Monday, November 10, 2008

Why I'm Not Using a Donor

I've got the question a couple of times now from different people. "Why adopt? Why not just use donor sperm? No intrusive home visit. The child is yours"

Let me just point out one quick thing first - probably one of the most hurtful and infuriating things you can say to an adoptive or prospective adoptive parent is to in any way insinuate that an adopted child will not be "theirs". So try to avoid any mention of ownership if you're ever talking to someone about an adopted child.

So. Why not? I've thought about it. It has it's appeals. Cheaper. More certainty. I don't have to worry about what the months or years in a foreign orphanage has done to my child. I don't have to worry about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Reactive Attachment Disorder, or if my child would hate me for taking them away from their home country. I would get to be more selective about the genes of my child. They'd have mine first of all and then the registries for sperm donors are fairly detailed these days - I'd have my pick! I would get to experience the miracle and joy of childbirth, of holding my child when s/he was mere seconds old, of watching his/her first everything, and experiencing the bond of nursing. There are definite appeals and I hope that one day I may be able to experience that in the context of a marriage.

But here's why I won't do it as a single woman.

1. There are children in the world who have spent months and years in conditions less than satisfactory. That are struggling the effects of poor choices made by their parents and caregivers and may need some extra or specialized care. These children already exist and need a home. They are missing two parents and I can provide them with one. If I used a donor - I'd be creating a child who was missing a parent.

2. Creating a child with someone I've never met and just know by a number kind of weirds me out a little bit.

*warning* If you struggle with infertility you may not want to read the rest of my post. Just warning you. I'm not trying to offend anyone - but this is one of my major reasons.

3. My heart says that there are moral and ethical issues there. I am opposed to all forms of birth control - which I think means that if I'm going to be fair I should be opposed to fertility treatments in general - and the more I think about it the more I am. It's an ethical issue that basically reiterates point #1. Why on earth would I spend my money, time, resources, and mental stamina to create a child when there is one that already needs my love? it seems selfish to me to go out of my way to demand a biological child when in reality - a child is a child. My conviction on this has grown over the past year - to the point where I now say that even if I were a married woman who was unable to get pregnant - that I would not proceed with any tests or procedures beyond making sure whatever was wrong was not damaging my health and would instead begin to pursue the married adoption route in order to build our family.

If I get married and find I can't get pregnant - I probably will be heart broken and will take time to grieve that - but I really believe my conviction will stand strong. If it wasn't a conviction I would be pursuing the in vitro now rather than the adoption. Believe me - it certainly looks like the easier path.


  1. This is an interesting subject matter. I never would have thought to ask this question. I understand your reasoning though, I know that my husband and I have thought of adopting just because we want to. The love for a child is unconditional no matter biological relationship.

  2. The Catholic church believes that fertility treatments are wrong. The reason is because it is taught that the purpose of married sex is both procreative and bonding/enjoyable, and to remove either aspect from the act, is wrong. So, if you use birth control, you're removing the procreative part. If you're using fertility treatments, you're removing the marital joining.

    I know you probably don't care what the Catholic church says, lol, but I think it's at least relevant in putting a new perspective into what you already believe. For me, I already believed the same things you do, and looking at it from this perspective helped to clarify and solidify my beliefs, as well as make me feel a bit more consistent. Sometimes I felt like I was just picking and choosing what types of things "feel" like they could have moral/ethical implications.

  3. I didn't realize you had a blog about adoption! So I'm adding you to my list. Very interesting Nicole.