I don’t want to share too much on the subject other than the fact that adoption and foster care have been coming up a lot more than it used to in our house, and infinitely more than the subject of doing additional fertility treatments in our future (because that number is currently zero). Its a subject we have much discerning and prayer to do, but as these discussions have happened in our house, they have been happening with friends of mine as well. Friends that have adopted or are adopting or who are preparing to foster. Or just random people that I’m paying a lot more attention to.
Recently when I moved here I joined MOPS, and overall I have had a very pleasant experience. I cry at the meetings frequently, but really, that may just indicate that the meetings are approximately two weeks apart at the most inconvenient times. We were asked to share our “life story” (yes, in 5 minutes, each) at the last meeting and the mentor mother shared hers at one point. I knew she had had two children, twins, but her story did not even mention infertility or difficulty conceiving, so I just assumed maybe twins was enough and they didn’t want anymore after that. The way I hear my mother talk about having twins first really had me convinced I was a bonus baby for over half my life (I am number three – and it turns out I wasn’t). Maybe it was because she was older and had many more formative years for her to spend less time focusing on those years of wanting children. Or maybe it was because we were at a moms group. Or maybe because I had talked about it too much.
But she mentioned at the end of her story that she always wanted more children and had looked into adoption at one point. One day she even had a friend call her in an emergency about a baby born with a heart condition who needed a family since the other adoptive couple had backed out at the last minute. And her and her husband quickly agreed that YES they would love to adopt him…until the woman called back and said there was another couple looking to adopt that had never been able to have children. So the woman said yes, choose them, since they had yet to experience parenthood. High demand, low supply, and they wanted that couple to experience the love of parenthood.
I read a stat this weekend that for every domestic baby adopted there are 36 couples waiting to adopt. I had heard a previous stat that it was 4 to 1 so there is no way I’m going to link to a reference for that one, but regardless, there seems to be more people waiting than children being born for domestic adoption in the United States. I heard another adoptive mother this summer lament that women who can have biological children should not adopt. I have also heard that birth mothers don’t like it when they have families with an only biological child trying to adopt, since it seems that couple is just “looking for a playmate”.
This view that there are people who should and should not adopt stands in direct opposition to the view that adoption is almost a Christian principle and that as we are all adopted by God, adoption of widows and orphans into our families naturally flows. But I think what bugs me more is that it treats children as objects to be acquired in a “You get one, I get one” let’s be fair attitude, which is directly opposed to the dignity of each child, or the idea that God’s will is above our own and should be determined instead by our determination of “fair”. When in reality, if that were the case, we would all have the same fertility and the same number of children, and the same loving parents in the first place.
I’m sure there are people who believe any number of things, as there is always someone to stand on the opposite side of the argument. And I’m sure there are birthmothers who will choose you because you have a cat and she likes cats or any other random connection, but I’m more curious, is this sentiment something you’ve heard before? Particularly that having biological children negates you from adopting?
I am just still having a hard time understanding why someone would consider that an important factor in determining if a child would benefit from a loving home that you could provide.