Why Adoption… Why Now…
As of this moment, Erin and I have a combined total of 317 likes on our “announcement photos.” We’ve had multiple people tell us that they’re excited for our baby shower, people across the country have been asking for our registry information to so that they can send us stuff to help us get started. I didn’t realize how well Erin and I were respected in the community, how much of a positive impact we’ve had on others’ lives up until this moment. It’s been really, really overwhelming and emotional. I don’t really know how to explain it. I am so thankful and so blessed beyond words.
One of the things I’ve been thinking about are some questions that I’ve off-handedly answered over the last few days about “what made you want to adopt?” and “why did you decide to adopt when you were planning on waiting a few years?
I’ll answer the second one first: we chose to adopt right now because the Gods placed a blessing in our lives in the absolute perfect situation. This child will never have to wonder where it came from, genetically speaking, which happens sometimes when birth parents aren’t known in a closed adoption. It can cause a lot of emotional distress when a child doesn’t know his or her genetic history, and it could potentially cause health issues if you don’t know DNA health histories. We have a situation where the birth mother AND birth father are both willing to be known and give us health histories. Our child will never have to wonder where he or she came from, genetically speaking.
When I was first told of the pregnancy and before we had discussed possible adoptions, the first thought in my head was, “this is my child.” It wasn’t a “I want this child” or “I wish I had my own kids,” it was a definite, this is my child. I didn’t understand why I would have those thoughts, this was obviously not my child, and the birth mother hadn’t made any indication towards me about this at all, but I had a feeling. She knew, when she told me, that she wasn’t going to keep the baby, but she hadn’t talked to us about it yet.
I was talking to the birth mother today and she was telling me how she thought this baby chose us. “I know that sounds stupid,” she said, “but it’s the truth.” She was talking about how when she was thinking about adopting the baby out to someone else, she always felt uneasy, but when it was suggested that we might be an option, she suddenly felt a wash of relief. “Ever since that moment, I knew you were the right choice. It sounds really weird, but my belly felt happy, like the baby was happy, like he or she knew that it was supposed to be yours.”
Yes, we were planning on waiting a couple years to have kids, but as they say in The Prince of Egypt, “When the Gods give you a blessing, you don’t ask why it was sent.”
Ever since then, ever since the announcement, we’ve been inundated with “Congrats! You’re going to make awesome parents!” Everything works out the way that it is supposed to, and this is how it is supposed to.
The second question is, “why adoption?” I haven’t had anything against adoption to begin with. I would love to have kids of my own, experience carrying a child and giving birth, and everything that goes a long with that process, but adoption has always been an option for me.
A number of years ago, I was diagnosed with weight-induced lack of ovulation. My doctor told me that to ovulate, I would need to lose weight. Later, I was diagnosed with PCOS, even though I atypical in that I never had any cysts. I simply didn’t ovulate. Once I dropped a good deal of weight, my cycle came back and I’ve been pretty regular since then; however, there’s no promise that I’ll have an easy time getting pregnant. Adoption is, honestly and especially in this situation, less of a gamble.
On top of that, Erin and I come into the parenting situation on the same level. We are both equal in the amount of DNA we share with this child, which is none (other than the DNA we share in common with all humans). It will prevent either one of us feeling less than a parent ever, not that either one of us ever would. It also makes us have an easier time of getting Erin to be a legal parent because we won’t have to go through all the home study stuff again since we’ve already been checked out, and the birth father will have already consented to giving up his parental rights.
Adoption fact #394: When someone plans on completing a second parent adoption (which is where a non-biological parent adopts their partner’s child, whether it’s a LGBT couple or straight couple), the second biological parent either has to be notified that his parental rights are being terminated or he or she must terminate their own rights (usually done through paperwork through a sperm bank or similar institution). If the other biological parent cannot be found to legally terminate his or her rights, you MUST file a publication, and the fees are usually around $500. (This is one of the things we don’t have to pay because we have a known father who is willing to terminate.) If you use a known sperm donor in a lesbian pregnancy for an artificial insemination, and you don’t have paperwork that the sperm donor is giving up his parental rights, your child has a legal, biological father, and you will have to pay to have that terminated. Or at least that’s how it works in SC.
If Erin can’t legally adopt this baby with me, we won’t have to pay as much the second round (even though we’ll have to pay like everyone else) because we’re already doing a lot of the legal stuff the first time around. If Erin can legally adopt with me, then we’ll be one of the few same-sex couples in the state who’s child has two legal parents, and this puts us on an equal playing field. We still plan on trying for me to have kids later, but I’d like two years between our first child and our second, so we have the time to work through the costs of the adoption and get some money saved for round two. And then hopefully when baby two is born, we’ll be able to put Erin’s name straight onto the birth certificate because the laws will have changed, and then we’ll be on an equal playing field again.