To commemorate National Infertility Awareness Week, RESOLVE.org is sponsoring the Bust an Infertility Myth Blog Challenge. I chose two related myths to address in the same post, one related to domestic adoption in general and the other related to foster-to-adopt programs.
Myth: There are many unwanted babies available for domestic adoption.
Myth: You will eventually be able to adopt the child.
Both of these myths relate to fears that I have about if we need to go the route of adoption. I'm scared to death of how crushed I would be to get close to being a parent and then for it not to happen. There's another couple whose blog I follow who have been accepted by an adoption agency and then weren't hearing anything for a long while. They checked to make sure that they were being considered and that their profile was being shown, and they found out that birth mothers were looking at their profile and not choosing them. I worry that I/we won't look good enough for a mother to want us to raise their child. I know that no couple and no family is perfect, but the people that care enough about their baby to go through a reputable agency also care enough to want the best for their child. There's always going to be someone better than me/us out there, someone who can afford to give their new child the best of everything, someone who did not spend all of whatever savings they were able to gather in order to get into line to be passed over by every mother. After all, once I'm able to switch to my company's insurance, IVF and other ART will be covered, but adoption will not...
Foster-to-adopt programs have been suggested to me as a more affordable option, and one where people are needed. I've tended to be at least somewhat resistant to the idea, although I haven't ruled it out for sure. The biggest reason I've been resistant is because of what I do for a living. I am, after all, a social worker. In my current job, I don't work with the foster care system. I have in previous jobs, however, and the main thing that experience did is strengthen the feeling I came out of grad school with that I never wanted to work in the foster care system. No, I don't think all DSS workers are bad or incompetent or anything like that. But I certainly don't want to be a social worker all day and then come home and have to fight with the foster care system on behalf of my own child. I want home to be, while not easy, at least different from work!
Another aspect of the foster-to-adopt system came up when I was discussing things with my therapist tonight, though. With many of the kids I had worked with, I had seen in their histories situations where the parental rights were about to be terminated so the child would be eligible for adoption when the birth parents suddenly tried to get things together so they could get their child back. Sometimes the parents did get their children back and then lost them again or took them back to DSS and said, "Take them." Sometimes, the situation dragged on, the parents never did get their act together, and the child did become eligible to be adopted, but a long time and a lot of pain later. Either way, it's extremely heart-wrenching for the parents that want to adopt. I don't know that I could do that, become attached to a child and then have that child taken away. And possibly more than once?? I don't even want to think about that!
So yeah, long story short, adoption is at least as fraught as assisted reproductive technologies.
Basic information about infertility http://www.resolve.org/infertility101
Background of National Infertility Awareness Week http://www.resolve.org/takecharge