May 22, 2009

The Selfishness of Adoption

I didn't want to taint my very positive entry about how great my employer is about supporting adoption. However, I have wanted to blog about this topic for awhile and it came up again during the "expectant parent" fair.

It was fairly obvious (thank you genetics) that I am not pregnant when I was walking around the expectant parent fair so in the course of conversation I would let people know that we were adopting. Everyone, of course, is very supportive of adoption and responds with the usual "that's so great". There is then always a smaller percentage of people who will ask from which country will I be adopting. I then always tell them, "here in Colorado". So many people then respond with, "That's so great. It's too bad everyone goes to (fill in the blank) for babies when there are so many babies who need homes here in the United States."

I really don't have the energy to engage with everyone and it seems not worth it sometimes, but, that statement is so untrue when it comes to domestic infant adoption. If there were so many babies who needed homes we wouldn't all be waiting years to bring a baby into our homes. I then always picture an image in their minds of my husband and I strolling through an "orphanage" selecting the perfect baby.

I think the statement sets up the notion that we are "saving" a child which is so incredibly opposite of the truth. My husband and I are adopting for purely selfish reasons. We want to start a family and bring a child into our lives. This belief that many people harbor upsets me because I don't want my child to be viewed as someone who is "lucky" or was "saved". I know that I have only just begun my job of "adoption ambassador" and I have lots of good "positive" comments in my arsenal but sometimes a girl just needs to vent.


  1. and I'm so glad you did!

    You are right, we have heard that alot and from grandparents too! It is tough. We felt the same way. We weren't better people because we chose adoption, we chose adoption because that was the path God had for us. It isn't charity. What people don't realize is the waiting can feel so very lonely, and to have scores of people around that do NOT get it- makes the loneliness feel engulfing at times.

    I pray for you and your journey to motherhood. The twists and turns will only prove to make you stronger for the road ahead!

  2. Amen! Hardly saints.. we're the lucky ones. :o)

  3. I understand! We've already gotten the "he's so lucky" comment so many times about Charlie in only a few short weeks. I know people mean well, but I keep telling, WE are the lucky ones! We chose domestic infant adoption because WE wanted an infant instead of an older comes down to that, which was indeed a selfish decision on our part.

    The thing is, there are so many adoption misconceptions amongst the general population that I think you really have to pick your battles in terms of what aspects of adoption to advocate for, and with whom to have such discussions.

    This is a TOUGH job for us adoptive parents, and I'm right there with you when you say sometimes you simply don't have the energy.

    Great post!


  4. I hear you! I'm so sick of the "that's so great (of you)" comment. We just want to be parents, people. Not trying to save the world...I would love to do that if I could, but I can't. My MIL often says this or things along that line ("that baby will be so lucky", "you're saving a child", etc.). I've tried to explain to her tactfully that there are many families waiting to adopt and we will be the lucky ones if we are ever chosen. She means well, I guess. I'm sick of educating about adoption already, but I know it never ends.

  5. Amen! Since we're just beginning to be more open to people we don't know as well we're just now starting to get the REALLY stupid comments related to domestic vs. internat'l. Puh-lease, who has any right to question why or where people choose to adopt? So far the "saving" comments haven't quite hit yet but those will probably send me into the stratosphere.