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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.

Was going to ask AIBU but I'm pretty sure I am

(13 Posts)
user7755 Thu 28-Apr-16 17:29:46

A relative of mine has just found out that she may have the same gynae condition as me which can (but doesn't always) result in fertility issues, the relative is a teenager but is understandably upset that her fertility might be affected.

I have had a few conversations over the last few days with another relative who tells me how upset the first relative is because it is what I have and I adopted my kids. Second relative is reassuring her by saying that we adopted because of DHs issues, not mine.

I'm pissed off because
a) I think I'm pretty bloody lucky to have my kids in my life and don't think anyone should feel sad about ending up like me
b) the denial that the fertility issues are partly me, makes me feel like it's something to be ashamed of and that it's all about blame

I have known from a similar age to the first relative that i might not be able to have kids naturally and it really isn't an issue for me and hasn't ever been. I have never felt ashamed of it or tried to hide it and I have never felt that I am in any way disadvantaged. I'm genuinely really sad to think that I am perceived by other people (particularly family) as someone who's life is somehow less because I can't reproduce kids.

I know that everyone is trying to adjust to the possible situation but FFS, am I really that pathetic?

meercat23 Thu 28-Apr-16 19:17:41

I can understand why you feel upset about what your relative has done. No doubt they thought they were being encouraging to the younger relative but not only does bending the truth rarely turn out to be helpful but they have taken it upon themselves to re-tell your story without consulting you first.

There is. of course absolutely nothing to be ashamed of and the only reason to be sad about your situation would be if you hadn't found another route. The message to the younger relative ought perhaps to have been, your condition may not mean you can't have children of your own but even if it does it is not the end of the world, there are other wonderful options.

I am sorry you have been made sad by this. I think your relative was tying to be helpful but as we know good intentions often don't lead to good results

user7755 Thu 28-Apr-16 22:52:42

I know you are right, logically - I think relative 2 is coping with her own loss too, and she isn't great and thinking beyond her own experience. We used to get a lot of 'when you're a parent, you will understand', hmmmm..... really? The couple with the fertility of a rock?!

BlueberrySky Sun 01-May-16 19:05:58

I can understand that you do not want people to think that your choices are second best. However, for a young woman to think that she might not be able to have her own children, it is a difficult and upsetting situation to be in and will take a lot of adjusting to.

Everyone I have known who has adopted, including my sister, cousin and DH in his first marriage, have only adopted because they could not have their own children. It is rarely a first choice.

user7755 Sun 01-May-16 20:31:25

I do, totally get that she is adjusting to it and that she is experiencing a sense of loss - I don't judge her / begrudge her / feel negative about her, because of course all of that is totally natural and I feel for her going through that sense of loss.

I don't see adoption as a choice, it is something which is natural to me - always has been. Certainly not anything to feel sad about or feel pity for (which is what came as a shock to me - that anyone would feel sorry for me, for our life). There is no tragic back story, it is what it is and we are a normal family. We deal with everything and do the best we can, just the same as everyone else who is a parent.

Adoption isn't second best, my kids aren' t second best, if I had the choice of being able to biologically be able to have kids or adopt my kids - I would choose my kids every time. I guess that is what makes me sad, that anyone would view my family as less, in any way, than a biological family. But then I do get the fact that usually people adopt because they can't biologically reproduce.

Italiangreyhound Mon 02-May-16 01:57:02

user I am sorry you are upset.

I agree with the gist of meercat23's comments, except to say that my adopted son is very much 'my own child' and parents of adopted children usually feel this way, even if our children do still have another parent or parents out there somewhere who is also their parent.

BlueberrySky it's not usually a first choice but when one gets to that point and it is the only choice, as it was for me with our son - to have a second child, it really doesn't matter how you get to that place. Or at least it did not for me. Ironically, I knew I wanted to adopt before we got to the point where we actually 'needed' to adopt if we were to have a second child.

User you said, your relative has a condition that may cause fertility and that may mean she cannot have children biologically and you said she '... is understandably upset'. So I think you must just accept she is struggling with that. Whether she will adopt or not will be her choice. I think instead of being pissed off why not just keep on thinking you are 'pretty bloody lucky' to have your kids in your life and don't think anyone should feel sad about ending up like you.

Your situation is your own, your young relative may or may not end up with a family through adoption. I think your other relative is the one who maybe should take a step back and not try and adapt your story for themselves!

You said "I'm genuinely really sad to think that I am perceived by other people (particularly family) as someone who's life is somehow less because I can't reproduce kids." But do you know that that is how people feel or is it just the one suffering from a medical condition that could cause fertility issues?

I've got several family members who did not have kids, they may be very happy about this, we don't discuss it, but I feel kind of sad they did not have kids as that was so important to me, but I recognize it may well not be the case for them! I'd never say so to them. They have filled their lives with overseas travel or being fabulous aunties or whatever.

As an adopter I know it is really just not so simple. My adopted ds is really quite easy to parent compared to my birth dd. Birth dd is a handful and I am sure some people feel sorry for that! DS can be a bit of a handful in a small way too! But really my kids are my life, my world revolves around them! Whatever anyone else thinks about my 'quite difficult' kids, like you user I would not swap them for anyone!

I think the only way to get this message across is to talk within your family about this, but do remember your relative is thinking about herself, and how she feels, and to find out at a young age you may not be able to have children biologically could be quite devastating. The fact you were not devastated by it is to your credit but does not take away your relative's right to feel like this.

Please also be careful if all this is coming through a third party (other relative), she may have got things a bit wrong, who knows!

Re "... the denial that the fertility issues are partly me, makes me feel like it's something to be ashamed of and that it's all about blame"

I think you have to decide whether you want to share your information about your own condition with your young relative, and whether or not to include your other relative in this or not. Of course fertility issues are nothing to be ashamed of, but you just need to decide how much you want to share.

I have had fertility issues and I don't think it is anything to be ashamed of at all, I've generally been very open about it and I know I will need to talk to my dd (I did manage to have one birth child with fertility treatment so she shares my biology) because the condition that runs in my family affected me, my mum, and my cousin. It won't affect my adopted child because he is a adopted - and most of all because he is a boy!!

I understand where you are coming from because I would not want anyone feeling sorry for me because our son is adopted. He is amazing, we love him, we could not be happier. But I think your relative is feeling sorry for herself, she is worried she may be infertile and is taking the fact you adopted to mean that you could not have children biologically because of your condition, it's really not about your kids or about you (IMHO).

Good luck.

meercat23 Mon 02-May-16 15:30:31

Italiangreyhound That was a really poor choice of words of mine. I did not at all mean to imply that adopted children are any less your own than birth children. I am sorry, I hope I haven't offended anyone.

Italiangreyhound Mon 02-May-16 23:29:36

meercat23 not at all and no worries from me. I would have said the same before I adopted. I would have used those same words. It doesn't happen over night but as time goes on and you nurse them when sick and hug and kiss and live with them you find that they become yours. Well that was my experience.

Kewcumber Tue 03-May-16 11:27:48

Saying that adoption is a choice isn't saying it is unnatural! Of course it's a choice, it doesn't happen by accident!

I don't (depending on the context) object to people asking if I didn;t want one of "my own" generally they just mean biological and don;t have the right words for it - I don;t take offense of none is meant. I just say - "Oh you mean biological children?"

Adoption may have been chronologically the second choice for me but I don't think in any way makes my DS as a person "second best".

Many people think other families set up are not as great as their's particularly when you're going through a particularly loved up stage with your children - you just quite believe that other people love their child quite as much as you do or even that their children are genuinely quite as marvelous as yours who are of course really the most amazing children.

I really wouldn't give it much head space to be honest - just be grateful that you are where you are and not where she is.\

user7755 Tue 03-May-16 23:00:22

Sensible words from all, thank you.

I do genuinely feel for her, hence coming on here to let off a bit of steam / have a mini petulant stamp.

Kewcumber Wed 04-May-16 16:12:09

Petulant stamps are all the rage you know these days, all the best people do them. Virtually a requirement of adoptive parenting I would say.

user7755 Wed 04-May-16 19:45:01

grin Thanks

corythatwas Mon 09-May-16 00:16:48

"Everyone I have known who has adopted, including my sister, cousin and DH in his first marriage, have only adopted because they could not have their own children. It is rarely a first choice."

This is a very cultural thing: in my country adoption by fertile mothers is not that uncommon. I come from a family with mixed biological and adopted children. Know plenty of other people too.

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