Just get pregnant, then you'll adopt

Most women who have any sort of fertility issues have heard this statement before:

"Just adopt, and then you'll get pregnant."

I get this one a lot. Especially since it pretty much happened that way. And now here we are, adopting and expecting again, too. So I get why people say it. It's one of those things people just kind of say. A conversation piece, I guess.

Now, if you are reading this and you've said this to me, don't worry. You are not alone or a bad person. Someone says this to me a couple times a week. Seriously. I'm not wanting to single anyone out to run a guilt trip. I know it's not said with ill intent. But to be candid. . .

This statement always makes me bristle a little bit. In part because I know that most people stuggling with infertility will not get pregnant after adopting. Statistically, it happens to a very small few of us.

Maybe it bugs me because I always wanted to adopt first. Mark was more keen on trying the old fashioned way first. I was ready for the homestudy well before I was ready to say goodbye to the pill. But I deferred to Mark. Because I am such a submissive wife.

Okay, stop laughing at me. I did submit. This one time.

But seriously, the reason this little cliche bothers me the most is that it could imply that pregnancy is a prize or consolation for having adopted. Like adoption is a means to an end. That maybe if you do it you could then get to have your own child.

(Okay. Another pet peeve. An adopted child is your own child.)

India was not the "prize" for having adopted Jafta. Jafta is the prize for having adopted Jafta.

So I suggest that we do away with this little statement altogether. That we let it fly away on the wind with other statements you should never say to adoptive parents. Like "are those your real kids?" or "how much did he cost?". Or my favorite, when I was asked if I run a daycare from my home.

So for people considering adoption:

If you adopt, then you will be a real parent.
If you adopt, then you will be abundantly blessed with a child.


  1. I am very, very lucky to have never struggled with infertility.

    But no one has ever utilized MORE birth control while adopting MORE kids than me!

    (Do you want to edit your title?)

    I'm glad God is doubly (quadruply?) blessing you.

    Love, Corey

  2. amen - we get that all the time -- noah came after hope and ike's adoption (and years of secondary infertility and miscarriages) and Lydia came after Phoebe -- I too find it annoying when ppl say that.

    praying for baby Howerton and the entire Howerton clan ...

  3. Thank you so much for posting that! Especially since you're one of the few it's happened to. Now that we're going through adoption, we get the comment a lot because folks know of our IF. It's so frustrating.

    I am so happy for you and your blessings, all of them! I hope you're starting to feel a bit better with the ill side effects of this pg.

    Hugs from HP Sister "snorr"

  4. So, I've been "stalking" your blog for a little while now- just never gotten up the courage to leave a comment. :) A friend told me about you because we're adopting (or trying to) through the foster care system.

    I'm pregnant too and can't count how many times someone has said to me, "that's how it always happens- you start to adopt and then get pregnant." I never know if I should tell them that we were using birth control, definitely didn't want to get pregnant, and are much more excited about adopting. I'm afraid I sound ungrateful for being able to get pregnant. I can't win!

    Anyway, I appreciate your honesty and vulnerability on your blog. I am always encouraged.

  5. AMen and Amen and Amen!

  6. My friend who has struggled with secondary infertility for several years now gets told that a lot as well. The thing that annoys her so much about it is the simplistic way people think like, "oh, if I adopt I'll get pregnant, who knew it was that simple" she says it goes right along with the "just relax and it will happen" theory....

  7. wow.
    I don't have the freedom to get into any of this on the internet... But I just really really really want to say thank you for what you've posted here.

  8. I think a lot of people are idiots a lot of the time. I'm having an honest night, what can I say? Love your honesty, your GREAT posts, and you....

  9. Hi,
    I used to be on staff at RH and I found your blog on Cheri Stabile's blog.
    I love this post! People would say that to one of my close friends who struggled with infertitlity and we would just smile and nod, thinking "What the hay does that mean?"

  10. this is such a thoughtful post and hopefully serves to silence someone of the painful, thoughtless comments you and other adoptive families hear all-too-often.

    you have a beautiful family!

  11. Wow. Amen and thank you for saying that! I completely agree... being part of an blended family (out of 5 kids my parents had-3 were adopted) people really don't know what to say when they meet you and see you. And even as a kid I hated when others would say- "is he your real brother?" to which I would reply heck yes! All of us siblings are "real". lol- are you real? But as you said, it isn't intentional, but ignorance does tend to grate on ones nerves after awhile...

    Anywho, great blog- I just stumbled across it and think I'll have to be visiting frequently ;) My husband and I are planning on adopting in the near future and its always exciting to come across others who are doing the same! God bless you and your sweet family :)


  12. You won't believe it, but I actually didn't get pregnant after we adopted . . .it's just one of the many silly things people say. They can't possibly know how hurtful and insensitive those kinds of comments are.

    I love the ways you've ended the sentence "if you adopt" and I would suggest that the next time someone asks you "is he yours?" you say; "why do you ask"?

    Glad I found your blog!

  13. Lindsay Donaldson9:33 PM

    People ask all the time about Faith (my daughter's) "real" Dad. It makes me confused for a slight second because I forget that the man who parents her, supports her, encourages her and holds her every day is not considered her "real" Dad by many. He says that even he forgets that he didn't always have her. I haven't adopted a child myself, but I believe it when you say that your adopted child is YOURS just because of the way I see Dave with Faith. He defends her when she might still be wrong and thinks that she's the BEST at everything. You adoptive parents are AWESOME.

  14. I just ran across this. We're in the process of adopting, and the "now you'll get pregnant" statement is the single most annoying comment I hear. The idea that we're adopting a child as some sort of plan to manipulate God into giving us what we must really want (ie, a biological child) is infuriating!!! We're adopting because we want to adopt, plain and simple. The concept just escapes most people. It's so nice to find people who understand!

  15. yes! i just saw this post! a little late on the uptake. but our son was adopted first and HE is the prize, not the bio kids that came later! thanks for sharing this! we are starting our next adoption (child #4) soon! woot woot!


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