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Adoption Blog: My Paperwork Pregnancies

Adopting Does Not Improve Your Fertility
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More than once after I made the decision to adopt, I was told by people, "Just wait—now you’ll get pregnant!"

I usually gave a polite laugh and said something like, "Well that would be a surprise!" In my mind I was (perhaps rudely) thinking something along the lines of, "It’d be a heck of a lot cheaper than the infertility treatments or the cost of adoption," "Who knew all I had to do was stop infertility treatments to get them to work correctly?," or "Do you think I’m not happy to be adopting?"

I think people commonly say this after a person has announced their adoption plans, because they honestly do not know what to say when someone they know has tried so long to get pregnant. They aren’t aware of how much time, effort, and gut-wrenching emotion went into the decision to end infertility treatments and pursue adoption.

Someone must have heard from someone somewhere at some time about some woman who got pregnant once she decided to adopt—but that woman was not me. This story has become a bit of folk wisdom spouted as freely as, "Don’t count your chickens before they hatch."  Do they realize how, with such a simple phrase, they’re reducing an adoptive parent’s life, and the life of the adopted child, into a cliche?

The fact is the number of infertile people who get pregnant after pursuing adoption is the same number as infertile people who get pregnant after ending infertility treatments. The factor of deciding to adopt or adopting a child is not relevant.

I know a handful of couples who have gotten pregnant without infertility treatments once they chose adoption or had adopted. They were extremely surprised and happy not to have to spend the time and money on adoption. Some of these couples were even a bit mad that they got pregnant because they didn’t want to become the "cliche" which had annoyed them so much before.

As for me, I am convinced that my family is complete. If pigs decided to take flight and I became pregnant, I would be thrilled. But I’m not going to continue storing old baby clothes in hopes of this happening. I am going to move on with my life and not get wrapped up in the old "Could I be pregnant?" game. My focus is only on the three children who are already in my family.

Recently, my husband, Paul, told me a story of others expecting us to become pregnant once we adopted.  His co-worker announced that his wife was pregnant with their fourth child.

Paul told him that he couldn’t imagine having four kids because three make for a pretty hectic household. The co-worker (who knew we had adopted our children) said with a matter-of-fact tone, "Hey don’t count out having more kids. You never know…" Paul looked at him like he had two heads and replied, "What? Am I accidentally going to fill out some paperwork?"

 


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Meet the Author

Danielle Pennel

Danielle Pennel

Missouri

I have recently adopted or am adopting from...
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Newborn

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