Stop Telling Me I'm Selfish Because I Don't Want To Adopt

Adoption can be a wonderful thing, but it's not for me.

Sad woman playing with her hands on the couch fotostorm | Canva 

Editor's Note: This is a part of YourTango's Opinion section where individual authors can provide varying perspectives for wide-ranging political, social, and personal commentary on issues.

It’s no secret that I struggle with infertility. I blog about it, I talk about it, I like every article on Facebook and join every message forum about it. I don’t share my baby-making issues with the world because I want pity. I share my struggle with others because I hate feeling so alone. When I write about it, there are always sisters who have dealt with infertility or know someone who has and they reach out to me and make me feel less alone. I hope I make them feel less alone (and some happiness), too. Don’t we all want to feel less alone? 


But sharing my struggles publicly always invites the opinions of women (and a few men) who seem to have the perfect solution to my problem of wanting another child and not yet having one: ADOPT. First of all, let me clearly voice my opinion on adoption. I believe adoption is a beautiful and selfless act. God bless those families who rescue the unloved or unwanted. God bless those who give happiness love and light to innocent children. I have nothing negative to say about adoption. Who in the world would?

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However, this beautiful and selfless act isn’t for everyone. At this point in my life, I don't want to adopt a child. Does that make me a terrible person? According to the hateful trolls who hide behind computer screens and feel they have the authority to do my family planning, it does make me a terrible person. I’ve yet to have my fertility specialist tell me that I cannot conceive. I'm healthy, my husband’s sperm are fine little swimmers, and all of my ultrasounds, blood work, and tests have shown that there’s no medical reason why I cannot carry a child to term.



Although I’ve had a miscarriage, I’ve also given birth to two healthy children in the last nine years (which seems to give some people the authority to tell me that I already have two children, therefore I shouldn’t try to have anymore because of overpopulation. Shut up, already.) But I cannot tell you how many times strangers who read my articles about infertility chime in and tell me, quite frankly, that my inability to become pregnant and my miscarriage is God telling me that it’s not meant to be and I should adopt.

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Unless you died on the cross for my transgressions, I don’t think you have any authority to tell me what God has or hasn’t ordained for my life. “It’s not meant to be for you. Why are you so selfish? Haven’t you thought of adoption?” Of course, I’ve thought of it! That may be the plan for my life later down the road, but at this moment, there is no medical reason why I cannot have a child. Who are strangers to tell me that I shouldn’t continue to try? Who are these people to aggressively tell me I am selfish because I won’t adopt? Let’s just stop it, ladies. For the love of all that is Holy, can we please just stop these internet mommy wars?

Breastfeed or bottle-feed? Cloth diapers or Pampers? Co-sleep or crib? To vaccinate or not to vaccinate? To try to conceive or to adopt? I’m so sick of the judgment. I’m so sick of women thinking their way is the right way. I’m so sick of people who don’t know the first word of my backstory to declare that they know the rest of my story. I had a miscarriage. I haven’t been able to get pregnant after two years of trying. But I have immediate family members and close friends who have struggled with greater fertility issues than me, with multiple miscarriages, to continue to try and try and try again, and today they are the proud parents of children that they carried full term.



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What if they had believed that it wasn’t meant to be? What if they had given up? What if they had listened to the vile words spewed forth in comments sections? Maybe it is not meant for me to conceive another child. Maybe adopting a child is the perfect plan for my life, but until I’m called to pursue it, (by a greater power than a stranger with a keyboard), I will continue to work diligently with my fertility specialist and with my husband to conceive yet another child to add to overpopulation. Let’s just stop the shaming, the hurting, and the suggestions that come off as careless, rude, and aggressive. If you can’t stop, then I pray it’s in God’s divine plan that you do not own a computer or any other device with access to the internet. What's right for one family isn't always right for another. 

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Susannah B. Lewis is an author, blogger, and podcaster. Her videos and articles have been featured in Reader’s Digest, Parents Magazine, US Weekly, Yahoo!, Huffington Post, Unilad, and TODAY, among many others.