Thursday, March 17, 2011

The guilt of adoption as a first choice...

Considering adoption from the US, has invoked a new wave of feelings. In the US process, a family needs to create a family profile, or dear Birth Mom letter - which is essentially a marketing tool to show a birth mom what kind of life you would provide her unborn child. Families spend thousands of dollars to have their profiles professionally done, websites created, advertising spots on adoption websites, and even 1 800 numbers! It is a tight market!

As a mother who has been fortunate enough to have the option of adoption, and has not had to to struggle through the painful world of infertility - I feel like the fat kid in the candy store. It's a world that I sometimes feel like I don't belong in, with a prize that I am not deserving of. Everyone automatically assumes that even despite our bio children, we have fertility issues. Most of the time, I won't interrupt to correct them because I am well aware that they likely struggle or have struggled with those issues. When I do correct them, or mention it, I feel like I'm rubbing it in their face or that they will perceive me as someone who is not deserving of adoption.

Most profiles go on to describe a couple's challenges with fertility and medical issues... painting a highly deserving situation. You can't help but feel for them. Heck, some of them make me feel like handing over a child! lol. Then there is our profile. I skip right on past that topic, not even mentioning our motivation for adoption... pretending like the question will never be posed, and hoping it never will.

I was advised by a US agency to market our profile on the internet at various sites. I just can't bring myself to do that. I feel like I haven't earned my stripes to be up there next to everyone else - trying to sell myself to a potential birth mom. What would I say? White family seeks black child, or biracial - for reasons of we don't want to add to the burden of the worlds population, and because we feel this is the right thing to do to expand our family...?

What if a Caucasian birth mom chose us? I would feel terrible because there are so many couples without children who have been waiting years for a healthy Caucasian baby that would look like them. Color does not matter to me, I am open to a child of color... and would rather go that direction for the simple fact that there are not many adopted parents who will.

While trying to make sense of my new found sense of "guilt"... I googled. I went looking to see if I was the only one in the world without medical reasons etc. trying to adopt.

Then I found this article... which could not have explained any more to the point of exactly what I feel!
I have to quote one of the comments that a reader left behind.
"Adoption is not primarily for infertile couples any more than water is primarily for recovering alcoholics."
I love it!


Anonymous said...

Why don't you adopt a child stuck in the foster system instead of a baby who would have many prospective parents?

Jolene said...

Thank you for your comment. This is certainly an idea that has crossed my mind. However, I am fairly certain due to Hague rules that a Canadian is unable to adopt a foster child from the US system. However, I am going to get clarification on that today. As far as the Canadian system... adoption is not as common here as it is in the US. Most children in the foster system have medical conditions etc. They are absolutely deserving of families, but we are unable to commit to something like that... given that we have 2 children, and don't want to drastically change their lives. The odd healthy child that is placed in the system is scooped up by a very long list of waiting families. Some families cannot afford to adopt privately, so the system is their only option. I do however have access to the waiting child website, and do browse it every couple of weeks.