CW: #infertility & #adoption 

It’s and as a person who is both struggling with infertility and an adopted person, I have many thoughts about this topic.

Most importantly, adoption is not a solution to infertility.


CW: #infertility & #adoption 

1. is painful. For many, having children is a lifelong dream and foundational to our expectations for our lives, our relationships, and our roles in society. To be confronted with the reality that these dreams may never come true, that our bodies will fail us in this most basic way is painful. Many folks with infertility struggles report feeling "less than" or "broken". To completely reimagine ourselves and our lives as involuntarily childless is difficult and fraught and isolating.

CW: #infertility & #adoption 

2. Growing up as an adopted person, without genetic mirroring, with more questions than answers about my original family, my own story, my genetic identity, and being forced to mold myself to a new adoptive family was deeply painful, isolating, and traumatic.

Societal views and commentary about adoption being beautiful, positive and adoptees being lucky, blessed, and chosen were further isolating and invalidating my experience. When the world told me as a child I should be grateful and not grieving, I learned I was alone. When the world told me that love, not genetics makes a family, I heard that my need to know my own genetic identity made me broken, difficult, ungrateful, unworthy.

CW: #infertility & #adoption 

3. Dealing with infertility as an adopted person has been brutal. Everywhere I turn, whether it’s at the fertility clinic, doing research about our options, or seeking support from friends and family, I’m smacked with messages that callously disregard the needs of children in an effort to meet the desires of adults. 

“Are you exploring egg/sperm/embryo donation?”

“What about surrogacy?”

"You can always adopt!”

These questions and conversations never include considering the impact of these decisions on the children they are about; the only feelings that are centered are those of those making the decision.

CW: #infertility & #adoption 

4. My experience growing up without my own genetic identity, and dealing with the grief and loss of family separation was infinitely more painful and isolating than living with infertility.

5. I can’t and won’t speak for donor-conceived people, but I’m listening and hearing a lot of commonality with adoptees feelings about genetic identity.

6. The pain of adults dealing with infertility is not more than the pain of family separation, and it is not more important than the pain of children.

No one has an inherent right to be a parent. No one has the right to someone else's child.

CW: #infertility & #adoption 

7. Adoption is not a solution to infertility. Infertility is not being able to conceive or carry your own child. Adoption is raising someone else's. Raising any baby will not cure grief, but adoption will cause trauma for the adoptee and birthparents.

Adopting a child after infertility means that the child(ren) was the second/third/fourth choice, which is the opposite of what adopted children need from their caregivers.

Adopting a child after infertility puts exorbitant pressure on the adopted child(ren) to mitigate their adoptive parents' grief, to be the replacement for the biological children they really wanted, and to destroy themselves to become more like their new family.

CW: #infertility & #adoption 

8. I implore people who are compelled to adopt in response to infertility or because they "just want to help", to prioritize the needs and best interests of children and to take whatever funds they would have put towards adoption fees and use them to support struggling families in their communities.

I deeply wish that adults would stop centering their needs and desires at the expense of children's needs and well-being.

CW: #infertility & #adoption 

@ellie Thank you for writing this beautiful thread.

CW: #infertility & #adoption 

Thanks for reading and reblogging, Tony!

re: CW: #infertility & #adoption 

@ellie Your voice is so powerful here, and I wish more people who've experienced infertility would talk about it openly, because it's an important conversation we seem to collectively avoid.

I think there's unexplored potential for mutually healing and supportive allyship between adopted people and people experiencing infertility, too, in challenging and redefining social norms of what , , , and taking care of each other is "supposed" to look like.

The and industries both claim to reimagine what kinship ties, family, and belonging can mean and look like, when all they're really doing is upholding the deeply embedded cultural belief that you're not a valid family unit or experiencing true fulfillment until you become parents.

re: CW: #infertility & #adoption 

@ellie This hurts and exploits all of us. Period. And we share a mutually vested interest in challenging and reshaping society's view of what being a complete family means or what taking care of children in ways that put their best interests first can look like by raising them in communities rather than isolated, individual "nuclear family units."

So why not work together to achieve that? Start an intersectional movement between and people who've experienced/are experiencing infertility to reshape some of our common cultural narratives about families, fulfillment, and belonging.

These are the conversations that have been missing for a long time that I'd love to see start initiating and engaging with now.

re: CW: #infertility & #adoption 

@bekhenson Absolutely. I think there is an opportunity to come together, along with donor-conceived individuals, to have these conversations and begin to reshape our ideas about families and especially about as being the only way to support kids.

There are so many ways for us to form connections and support each other and have meaningful and rewarding relationships outside of the nuclear family.

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