I come across this question a lot. Why not just adopt?
It’s not a simple question, and for us, there isn’t a simple answer.
The way I see it is adoption is not a consolation prize for childless couples. Adoption is a special privilege; a gift. But, not all infertile couples are meant to adopt. Just as not all fertile couples are meant to have children. I wish there weren’t such assumptions. There would be a lot less people becoming parents for the wrong reasons. I also wish people put more thought and consideration into the questions they asked, but that’s another post for another time.
I have grappled with how to answer the adoption question for awhile. Up until now, I have always said, “We are discussing it,” and left it at that. But lately, when asked, “Have you considered adoption?” or “Why not just adopt?” I feel like I am being called out. Should I be submitting adoption applications while we are knee deep in dealing with infertility? Are we bad people for considering fertility treatments before adoption? Are we selfish people for wanting a biological child? Should I tell people we want to adopt, even when we don’t really know what we want to do, just to make us look better? These are just some of the questions that swirl around in my head, often times leaving me feeling angry and confused.
Because let’s face it – the question of “Why not just adopt?” comes with a certain level of judgment to it. People are indirectly saying, “If I were you, I would adopt! Why wouldn’t you?”
It is during these times of self-doubt that I try to remember that I don’t owe anyone anything. The honest answer is that adoption may or may not be for us. That is a bridge I cross together with my husband, and not with anyone else but him. We don’t know at this point, because we are overwhelmed. We haven’t done the research. We haven’t talked enough about it. I often think about how amazing it would be to adopt a child, but that’s a daydream at this point. I refuse to tell people we would definitely adopt just to paint myself in a better light. That’s bullshit.
People can go on for days about what they would do if they were in our situation, but until they actually are in this situation, their “what ifs” don’t really mean anything. We have to live with the decisions we make. When it comes to the manner in which we bring children into this family, it doesn’t have to make logical sense to the average Joe. It doesn’t have to neatly fit into a box stamped with the approval of society. It’s much more complex than any adoption application or fertility treatment cycle. It is about what is the best choice for us. And for that, there is no universal right or wrong answer.
Your thoughts on this are welcomed.