Adoption is Not a Last Resort

I feel the need to scream this from the top of my lungs:

ADOPTION IS NOT A LAST RESORT.  RATHER ADOPTION IS THE BEST CHOICE FOR MY FAMILY!!

Now, I’ll back up and tell you why I feel the need to share this.  Our well meaning family and friends have on more than one occasion stopped us in my tracks with their questions. In fact, a few months ago I wrote about some of the irritating questions we received right away when we told people about our decision to adopt.

In the time that we’ve been considering adoption to grow our family we’ve learned that insensitive questions and comments are common. I firmly believe people do not mean to be hurtful, but they ask questions because people genuinely are trying to understand more about adoption and they have no idea how to ask the right questions.

The very fact that someone felt compelled to make this adoption youtube video speaks to the frequency and nature of questions that adoptive families are asked (as an aside, I love this video, and I think everyone who wants to know more about appropriate adoption questions should watch it):

So, today, I want to share with everyone a new type of hurtful adoption question we have now received on three different occasions – maybe you should look into surrogacy or try IVF.

First let me state that I believe these questions are inappropriate to ask someone choosing to adopt. Stated another way, please do not suggest to someone who is already in the process of adopting that they should consider alternative options!!

Why you ask?  Let me explain.

First, these questions make me feel as though the person asking doesn’t feel that adoption is good enough way to have children. And it hurts so much to think that someone doesn’t think that our adopted child will be good enough. I suspect that no-one means to tell us that our family plans and our children will not be good enough, but that’s what these questions imply to us.

Second, I believe anyone choosing to put themselves through any alternative way to have children has evaluated the options and made the decision that is best for them. There are so many potential options available to have children today: trying the old fashioned way, trying the Dr. Braverman way, IUI’s or IVF, surrogacy, gestational carrier, or choosing not to have children, etc. To suggest that we should consider alternate options is to suggest that we don’t know what we are doing and we haven’t thought this decision through. Just like its taboo to say to someone going through infertility that they should just adopt, it should be just as taboo to say to someone going through adoption that they should do something else instead. I firmly believe that none of these alternative approaches to building a family are easy or cheap. Everyone makes the decision that is best for them, and I know for us, we really appreciate when people show respect for our decision rather than question it.

Third, if you feel really compelled to make a suggestion, please make sure you know what you are talking about. Please do not tell me how easy IVF is because it just involves shooting sperm into the uterus – that’s actually an IUI, and even an IUI often isn’t that simple when you consider the monitoring and medications involved. Do not tell me how surrogacy involves just using sperm from Mr. MPB and an egg from me, when in fact that’s called a gestational carrier. Do not tell me that IVF will work, when statistically IVF actually has a higher chance of miscarriage with traditional pregnancies, and the miscarriage stat assumes you even get enough eggs harvested to create enough embryos to implant. If you truly feel the need to question our decision please know your facts so that you can engage in an intelligent conversation.

Fourth, our decision has been made. It is final and we will not be changing our mind. At this point in time your alternative suggestions are condescending and hurtful. I now find myself saying: Our decision to adopt was not a decision by committee, rather it was a decision between Mr. MPB and I. If we wanted your opinion we would have asked for it when we were making our decision, and we didn’t. Instead, we now ask that you now respect and support our decision to grow our family through adoption.

Lastly, these suggestions imply that adoption is a last resort. Adoption is not a last resort. In fact, amongst all the possible ways to have a family in this modern world, adoption is the best choice for our family. No-one is forcing us to adopt, rather we have made the choice to adopt our child(ren). And we are excited about our choice and our future family.  Please, respect this.

I firmly believe that adoption is not a last resort, rather adoption is the best choice for my family. And, anyone who understands and respects this will always hold a special place in my heart.

If you like this post, please feel free to share it and please click the follow button on the side or return to myperfectbreakdown.com to follow my journey.

72 Comments on “Adoption is Not a Last Resort

  1. As always, your thoughts are spot on. While I am not on the adoption track, I feel the same way when people ask me, “Why not just adopt?” rather than go through fertility treatments. Who says any of it is any of their business?

    I hope you have the strength and courage to respond to asinine questions with the same dignity you display here.

    Like

    • You are right, it isn’t anyone’s business why or how we have made the decision that is best for us! No matter what that decision is, we are adults making the right decision for ourselves, and people should be able to see that.
      I do my best to be patient with anyone making hurtful suggestions. I really do believe that they aren’t trying to be insensitive, unfortunately they just don’t know better.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I do love this video – I think I may start sending it to anyone who asks me stupid questions! Or maybe I should just keep a link to it on my cell phone so I can show it to people in stead of answering their questions. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree. I just have to remind myself that most people really to know that they are being rude. They haven’t been exposed to what adoption/fostering looks like and they most likely have stereotypes already.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes yes yes!
    My decision to adopt was always an AND decision. It was never an OR decision. The fact I haven’t been able to bring a genetically related child home from the hospital is irrelevant to my decision to adopt. I would have anyway.

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  3. If you are weighing out the options, I’ve always felt adoption has WAY better odds than fertility treatments. I don’t think people should ever judge how or why you made your decision. You are having a family. That’s the decision.

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    • I completely agree with you about adoption having WAY better odds then fertility treatments – heck, that’s a large part of why we chose adoption. We needed statistics on our side for once, and adoption gave us that! 🙂

      Like

  4. Love the video! And ugh, what frustrating comments! Yeah, what really gets me about comments like that is… do they really think you haven’t considered every available option? Do they really think you’ve never thought about IVF? What sort of a response are they expecting???

    I guess the thing to keep in mind is that people generally mean well and are curious, but have no idea what to say. When I get dumb questions, I try to answer them under the assumption that this person means well and is just being awkward about starting the conversation (on my good days, that is… on my bad days I snap out an equally rude response!).

    I just don’t understand what all the hoopla is about adoption, anyway. People probably don’t realize how many adoptive families they know — because how often do you tell people about the way you joined your family? (It’s not like I go around telling people I was born by C-section!) It’s nice to have people talking about it on blogs like yours, to shed a little light on what to many people is an unfamiliar and mysterious — but surprisingly common — way of starting a family. I feel lucky to have grown up in a family with adoptive children, so I’m a little less freaked out about adoption as a possibility than a lot of other women I know experiencing fertility issues. It’s not the best option for our family right now, but someday it very well might be, and that possibility gives me comfort when times get tough.

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    • I too always try to remind myself that people generally mean well, and if I respond politely I have an opportunity to educate people. Some days, it’s tiring and I’m less then polite, but I do try most of the time. 🙂
      Also, thank you for sharing your story! I think you are right, most people do know families built through adoption, and may not even realize it! Once we started looking for people locally who have adopted, they seem to be all around us. And I am so thankful for all the families who are willing to share their story and encourage us along.

      Like

  5. I think this is just the tip of the iceberg. People never hesitate to ask a woman questions about her reproductive intentions. It makes me crazy, because it’s NO ONE’S BUSINESS. The questions about how we go about having children, whether we even WANT children, and how many children we “plan” to have, etc. make me nuts. If I bring it up, great–fire away with your questions. Otherwise, just shut it.

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    • I completely agree with you! What I right here could easily be switched to say IVF is not a last resort, or surrogacy is not a last resort. People really need to realize that whatever our individual circumstances, and therefore our individual decisions, are our decisions.
      And I love your approach, if I bring it up, ask away. If I don’t, respect that it’s off limits. That’s exactly how we operate, and it just seems like the respectful approach.

      Like

      • You’re welcome – as an adoptive parent of a now 9 year old I can promise you both that these kind of comments do die down AND that you genuinely stop caring about them!

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      • It is so great to hear that these comments do die down and that I will stop caring about them! I cannot wait for the day that I am able to let these things roll of my back without being so annoyed by them. I guess that will come with time. 🙂

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  6. That’s an awesome video! I completely agree with you. It’s like when we first began the IF journey, and your “favourite’ phrase of “just relax”! lol. It clearly shows people have no understanding of what they’re talking about, and they’re trying to solve the problem.

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    • I too love this video, I think everyone should watch it. 🙂
      I just wish people would educate themselves before spewing off things they think they’ve heard. Wouldn’t the world be great if people would think before they talk?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This brings up the issue of boundaries for me- like Molly said- since when is it okay to ask and/or give advice on private and deeply personal matters such as family building? And when people do ask, why do they feel the need to argue for other options- as if you never thought it all out yourselves already! Like I said before, people say stupid things quite unknowingly, and under the guise of trying to be helpful. What they need to learn to do is to LISTEN and respect boundaries.

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    • Absolutely, it really is all about respecting boundaries! I would never ask someone about their intentions of having children, or what sex position they plan to use, or tell them how I think they should procreate. I will never understand how some people think these things are appropriate to ask/say. But, I guess that’s where we just get to do our best to be polite and educate. Fun times, right?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yup, DW has borrowed some canned and unhelpful reactions and enjoys throwing them back at them every once in a while when the fertile myrtles complain about something trivial… Things like “just relax, and let things happen.” Or “what will be will be”. She gets a good chuckle out of it.

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  8. Amen sista!! You are so right with so many examples in this post!! I can’t tell you how many people have said some of those things to me! Really, people have no clue. Simple. If they are not going through it…they are uninformed and don’t “get it”. I LOVE that you have made your decision and are determined to go forth and bring home your child…and everyone should respect and support that decision! You are amazing and I admire your strength and determination…don’t let anyone get in your way…you are gonna have your child soon…and that is all that matters!!! xoxo

    Like

    • You are so right, “people have no clue.” Because of the no clue people, I have come to value the opinion of anyone who gets it, and even those who make an effort to try to understand.
      Thank you so much for your continued support and incredibly kind words. I believe one day at a time, one step forward, we will both overcome our hurdles and make our dreams come true eventually! Love to you my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Preach! The last resort idea is also why I bristle at people who say “adoption was our first choice” or “our Plan A” as though that puts them on a higher pedestal than us lowly mortals who chose it after attempting something else first. Grrr.

    Like

    • Oh, I have heard that too, and it always makes me wonder. Very few people actually choose adoption as their first choice, so it’s odd when people say things like that. I guess it makes them feel better in some way?

      Like

  10. What the hell is wrong with people?!! People just think they can say whatever they want!! Adopting a child is INCREDIBLE and you would think people would be much more supportive!

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  11. Do you ever ask people who make those stupid “last resort” comments or questions if they go around asking adopted children how it feels to be the last thing their parents wanted? I would be so inclined to call folks out on that s**t. Grrr.

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    • I really should start doing this!! I’m also tempted to try to come up with some equivalently inappropriate questions for people who had kids the “normal” way. This way I can give them an example of how wrong their question is.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Sigh…when will we stop having to answer dumb, insensitive questions or explain ourselves to ignorant people regarding building our families?! I think sadly the answer is never. But, you always explain it so eloquently that, even though we aren’t adopting, I feel like I can use your responses in my own situation. Thanks for arming me with some well-worded, intelligent answers! I know I’ll get the chance to put them to use. Haha.

    Like

    • I think you are right, we will probably never be able to escape the ignorance that seems to come with non-traditional ways of growing our families. it’s frustrating to say the least!
      I’m glad to know that you are able to use some of my responses in your situation too! I try to remind myself that the key is to be patient with people and try to educate rather then giving them a piece of my mind! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  13. That video is great! Im sorry people are so insensitive, even if unknowingly so. The idiotic things that come out of people’s mouths never cease to amaze me! Sometimes, it is as if they think they have some sort of life changing advice or info that you must not have thought of before. I think having that video on standby on your phone is a GRAND idea!!! xoxo

    Like

    • Ya, I am finding myself at a loss as to why people feel the need to offer their “opinions” when a decision has been made and when they know nothing about the topic. It’s so bizarre to me!

      Like

  14. I’m sorry that your life seems to be full of so many people that judge you and who just don’t know how to hold their tongues. It never ceases to amaze me how much people who have absolutely NO CLUE what they’re talking about, always want to give you advice on your personal life and decisions. I wish those people would realize just how maddening and hurtful that is to others. I know you’ll probably (unfortunately) hear more of this over the next months, and I’m sorry. Just make sure you continue to keep strong and try to educate people on what you’re doing, instead of ripping their heads off and throwing them across the room. 🙂

    Like

    • It’s almost funny how full our lives are of opinionated people who don’t seem to understand boundaries. It’s weird actually. Clearly we need to start associating with new people who are more respectful.
      And as always, thank you so much for your positive suggestions – I will try really hard to focus on not ripping people’s heads off. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m so very sorry to hear that people have been so insensitive and downright rude! I can’t believe that anyone would make judgments about your choice or suggest alternatives! What gives them the right?! Many hugs to you! ❤

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  16. SUCH a wonderful post, fantastic video and brilliant answer to people’s stupid and hurtful comments. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again: WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?!

    Like

    • Thank you so much for your positive encouragement. 🙂
      I have no idea what is wrong with people, but I sure would like to understand why people don’t think before they talk! It’s a big mystery to me.

      Like

  17. Brilliant video 🙂 I wonder if some people are asking “have you thought of IVF or surrogacy” because what they actually mean is “Did you try IVF or surrogacy before you decided to adopt?”
    Sometimes people will try to wangle things out of you in such odd ways instead of just asking a direct question. I’m not saying either of these are appropriate to ask though, and I can well imagine how frustrating it must be to deal with people who really don’t understand or completely fail at being sensitive about this subject.

    Like

    • You make a fair point. I know two of them didn’t mean that because they know what we’ve been through. But, quite possibly the other one did as they do not know about our RPL struggles.
      I think the biggest thing that you point out is that I don’t know why people are asking these questions, so I shouldn’t assume the worst. Or at least I should try not to. 🙂

      Like

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  19. “Adoption is not a last resort. In fact, amongst all the possible ways to have a family in this modern world, adoption is the best choice for our family.”

    Amen ❤

    Like

    • Thank you for reminding me of this! Given the recent increase in the cost to adopt we have been re-evaluating our options and it’s nice to re-read that adoption has been the right choice for us. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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