parents who fear they will be involved in a marketing endeavor to think about it more as a means of introduction. Putting text and photos together gives them an opportunity to say what they like most about their lives and to present it to someone who is making the most difficult and important decision of her life.

    Finally, when birth mothers are asked why they selected a particular family, one never hears, “because they have the nicest house” or “they look like movie stars.” Instead, there are comments about how much in love the couple seemed to be or how gentle and fun loving they look or how much their interests seem to be similar to the interests of the birth family. Or, it can be something totally random, “I liked her dog,“ (not knowing that the dog in the picture was visiting with friends) or even “There was a photo of him making spaghetti, and I love spaghetti.”

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Comments (1)

I have to say this is a huge misconception. We went through an agency that suggested families to the birth mother one at a time. The birth mother never saw a picture of us or our home. The decision was based mostly on phone interviews, that made me extremely nervous at first, but looking back on it was probably the best way to make a decision. Being compatible and having commonalities was of the utmost importance and that can't be measured by wealth or looks.

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