Adding my voice to Resolve's "Bust a Myth" campaign...
Infertility is just the result of the Birth Control Pill, Feminism, and women focusing too hard on their careers and having children too late...
Now, I will not deny that fertility decreases with age. This is something medical science and common sense has made us all fairly well aware of. However, age is far from the only factor involved in infertility. We all know countless women, myself included, who are in their 20s and experiencing diagnosable or unexplained infertility. There are also countless women in their late thirties and early forties who have no trouble, whatsoever, in conceiving healthy babies.
Aging, like pretty much everything else, occurs differently for every individual, and a young set of ovaries is sadly not the answer to every infertility puzzle. By placing blame and accusation on epidemic numbers of aging ovaries and the supposedly career-centric, baby-phobic mind of today's woman (setting aside for a moment the many things wrong with this sweeping assumption), legislators, friends and family are dismissing the real plight of the infertile community and passing a harsh judgment on us all; one that takes the focus off the real issue - fighting the disease of infertility.
The perpetuation of this myth serves no one but the health insurance companies, who continue to view child-bearing not as natural born right, but as a lifestyle choice - kind of like choosing to live vegan or without a television. The myth needlessly harms those who are struggling with the complications of advanced maternal age, fostering guilt and shame where there should be understanding, treatment and support, and it dismisses entirely those of us who are infertile but fall into a different category; our infertility, according to this myth, simply shouldn't exist. We are just anomalies of creation.
"Worst case scenario, you can always adopt..."
Why oh why do people feel the need to utter this sentence? I wish I could understand.
I have a few questions I would like to ask to help me in debunking this myth -- setting aside for a moment the simple horribleness of using phrases like "worst case scenario" to describe the incredibly rewarding and joyful experience that can come from building your family through adoption.
1. Why do people assume that all couples can so easily just adopt a child?
2. Why do we dismiss the emotions of a couple who must first accept the loss of their own dream of having a baby together, before choosing if they want to become adoptive parents?
3. What makes us so sure that every couple is emotionally capable or even interested in building their family through adoption?
4. Why do we continue to trick ourselves into believing not only that there is a never-ending, easily accessible supply of healthy, perfect infants just waiting to be brought home to live with us, but also that the process to acquire this perfect, new baby of our own, is in any way simple or affordable for the average family?
5. Why do people believe that infertile, adoptive parents can not or should not be "choosy" about the age and health of the baby they bring home?
I'm beginning to believe that what the general public does not know about adoption, or the costs involved, is truly astounding...particularly just the simple fact that it can take many years to bring home your baby and even then there may be complications involved. I've often thought about adopting a child, whether or not I conceived on my own, but sometimes just looking through the legalities and risks involved and hearing other people's horror stories (not about the children, but about the complications in bringing them home), is enough to make me shy away from initiating the process.
I certainly do not mean to put anyone off from adoption by writing this. I just want to debunk the myth that adoption is the obvious final cure for the infertile couple or that it is easily done, voila, perfect happy ending. Adoption has been the dream ending for many families, but it simply is not the choice or perfect ending for every infertile couple.