AIBU to be so bloody angry with people who tell me to adopt?(163 Posts)
NC for this, my very first AIBU.
So, a couple of weeks ago I found out I can't have children. The pain, grief, impact on DH (and our marriage) are all subjects for a different thread. The thing I'm focusing on today is how fucking furious it makes me when friends blithely say (upon hearing the news): "you can always adopt!". As if I can just phone up the local council and claim my consolation prize.
AIBU for it to make me feel this way? And WIBU to tell the next person who says it to me what a fatuous and ignorant comment they have just made, and to suggest they never, ever say it to anyone else? DH thinks people are being well meaning; I think that part of meaning well is to think before you speak. And not just say the first thing that comes into your head because you're uncomfortable.
People are well meaning, but that doesn't lean that they don't have to think about what they are saying.
Adopting isn't the same as having a biological child becuase you need to parent diffrently. The child will already have lost at least two sets of parents and will have suffered trauma. I don't think people realise whats involved.
Adoption is amazing if it's the right thing for you to do.
PS I am not in any way anti-adoption. I have several friends who have adopted children and they are the most wonderful people.
I think it's exactly that, people just have no idea what to say. But I totally understand why it upsets you.
In any situation like that I now just say to someone "I'm so sorry, I'm here if you want to talk" and leave it at that. People seem to think they have to say something "positive" to try and make the person feel better. But sometimes there just is nothing that can be said and I think people should understand that.
They probably do mean well. But they should be beaten over the head with a shovel until they realize that it is actually thoughtless and unhelpful to say such things.
My husband even said it to me a couple of times after a miscarriage. He has learned not to. (I didn’t use a shovel in case anyone is wondering).
You are not being unreasonable at all. Adoption is a very different choice to having your own child. You are understandably driving for a loss.
If someone's child had died , no one would think it was ok to say never mind you can adopt another child. Indeed it would not be a healthy thing for someone who was grieving the loss of a child to do.
You need time to grieve and work this through with your partner and you need support and understanding from others in order to do this.
It is an odd comment and YANBU for being annoyed. Adoption is a very personal thing, different people feel differently about it so Id never suggest this as an option to a couple who can't have children. I'd just say I'm sorry to hear that.
But I agree that they meant well and didn't mean to hurt you.
Having said that my brother and sister in law don't seem to be able to have children but unfortunately they live in France where adoption is very very difficult (think 5 yrs to adopt a 5yrs with SN)..it's such a shame as they'd like to adopt...
I see where you’re coming from but I’m not quite sure how you’d want people to respond though. Nothing they can say or do will change anything, all they can really say is ‘so sorry to hear that’. I imagine some of the people saying this are genuinely trying to be nice/well-meaning rather than insensitive, it’s just difficult to find the right words in a situation like this. I think some people take the approach of ‘giving proactive advice’ rather than ‘shoulder to cry on’
I also do think that adoption is an option going forward for a couple/person that can’t have children. I wouldn’t necessarily constantly spurt that out though
YANBU. My friends adopted. They're very happy now with their DD but I watched them go through two years of hell in the meantime. It wasn't an easy option in any way, shape or form.
Adoption is just a different way to have kids and the most popular after making them yourself. You want kids, they're telling you that you can still have that. I get you got attached to the idea of having kids the usual way but it's not the only way. And they aren't a consolation prize. They are just as precious and wanted as any other child. If you only wanted biological children that's fine, just say that. They haven't said anything wrong at all.
Thank you for the replies. It's nice to know I'm not actually losing my mind, even though it feels that way. I need to get to the point where I'm okay not being okay.
Uncreative you are a paragon of restraint. I would definitely have used the shovel.
I know you are hurting but the use of the words «consolation prize» are deeply hurtful to anyone who has been adopted or is adopting.
It might be an idea to only tell a select few people until you and dh have come to terms with the situation a bit more. I think people in general just don't know what to say so blurt things like that out.
I am extremely sorry Downeyhouse. I was trying to articulate how it comes across when people bring up adoption in a "there, there, nevermind" sort of way. That it is not my view of adopted or adoptive people, at all.
They are only trying to make you feel better. Until you have been on the awful infertility rollercoaster you have no real idea about what or what not to say. Maybe next time you tell someone the news you could say you have found out you can’t have children but you are struggling with the news and would appreciate it if they didn’t mention adoption or alternative routes. It’s not worth falling out with your friends over this.
I totally know what you're saying. I struggled with fertility issues for a long time with my first and would get this comment all the time. Of course adoption is another route to a family and something you may wish to consider but it is a pretty insensitive comment when you are clearly grieving not being able to have your own child.
It's like people don't realise that adoption may not have occurred to you! With hindsight I wish I had replied yes, obviously that is something we will consider but for the moment I am pretty distraught at not being able to have a child the way I expected. Tell them you wish people would stop suggesting that.
I had similar insensitivity with IVF, a few people congratulated me when I was starting the process, like I was already pregnant.
Well meaning - just thoughtless.
Some people just need a high five.
In the face.
With a chair.
I have watched one friend and her DH go through the adoption process for the last 6 years, they are still on two waiting lists. My best friend and her DH have infertility problems, have watched the adoption-couple rriends and decided there is no fucking way they are going through that experience, as much as they'd love dc and be fantastic parents. I know i could never do it.
People say these things with nothing on their mind except Must.Say.Something.Positive. Withoit engaging brain before mouth.
YANBU to be upset by the response to your devastating news.
I think YABVFU to call adopting a consolation prize. I understand why you’re getting annoyed at people’s comments but adopting is a wonderful thing to do - I actually think it’s better than having a child.
downeyowey - I don't think it should be taken as an insult. The majority of people adopt because they are unable to have their own children. This comes after a period of acceptance and grief and then considering other options. It's not saying love for an adopted child is any less or that an adopted family is worth less.
People are seeing it as a problem to fix, not a loss to grieve. It is muddled thinking and they should know better, but it's probably well meaning.
Many people have not yet experienced any deep pain in life. Minor disappointments, maybe. So they try to sympathise but fall short of real empathy. Thats where these stupid trite comments come from, a need to feel like they've helped. Those who have been through the mill themselves, would most likely not be so blithe about this. Its completely different talking to someone who has had a hard time. You see they get it, truly. Its like that talking to other people who also have not been able to have children. I would find people who understand what you are going through to help you with this.
Op is it that you can't conceive/carry a child?.. if so then have you ever thought of having the dr take some if your eggs, fertilise them with dh sperm and have a surrogate carry your biological child for you?
Catintheworld - sorry can’t agree. I am adopted and felt very insulted by the words «consolation prize».
As I imagine anyone else who is adopted would be.
Thankfully my lovely parents never made me feel I was a consultation prize.
Going to step away as the OP is looking to vent and support and that is totally understandable and she does not deserve the thread to go off at a tangent. I hope OP that one day you will be blessed with a child however they come to you.
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