Dear Adoption, If We Both Have Lost

Dear East Indian Adoptee –

No, you won’t be a mother when you finalize an adoption of a foster child. You will be a foster mother and then you will be an adoptive mother. The only mother is the mother who conceives and gives birth.

Don’t trick yourself into believing that the court, by declaring that you are an adoptive mother, will automatically and magically wipe away your infertility. It won’t. The court will not magically make you a mother.

You must accept the fact that you are infertile. Accept it. As you plead in your essay, do not place the burden of your infertility upon the foster child you want to make “your own” via a legal court order. A court order will make you a legally appointed guardian acting as mother, meaning that you will have legal authority over the child, but you will not be the child’s true mother. You will have the privilege of legal, social, emotional and psychological parenting, complete with love and affection (if all goes well), but you will never replace that child’s mother.

Yes, of course you will call your foster-adopted child “daughter” or “son” out of affection and love. And the child may even call you “mother,” but those are terms of endearment, not fact.

Acquiesce to your lot in life. Forcing a foster child to lose her identity because you want to adopt is repeating the same that was done to you.

These are your own words: “Your grief from not being able to have biological children should never be carried by an adopted child. Your intentions don’t matter. I am telling you, as an adopted child and as a woman who is infertile, this loss and grief is not a child’s to bear but bear it, they will.”

Your foster-adopted child will bear the grief of your infertility should you go ahead with your plan because it will be your own intent to steal that child’s identity to make her “your own.”

Now I ask you to rethink your plan.

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Dear Adoption, If We Both Have Lost

Isn’t loss what led many of our (adoptive) mothers to adoption? So frequently many of us heard about infertility and hopes for biological children prior to defeat, acceptance, and then adoption.

I was a last resort.

As an adoptee who grew up hearing about my adoptive mother’s infertility, here are my suggestions and insights:

  • Infertility is none of your adopted children’s business.
  • Please don’t ask your child to bear the weight of what you lost in addition to what they lost.
  • Please be careful and avoid saying things such as, “we hoped for our own children, but God had a different plan”. In most cases this is not comforting. There isn’t really a conversation in which your infertility doesn’t make us feel bad or less than or like a last resort.
  • Please don’t ask adoptees to acknowledge your losses (especially if you…

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