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a rambling one, sorry

(31 Posts)
arielmanto Fri 06-Nov-15 14:22:19

hi all

myself and my DW are a gay couple (obviously) and have just been approved. hooray! and all that jazz.

my boss is an old friend of my parents. the company is very small, we know each other well, and he's known my parents for years. we are close in a work-type way - no personal discussions but lots of banter. he obviously knows that we have been approved and that essentially I could head off on adoption leave at the drop of a hat, and he's been very good about it.

his mother recently died and he is feeling quite philosophical, i think.
he's just had a long conversation with (at?) me, essentially really really wanting to know why we decided to adopt and not to "inject". (this is his euphemism for sperm donation, which evidently he feels is too icky to mention by name, bless).

he brought up a lot of things they tell us all about when we sign up to adopt. the child's teenage years may be turbulent. the child may have unknown medical conditions. the child may have been exposed to drugs in the womb. neither of us will have a biological connection to the child. neither of us will have a hormonal rush after birthing the child.

i know all this. we have processed all this. myself and DW decided to parent on an "even" basis, and my DW has never wanted to carry children. and we didn't want it to be one of ours, and an unknown man's. this was our choice and ours alone - no judgement on anyone who has conceived this way.
boss said he thinks we should have "injected". he is entitled to an opinion (even if i'd rather he kept it to himself sometimes).

it made me sad that he felt that way. it makes me feel again the grief that i think we all feel [on this board] about not having a biological birth child, who we could have fully protected and nourished from conception onwards. who could have avoided the trauma of loss. I'm cross that he did that - he's a man, he probably has no idea what he did - but my question is this:

is it usual for both parties of a heterosexual couple who adopt to be infertile? that seems quite unlikely. it seems to me that if either man or woman was infertile, their partner could feel (like mine does) peculiar about using a third party donor to become pregnant.
so i would say that as lesbians, we are like a hetero couple with one of us being infertile..kind of..?

just because we have a working womb doesn't mean we have to grow a baby in it, if we don't want to conceive with someone who isn't our partner. maybe women who are fertile but have husbands who are not still adopt, and how many people ask them why they didn't use someone else's sperm?

I am rambling madly here. apologies for stream of consciousness. that last bit is what i really wanted to ask y'all about. do people ask you that? because they ask me that a lot and it makes me a bit sad.

tldr Fri 06-Nov-15 16:34:53

I'm sorry it's made you sad.

I think there's probably an assumption of infertility with straight couples, so I've not been asked outright ever I don't think, possibly because we're older (having spent years on the IVF-go-round).

I also think there's a lot of people who just can't see beyond adoption being 'second best', like it's okay if it's your only option, but why would you choose it?

(And to be fair, I think there's a lot of (straight) adoptive parents who probably start of thinking that, but reassess as their infertility story progresses. )

So if I were you I'd start practicing a pithy response and withering stare. I suspect you'll be asked lots.

Congrats on getting approved - I hope you're matched quickly. flowers

thefamilyvonstrop Fri 06-Nov-15 17:21:44

Wow, it never fails to amaze me how rude some people can be! I don't know how common it would be for both parties to be infertile but me and my husband both have fertility issues. They were discovered at differing times during fertility treatments and we both agreed desperately that we preferred adoption to one of us conceiving with a donar egg or sperm.
I think your boss needs to back off though - nothing to do with your fertility or choices is their business!
Good luck with matching OP.

Devora Fri 06-Nov-15 19:00:21

Hi arielmanto, gay adopter here. What can I say except that if you wait for everyone around you to approve of lesbians adopting children, you will be childless for ever smile. My grandfather actually flew in from the other side of the world to try to talk me out of it. Over 5 years on, my daughter has just made him a beautiful birthday card so I hope he's feeling a little penitent...

Trust yourself and the choices you have made. Ignore the distracting voices. Parenthood is a risky journey whatever path you take, but full of rewards smile

Kewcumber Fri 06-Nov-15 21:02:49

Single adopter here and what Devora says is right with a small tweak if you wait for everyone around you to approve of lesbians anyone adopting children, you will be childless for ever

Adopting after infertility is very common but by no means the only way couples (or singles or same sex couples for that matter) come to adoption.

There is a certain group of people who beleive that adoption = admitting a mad axe murderer into your house and though who think that the children arrive with a little ring of daisies around their heads ready for your love to heal them of all their ills.

Of course it can be very hard, and it can be rewarding but most of the time it's just family

Good luck

Devora Fri 06-Nov-15 21:04:59

I'll accept Kew's amendment; she's absolutely right.

arielmanto Fri 06-Nov-15 21:29:33

Kew is, as I understand, always right smile
Thank you, very much, all. Am sharing these responses with DW and we both appreciate the support and solidarity! Will keep on growing that thicker skin..

BigBlueBookcase Fri 06-Nov-15 21:48:21

Congratulations on being approved arielmanto. smile

Just wanted to add that if you'd gone the IVF/donor sperm route, some people would have questioned that too. And no doubt you'd have people asking why you didn't adopt instead. Point being that you're never going to please everyone. But you don't have to. This is your and DW's choice alone. So yes, keep nurturing that thicker skin. ;)

(From a single mum by choice via IVF using donor sperm...gave a lot of thought to adoption both before IVF and again when considering a second being assessed as a foster carer instead.)

Kewcumber Fri 06-Nov-15 21:58:46

Ha ha ha ha arielmanto either you've been lurking or you can just tell

arielmanto Fri 06-Nov-15 22:28:53

I just knew I've been lurking for more or less the whole of the approval process, gleaning useful info and enjoying the general mirth and solidarity. It doesn't make you any less right though.

arielmanto Fri 06-Nov-15 22:30:42

bigblue I have never thought of it from that perspective - thank you. And go you, too! I hope approval all goes smoothly

RandomMess Fri 06-Nov-15 22:40:51

As a parent of only bio dc my comments/thoughts/ramblings are that if anyone really truly knew how hard parenting was and that at times they would be on their knees none of us would every choose to be parents.

My eldest 2 were very much unplanned and I really don't know how anyone can take that huge scary step to decide to actively become a parent (by whatever means).

Yes grow a very thick skin and welcome to the world of parenthood the lows are horrendous and the highs are amazing and that inbuilt bit of us that wants to nurture is something beyond understanding and if (when) you think "WTF have we done?" you know you're truly a parent x

Kewcumber Fri 06-Nov-15 22:43:41

Actually when I caught ds's sick in my hands rather than let it hit the sofa, then I knew I was truly a parent. grin

RandomMess Fri 06-Nov-15 22:45:51


MintyLizzy9 Fri 06-Nov-15 23:15:26

Someone once told me (upon finding out I was planning to adopt - singley) that I'd need to be very careful because when it comes to bloodline kids are like wouldn't get a puppy from a bitch with problems so why a kid.....oh yes and apparently when my adopted child hits the teenage years they will leave me to go and live with their 'real mum'. I kid you not, I just stared open mouthed whilst he spouted this shit before telling him that aren't the thousands of children given loving homes by amazing parents lucky that not everyone believed such utter bullshit. Honesty if I hadn't been pre approval and waiting for my crb I might have broken his nose.

This process is tough enough without those with no idea butting in.

I have had some crippling moments of self doubt over the last year about if I'm doing the right thing but that's normal this is life changing!

Follow your heart and embrace the crazy that will come (if it hasn't already!!) grin

My LO is due to come home before Xmas and since making the decision to pursue the link I haven't had one minute of doubt (after some major panicking!!)

JaneDonne Sat 07-Nov-15 13:38:13

As I understand it (from my gay friends door who chose that option) donor sperm from Denmark costs about £900 a pop.

I'm sure we could help you work that fact into an excitingly jaw dropping phrase that you could employ to shut up the nosiest boss...wink

JaneDonne Sat 07-Nov-15 13:46:03

Nor sure why the word 'door' has appeared in my post...

MildVirago Sat 07-Nov-15 15:57:49

Congratulations, Ariel. Your post has left me admiring your calm and generosity of spirit, and furious at your boss's crassness. Not alone the intrusive questions, but actually mansplaining lecturing someone (I'm assuming here he's not a parent by adoption himself) who knows, by virtue of the assessment process, considerably more than him about adoption??? Infuriating.

Minty, I cannot believe someone compared to your face adopting a child with buying a puppy of dubious breeding.

GirlsWhoWearGlasses Sat 07-Nov-15 20:46:28

Another same-sex couple here. We sort of adopted as a first choice, but as you say, that's with the issue of not being able to biologically straightforwardly have a child that is both of ours. It's just as well of course, otherwise we wouldn't have our wonderful DD. I did grieve though for that, which never even seemed to occur to our SW when we were going through our assessment, nor the counsellor we had to see.

It's funny though, it really bugs me when people assume DD is adopted, even though she is. Perhaps it feels like an affront to both of our fertility or to us having made a choice which people assume was forced on us.

Everyone will have an opinion, not just on your means of becoming a parent, but just wait til you start funnelling!

GodMother78 Sat 07-Nov-15 21:46:57

Hi arielmanto as a heterosexual couple were both of us have fertility problems. I know what it feels like. When I tell people that my DH and I have decided not to try the ivf route and would rather go down the adoption route people find it hard to understand. My mother as I have mentioned on other posts still has not got her head around the fact that as much as I would like to have children naturally it won't happen and I would rather go do the adoption route than put more strain on my body and emotions by going through ivf. Yes I'll miss out on that natural bond giving birth to a child gives you but there are other bonds that will between me and (fingers crossed ) any child I am lucky enough to adopt. I think sometimes people who do not know or have never been in this type of situation have a hard understanding why we make the decision we make and unless are ever in that situation they will never fully understand.

Hels20 Sun 08-Nov-15 08:37:19

Haven't read the entire thread but did read the OP. And what you say I think applies to DH and me too. I was youngish (31) when DH's chronic infertility was discovered. We then went through lots of IVF with no success. A lot of my friends were suggesting donor sperm but it just wasn't right for us - I wanted an equal playing field. I didn't want a child to be able to shout "you aren't my real father" to my DH and not be able to shout "you aren't my real mother" to me (am imagining this might happen in teens!). Not judging at all those who have gone through this - but I wanted to adopt rather than have donor sperm.

So I totally get where you are coming from.

Having a family and how you get there is so damn personal! Lots of ways to do it and most seem to work!

TeamAcorn Sun 08-Nov-15 08:42:13

Heterosexual couple who chose adoption over IVF here.
It's funny you know, we've met a few gay couples through this process and I've made an assumption that clearly isn't true...that gay couples dont get the same grilling on why they went straight for adoption not medical intervention. I think I've made this assumption based on 1 parent not being biologically related anyway so Joe public wouldn't think to ask about why you wouldn't want to try for "one of your own" (the phrase that kills me adopted children are my own ffs!!!!) Because it would be more obvious they were offending you as a couple, by asking you such a question. This is clearly not true!

But yes, I've been asked A LOT about why we did not try IVF first because it seems that's just the thing you should do in everyone's eyes. It's not. I'm a happy mum of 2 (both through adoption) and yes I wish I'd got to parent my 2 from birth because I could spend more time on this earth with them, but I don't feel any less of a mother for not having done it.

People unfortunately can say some quite hurtful stuff but I've taken the teaching approach. People who have not been involved in the adoption process are ignorant to it, so I can educate them. I don't see it as hurtful (anymore!) I see it as my chance to open their eyes. I for example may have offended some people with my assumption above (sorry if I have) but it is just ignorance and now I know better and am grateful for the knowledge and so I treat all people as if that's what they would think. However, as is clearly the case with your boss sometimes you can teach but they won't change their opinion. This also happens a lot. Adoption gives you a hard skin and as time passes you do cling to those around you who have also adopted as they really are the only ones that understand. Occasionally you will meet people who are just vile about the whole thing and you cut them out your life (unfortunately that has happened to me to) but it's rare!

So welcome to the adoption boat Ariel! It's quite crowded with so many of us in the boat but you'll find that's a good thing as the boat with your boss in sails by (his will be in calm seas too, ours is often in choppy water) ....yep, that's that analogy done to death wink

Good luck finding your little one(s) smile

arielmanto Sun 08-Nov-15 10:10:57

Thank you Hels that is exactly the scenario I had in my head too - the "well you're not my real mum and she is". It may never have happened but I couldn't bear the thought of DW having that emotional punch.

TeamAcorn I am definitely a fan of the teaching approach. With most people who question you it does seem to be because they genuinely want to know, and will listen.. But then there are that handful who use the questioning as a vehicle to get their own point across and nothing else!
Pithy comment and thick skin then needed.. X

OneMoreForExtra Sun 08-Nov-15 14:41:45

Another variant here, straight couple with 5yo DS by donor egg IVF, so he's genetically related to DH but not me. I had the same grief and fears, but actually he couldn't be more mine and a surprising number of people comment on how much of a family resemblance they can see between us (presume this is because of shared mannerisms). It's all turned out so well and naturally that it gives me hope that adoption will also lead to a similar bond (almost one year into waiting for a match), and makes me believe that family is about much more than genetics. Good luck both coming up with responses and with building your family!

Kr1stina Thu 12-Nov-15 12:21:38

your boss is an arse I think they way your boss spoke to you was extremely rude. The questions he asked are deeply personal and however curious he was , he should have wainted until You raised the subject ( if ever ) .

I do wonder if some straight people ( men in particular ) have a rather prurient interest in what lesbians do in bed , and this might be behind some of his questions .

Some of it is just general fact about adoption - the child won't be biologically related , you won't get the experience of pregnancy and birth ( bloody over rated I can tell you ) , unknown genetic issues.

The risk of in vitro exposure to drugs and alcohol and family history of mental health problems are real ones , as you know .

Some are just facts about parenting - teenagers can be a nightmare , your child could have medical problems.

But I'm assuming you and your wife already know this. The fact he's raising it with you shows that HE considers these to be A Big Part of Being A Parent. It's about his issues and views .

He's really saying

" I couldn't do this because of all the risks "

" I think you should have mitigated your risk by one of you getting pregnant"

" Your choice is even less understandable because you have two wombs so you have a better chance on one of your conceiving " .

Which are interesting and valid opinions which he should have kept to himself.

Regarding Hetero couples and fertility - I believe it's about 10% of couple have both male and female factor infertility and for others it's unknown . Of course many of them will chose egg or sperm donation .

Of the same sex couples I know who adopted , their reasons were pretty much the same as opposite sex couples or single people . Some because they wanted their relationship to the child to be equal ( both adoptive ) , some for altruistic reasons, some because they had tried assisted conception and it didn't work , some were ethically opposed to using donor eggs / sperm / surrogates , some because they couldn't face any more infertility treatment and they thought adoption would be easier .

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