Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The great baby debate

Let me preface this by saying we are NOT ready to be parents yet.  None of this will apply for at least a couple of years.

Simon and I long ago agreed we only want one child.  We'd rather provide really well for one kid instead of half as well for two.  Plus, sibling rivalry.  *shudder*  We're both one of two kids (I'm the elder in my family, he's the younger in his) and know how bad it can be.

We also liked the idea of adopting.  We'd really like a girl, and by adopting we can guarantee the gender, no birth defects, etc.  I was never a huge fan of the idea of pregnancy.  That was our plan.

Of course, lately, I'm starting to change my mind.  There are so many things that can go wrong with adoption too.  Very different things.  Choosing parenthood is a risk no matter what.  I'm starting to feel like I'd rather take the risk of pregnancy.

It's much easier to for me to explain this way:


- No adoption fees or legal drama.
- Child won't seek out "real parents" later in life.
- Child is socially more accepted as "ours."
- Easier to bond.

- Chance of pregnancy-related injury or death.
- Chance of child being born with a large medical issue.
- Body changes.
- Child inherits our unfavorable traits, like weight, vision, teeth, etc.


- Not adding another child to the population.
- Can choose gender and no special needs.
- Giving a home to a child that already exists.

- Child might not bond with us.
- Could take years of frustration to be matched.
- Parents could change mind at last minute (see this blog).
- Child could decide to find "real" parents at age 18 and leave us.
- Child could have unknown issues.

Obviously I'm not going to decide based on the numbers of pros and cons.  All these reasons hold different weight.  I've just gotten to the point where pregnancy isn't quite as terrifying as it used to be.  And as desperately as I want a daughter, I think I could be okay with a son (I know, horribly biased of me!).  My family already has 5 girls in the next generation, no boys.  I can't decide if that means I'm genetically more likely to have a girl, or statistically doomed to have a boy.  ;)

So what I'm feeling right now is that when the time is right, I'll go to the doc, get checked out and make sure I'm healthy enough, and try to get pregnant.  If I'm not pregnant after a year, it wasn't meant to be.  Back on birth control, contact adoption agencies.  I brought it up to Simon last night, and he's not psyched with the idea, so we may need to talk more.  We have time.


  1. I am an adoptive parent but have had four biological children.

    I also follow you on Twitter and this may get me an unfollow.

    You were dead on when you said you were not ready to be parents. This is why. There are no guarantees no matter what you do. You can give birth or adopt a relatively healthy child and then discover they have special needs - like autism spectrum disorder, childhood mental illness, learning disabilities, and mental retardation. The list goes on and on and on. Amnios do not detect everything and in adoption people lie. If you don't want to risk having a child with special needs - get a pet that you can get rid of should it not meet your liking.

    Also, before adopting you would need one hell of an education of adoption, adoptees, birthmothers, etc.

    I've done it both ways. Neither was easy. It all had risks. I do have kids with special needs that were born healthy and "normal". I wanted to be parent. I wanted to experience parenting A CHILD and all that came with it. (and it is a tough job! and not for the weak) You can't order kids like you can a Whopper at BK. You fall in love with them and you deal no matter how the cards fall, and if you don't think you can deal with a child that doesn't meet what you want or is not perfect enough for you - don't parent.

  2. I understand all that. I know parenting is a risk no matter what. By adopting a child with no apparent special needs, it's merely a reduction of risk, not a guarantee. We know this.

  3. I also need to add that we're trying to avoid special needs not because we require a "perfect" child, but because we don't think we could handle it. We know our personal limitations.

  4. I was one of those people who thought I couldn't handle it either. Guess what? You can. Sure there are those people who leave their kids at the hospital (yes I know someone who did this) but we are all actually capable of doing what is necessary to raise a special needs kids. The thing is, if you think you really might be one of those people who think they can't handle it - then really, don't have kids. I can assure you, having been a parent for a long time now, there are way worse things than special needs.
    I would highly suggest volunteering with children (all kinds)to really see if you are ready for the roller coaster.

  5. My mom was a special ed teacher and I spent a lot of time in her classroom. I know the realities. We would deal with it if we had to.

  6. Woah! A freaking blog argument ensued in your comments on this one! :)

  7. :-) I just have to say that you'll know when your ready make the right decision, either way (adoption or pregnancy) And from personal experience you don't exactly know what special needs you can or can't handle, until they are handed to you. After overcoming SEVERE PPD after the birth of my 2nd child,(hospitalization, not leaving house for 6 months etc...) I thought I could handle no more, then my child was diagnosed with Autism at 12 months. You just never know what your limitiations are. Never in a millon years did I think I would develop PPD after having a typical pregnacy/postpartum period with my first child. You know what else? Even after HAVING an autistic child, I went on and took the risk to have a 3rd child. He is amazing and taught my autisic one AMAZING things. He too, however now has various (non autism related)special needs that require a special school as well. The same outcome can come with adoption as well. Lots of special needs show up later in life. I guess I am just giving my opinon. But no matter what, it will be what ever makes you happy, and you will be able to handle whatever god choose's to give to you, biological or not. Hugs.

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  11. To Anonymous: if you haven't the balls to post your name with such hurtful words, you should bother posting at all. Didn't your mother teach you "if you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all"? If you see this, I highly recommend you apologize.

    To the mothers commenting: You should be proud of Sarah for taking a serious look at her feelings about parent BEFORE becoming a parent. There are many couples who jump into the decision without understand themselves first. I applaud Sarah for be honest with herself and with us. You needn't be so harsh to her.

    To Sarah: I love you a like a friend even though we've never me in person. You have a kind and soft heart. I hope your heart will mend quickly *hug*

  12. Dearest Sarah - You know I love you. And I know that when the time is right you still won't feel like you're ready for it. No parent ever is, and anyone who says anything to the contrary is lying. I think you will be a wonderful mother, whether you give birth or you adopt.

    Dear Anon - I'm not sure who you are or what you're trying to prove, but all you are doing is hurting my friend. I understand that you may not agree with her, but there are better ways to voice your opinions. Also, Sarah is simply trying to figure things out at this point. If it's immature to attempt to think things over before you make a decision, then I think more people should be immature.

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  14. I think you are doing the right thing by discussing it and doing pro/con lists. Being a parent--whether biological or adoptive--is the hardest job ever, and if you can start out the adventure prepared mentally, it makes it a little easier.