Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Settle In and Get Cozy

About forty-five minutes ago I set out to run an errand eventually end up at yoga. I made it all the way to 89th and Summit before I realized that there were cars getting stuck halfway up hills all over town, and it wasn't going to get any easier. I'm not much on muscling through and driving even when conditions are questionable, so I headed home, and here I'll stay for the balance of the evening. You should stay in, too. Get some hot chocolate or tea or whatever and cozy up.

Since I'm housebound, and possibly you are, too, I suppose it's the most opportune time to inflict my opinions on you. Stop reading if you're sensitive about the opinions of others, which may not match your own. Unless you agree with me, you'll probably be hopping mad by the time you're done reading, and then you might do something untoward. Save us all the trouble; just navigate to another page. You were forewarned about the topic, but in case you have forgotten, I'm about to be dreadfully honest about how I feel about IVF versus adoption. Make your escape now if you must.

It's pretty simple, really, how I feel about the whole thing. I am not in favor of in vitro fertilization, or of any fertility treatment that is similarly extensive and costly. While I would love to have the experience of being pregnant once, I am at a loss to understand the deep, desperate longing of women to carry a baby to term in their own bodies, or even to have someone else carry a baby to term for them. Are we so attached to our own genes that we must go to such lengths? There are children out there who have no family, and yet we would spend an equal amount trying to create a brand new life instead. That just boggles my mind. Furthermore, the risks associated with hormone treatments required to complete IVF are many and some are potentially life threatening. I don't know about you, but carrying my own biological child to term is not worth the risk of OHSS or ovarian cancer. And did I mention the children who already exist?

I am very pro-adoption. In fact, regardless of whether we have a biological child, we will adopt, and lately I'm leaning more toward only adopting. I believe quite passionately that every child deserves a family. It is not the fault of a child that he or she was born to parents who were unwilling to parent responsibly or in a situation that made it impossible for the birth family to raise the child. These are precious babies! And yet many of us would close our minds to the possibility that adoption can make a beautiful family. We are used to our preferences being honored and our whims being satisfied, and so we fail to look beyond the one method we thought we'd use to build the family that we want. How unfortunate for all of us.

I know that this is an emotionally charged topic. I know that there are many families who have chosen to build their families through fertility treatments; I am not saying that your children are not precious or that they should not exist, any more than someone who has a surprise pregnancy would ever say that their child should not exist. I am simply saying that maybe we should look beyond that for the future. Maybe we should look hope and love full in the face and make a better choice.


Shiz said...

Two thoughts:

1. Fertility drugs are dangerous. The money we put into them would better serve as adoption funding.

2. It seems to me, also, that there is a deep, hidden racism in how we choose to procreate, as well as a great deal of ego. We should deal with this so more unfamilied babies can get familied.

Katie said...

I am a single woman desperately seeking motherhood, I choose to adopt and devoted my life to the process of adoption and meeting my child who needed a home- this road failed in the most terrible of ways and now I am trying to conceive naturally (IVF), sometimes there are a lot of gray areas to fertility and not everyone's story is cut and dry or the same.

marymuses said...

Katie, I am very sorry about your terrible experience with adoption. I know that not everyone's story is the same, and that adoption carries risk just as pregnancy does. We have found in our research that there are a lot of things to consider and be wary of, but I still believe that adoption can be a positive experience for many people, hopefully us, too. If we are unable to adopt and fail to conceive on our own, I know that it will be difficult, but I also have a life filled with children, so I think that for me it might not be as devastating as for some.