Bet you had to read the title twice, right? First, we still plan to adopt. Second, we’re not “just adopting.” It’s a phrase that tends to be tossed around when couples find out they’re infertile. The connotation is that adoption is easy. We’d argue it’s not, and we’re just in the beginning stages.
Below you’ll find the 5 reasons why we won’t be “just adopting”.
1. Adoption is hard work. Between the educational classes, background checks, medical reports, financial reports and interviews, and countless other invasive questions and details we have to provide for our home study, adoption is not easy. And that’s pre-poopy diapers y’all. There are a lot of hoops to jump through to become an adoptive parent. Of course, parenting will be hard. So all around, it would be much easier to NOT adopt (or parent). However, that’s not in our hearts. We know we are meant to be a family with little ones.
2. Adoption isn’t right for everyone. Not every couple or person is built to adopt or desires to adopt a child. Adoption isn’t a single event in our lives; it’s a life long commitment. It has its financial and emotional hurdles beyond parenting itself. The statistics we found suggest that 30 percent of couples consider adoption but only 2 percent actually adopt (source). That’s huge. Some couples who experience infertility decide adoption isn’t right for them. That’s OK too.
3. Adoption isn’t second best. A lot of adoptions do occur by couples who have struggled with infertility. We can only speak for ourselves, but we never thought, “Well, if our baby makers are broken, we’ll just adopt.” Never. Not once. Adoption was always a consideration for us before we were even married. With that said, we knew very little about adoption until we experienced infertility. We attended orientation meetings, and we’ve embraced the differences. Like any path to parenthood, adoption will have its high and low moments. We plan to make the most of it.
4. Adoption can be expensive. As we’ve mentioned before, adoption is not cheap by any means. We have to have background checks and a home study to prove to the state and expectant parents that we will provide a stable, safe, and loving environment for children. Adoptive parents have to pay lawyers to ensure everything is legitimate in the eyes of the law. Out-of-state? More lawyers, more laws, more money. Enlist the help of an agency? More money. And that’s just to start. The cost can be great, but it does vary. While there are many great resources to help with expenses, they will not completely eliminate the costs.
5. Adoption won’t make us get pregnant. Promise. Adoption doesn’t have anything to do with people becoming pregnant. Do some people happen to get pregnant after they pursue adoption. Sure! It’s a common myth that birth after adoption happens “all the time.” Adoption simply won’t cure our infertility, and we wouldn’t want it to. We’ve been through the rigamarole with fertility treatments, and biological children don’t seem to be in the cards for us. In our case, we phrase it like this: Pregnancy is not impossible but improbable. We were disappointed, but we took time to grieve. It’s not an outright lose, but it does take time to mourn. We’ve always said adoption was part of the plan; we just didn’t know it would be THE plan.
In most cases, we don’t believe the “just adopt” comments are meant to be hurtful and thoughtless. It’s almost our human nature to try to fix things. Adoption seems like a solution to having children, but there’s a lot more to be considered when pursuing adoption.
Adoption isn’t for the faint of heart. It isn’t the easy way out for anyone involved. In some ways, we’re lucky to have nothing to compare to. We want to be parents. Adoption is our path.