Childrearing

Despite Fertility Problems, Adoption Was Never On The Table For Us

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IUIWhen my husband and I first started to have problems conceiving, adoption did come up. It came up in exactly one conversation that we never revisited because of a painful experience my husband endured as a child.

My husband was raised in the 1960s when taboos surrounding women who placed children for adoption, or had a baby out of wedlock at all, faced brutal societal scrutiny. He was only a kid when his aunt and uncle adopted a baby after stumbling upon some fertility troubles of their own. He remembers the baby becoming a complete part of their family in the four years that she was his cousin until one day, the birth mother reappeared.

She eventually tracked my husband’s aunt and uncle down begging for the baby back. They refused and considering that she had signed away her rights as a parent, my husband’s family believed that the child was safely their own. They were wrong as she eventually did sue for custody– and won. The memory of that loss for my husband and his family so greatly impacted him that by the time our quest for a child became a bit bumpy, he said that adoption was not something he was willing to consider.

I was relieved in a way as pregnancy was very much something I wanted to experience.

We learned through a series of tests that my husband was actually sterile after having congenital kidney disease as a child. After berating myself for needlessly worrying about birth control for years, we proceeded with IUI (intrauterine insemination) after finding a sperm donor.

The year that our first daughter was born, I vividly remembering watching the news when stories about “Baby Jessica” were dominating all channels. The highly publicized story centered around a baby who was given up for adoption by a woman without notifying the father. Although she had put another man’s name on the birth certificate, the baby’s true father went to court for the baby and won after a two and a half year battle with the adoptive parents.

I remember rocking my infant and being thankful that I had not personally gone down that road. Despite my high regard for women who do choose to adopt, I realize in retrospect that adoption was not for me. It took a village to get me pregnant with about eight people involved total, and I’m so grateful that my husband and I had the means to afford such procedures.

There are some women who don’t care how they become mothers. Yet, there are some women who want the act of normalcy, and I am very much one of those women.

(photo: Shutterstock)