5 Reasons We’re NOT “Just Adopting”

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”.

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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 aren’t 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 it to you. We want to be parents. Adoption is our path.

BW Chris and Jess Heart Signature

14 thoughts on “5 Reasons We’re NOT “Just Adopting”

  1. As adoptive parents of 2 little boys that are 2 and a half months apart, I completely agree with every statement. Thank you for writing.
    I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

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    • Jill, I’m so glad this resonated with you and other adoptive parents. I love hearing some version of “It was worth it.” It’s comforting to know that all the hoops won’t be for nothing in the end. ❀ ~Jess

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  2. As a woman with seven years of infertility, so far, I appreciate this post. Adoption is not the easy solution that people seem to consider it to be. Sometimes health issues can go against a couple considering adoption. I have multiple sclerosis. Also, for couples, like myself and my husband, who would happily adopt but would like a baby rather than an older child, age can also be a factor that works against us. After years of infertility not all couples are considered young enough to adopt a baby. We’re actually now considering embryo adoption. I wish you well on your journey.

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    • Rachel, thank you for taking the time to read our post. The limitations on adopting are diverse from country to country, even within the states. And no two agencies seem to have the same standards. We particularly noticed the age limitations and marital status/years married. It’s a web of information. While we don’t personally know anyone who has chosen embryo adoption, we have heard good things about the programs. We wish you well on whatever path you decide to take. ~Jess

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  3. Well written and good points. I was glad to see it struck a cord with others in similar situations. The word “just” is included in comments on a variety of topics. We have all been hurt by that word as it seems to belittle our feelings, efforts, objectives or the severity of the issue. Very rarely is it “justified” or helpful.

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      • Arg!! WordPress just glitched and I posted my comment on the wrong blog!!
        Real comment for your blog should say: I appreciate your effort to try to find the right balance. We’ve been working really hard to explain that while infertility has lead us to adoption, we are not “just” adopting – every single thing you said here is precisely why virtually “no-one” just adopts, and I hope that as I share about our adoption journey I am able to help people understand that adoption is not easy and it is not particularly affordable to the average person.

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      • No worries. We’ve had doctors say “just adopt” or some version of “now you’ll get pregnant”. It’s crazy how some myths continue. A future post will be about adoption myths. You can bet the pregnancy myth will pop up again. We do our best to educate, but not everyone will “get it”. ~Jess

        Liked by 1 person

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