ADOPTIONS FALL AS COUPLES CHOOSE IVF AND SURROGACY
My view/opinion/attitude is, I assume, informed by the fact that I am adopted.
I don’t want to generalise nor judge. There are, clearly, many reasons why a couple might opt for surrogacy over adoption (IVF is a different matter, I can understand why some people try IVF before turning to the adoption vs surrogacy debate) but in cases where people opt for surrogacy over adoption on the basis of misunderstanding, it is so sad because that misunderstanding can ‘condemn’ a child to more time without the love of a family, can ‘condemn’ a child to more time in the ‘care system’, can ‘condemn’ a child to more years of trauma and turmoil.
My guess is that a lot of men are motivated by what they might regard as a ‘natural’ urge to pass their genes onto the next generation, to have a son (or daughter but in this respect, I have a feeling that it’s about having a son), a son who will be like them. I wonder if that is ‘natural’, a Darwinian motivation, to reproduce ‘naturally’, or if it’s, to some extent, arrogance??? Personally, although my children are mine ‘naturally’/biologically, I sincerely hope, for their own good, that they have very few of my character traits!
Another reason I’ve heard as to why some people are frightened of adopting: the uncertainty. Many people are concerned that they’ll have to live with the consequences of a child’s troubled start in life. My response is that not every child who is put up for adoption has a troubled start in life. Moreover, there are no guarantees with ANY child, be she/he biologically related to the parents or adopted.
Another reason some people shy away from adopting is the concern/belief that they simply won’t love the child as deeply as they would a child ‘genetically related/connected’ to them, that their maternal/paternal instincts wouldn’t kick-in and that the child wouldn’t feel as close to them, not as close as a daughter/son with her/his biological parents:
a) there are no guarantees that a child, biological or adopted, will have a close relationship with her/his parents;
b) see, at the end of this blog, the link to a blog I published in July. I have no sense of my parents being anything other than my natural parents, despite their being my adoptive parents. I don’t feel an emotional void. As for how my parents feel about me and my sister, undiluted love.
I think we have to put ‘nature’ into the context of what we know today, into the context of the 21stcentury. We have to balance what are perhaps our ‘natural’/Darwinian inclinations, motivations and urges against the realities of the world in which we live.
I’m sure that someone will ask me:
“If you feel so strongly about the value and importance of adoption, why did you have children ‘naturally’? Why did you ‘make’ children when there were already children in the world who needed a family? Why didn’t you adopt children? Why did you contribute to global over-population?
The question is a fair one. I was 32 when our eldest was born, 35 when our daughter was born and 40 when our youngest was born. We could have children ‘naturally’ and we just did – my thoughts didn’t veer from that path. It simply didn’t occur to me to adopt. We were fortunate, we weren’t forced into thinking ‘plan B’. I guess my thinking has developed and matured over the years but, now aged 52, I’m not going to have another baby, ‘naturally’ or otherwise.
I published a blog on the subject in July:
ADOPTION vs SURROGACY