One of the first things we thought of when we couldn’t get pregnant was to adopt. Yet, after years of research and pain and heartache, people will assume that this thought hasn’t occurred to you. The ‘Why don’t you just adopt’ brigade think they’re being helpful by suggesting this – but they’re being cruel. When I read an article in the paper where someone pours their heart out about their IVF experience or their endless miscarriages, the majority of comments below will be by judgemental people who demand ‘Why don’t you just adopt?’
There are often many self-righteous comments like ‘ the world is overpopulated’, ‘how selfish’, ‘The NHS has more important things to provide for’ , ‘Why don’t you just adopt – there are children desperate for a home out there.’
Nobody is more acutely aware of those children that need a home than people that desperately want a child. For many of us, the first thing we consider is adoption and have been on waiting lists for years. What does it say about the adoption process if injecting yourself with needles on a daily basis, being poked and prodded to the point that you have no dignity left – and risking having the beautiful baby, or the ‘product’ sucked out of you again and again, seems more appealing than adoption?
Believe me, if I could pick up just one of those children that you see on the news, and give them a home, I would not be pursuing anything else. But we’re not all Madonna and Angelina, and we don’t all have a one off payment of 30 thousand pounds and upwards. Of course, some people don’t want to adopt – and why should they. Unlike many people seem to think, having difficulty conceiving does not place the responsibility of adoption on you. In fact, ironically having your own biological children makes you a better candidate in many agencies eyes. You aren’t tainted with the pain of infertility, you aren’t seen as fragile and desperate. You’ve proven that you are responsible enough to be a parent – simply because you were lucky enough.
You might not have a dog that saved you from spiralling into depression after that third miscarriage – and although this dog has been your lifeline, you need to state that you’re willing to get rid of it if necessary. I am in the relatively early stages of adoption so I haven’t had all of these experiences, but my friends have. I am on an adoption waiting list, but after years of waiting I know that it doesn’t always happen – and it’s not the answer for everyone. I feel like saying to these people: Why don’t YOU just adopt, if it’s so easy?