Sunday, April 11, 2010

Gender Preference in Adoption.

Not gonna lie.  It gives me the yuckies.  This all started today because I somehow (maybe on Twit.ter?) ended up on someone's "We're Hoping to Adopt" site and along with all the lovely pictures it said "we have two boys and want a girl" (not exactly like that, but that was the gist).  What?!  I'm sorry, but what gives any of us the right to choose or demand a child of a certain gender? 

Now I get that in international adoption many times you must state a preference.  But in domestic adoption that is not the case. I guess my main issue with stating a preference is that it instantly becomes all about you and what you want, it has nothing to do with the child.  Of course it is ultimately up to the expectant mother/family and if they don't mind a person saying they want a boy or girl, well then that's up to them.  But the bottom line is adoption needs to be about the child and not about what we as adoptive parents want.  Besides, ultrasounds are not fool proof.  If this child comes out a boy is the a-family going to refuse him and give him back?  If any of us a-parents were pregnant would we  not accept our child if they came out as our non-preferred gender?  No, adoption is not natural childbirth, but I believe that we should all have the same commitment to our adopted children as if we birthed them.  So if we cannot choose through pregnancy why should we be able to choose in adoption?


Our first adoption was through an agency and they would not allow gender specificity in a domestic adoption.  I appreciated that.  This time around we stated no preference as the choice is God's, not mine.  I guess this all just bothers me because it feels like adoptive parents trying to get even in the baby-making game.  Something like, "well if I cannot conceive I should at least be able to get what I really want!"  Perhaps this is not how it is and I am certainly not pointing any fingers, this is just how it seems to me.  

Again, I understand that adoption is not childbearing in the same way, but shouldn't your commitment and unconditional love to that child be the same from the very beginning?  I welcome your thoughts!





14 comments:

birthmothertalks said...

I find what you have to say very interesting. In a way, I do agree that it's not right to demand a boy or girl, but I do think if you would rather have one or another then it's okay to express that interest to the person who is running things.
I think that adoption is so hard for a lot of people because of the cost of it. So, some people may only be able to adopt one or two and maybe it's what their heart desires to be a Mommy to a boy or a girl or maybe if they already have one of a sex then if they adopt the other sex then it would cause them not to be able to stay in their current house. But I do think that if you are matched with a women who is considering adoption and the ultrasound was wrong that you should adopt that child.

rlvd said...

i bet it gets tempting to people to choose b/c they CAN choose-- just like you stated: can't w/ pregnancy, can w/ this! hmmm- what to decide... i think it's a temptation thing? (this is my gut reaction; i'll have to think on it more)

swensonmaureen said...

I think the fact that we "can" choose makes it tempting. I've always wanted a boy and a girl (we have a girl) but then I LOVE being the mom of a little girl and we still have all of her clothes, etc so it would be easy for a baby girl to join our family. Either way, we won't select a preference. Now selecting race, that's a whole other conversation. ;)

HollyMarie said...

I agree with you Andi and I would be happy no matter what gender child we are blessed with, but my dh wants a BOY, a SON, feels overwhelmed with all the pink in our house from two girls and says his limit is 3 kids and if we have another he wants a boy, gosh darn it. ;) So we are putting preference for a boy. Should an ultrasound be wrong, of course we'll still adopt a girl. :) Race is interesting too Maureen! At first we were only going to be open to racial minority because of our girls, but have decided to be open to all races. Though our social worker told us that many caucasian e-moms will skip our profile anyway because of our transracial makeup. Ha, I never thought of that reversed!

Andi said...

I hear you, Holly. My DH insisted in this last adoption that we should only be open to AA or bi-racial. Well I couldn't say yes to that, so we just argued every time there was a potential match! LOL

The thing is, no one ever (or hardly ever) requests a boy. It seems everyone wants a girl. Kinda like requesting a minority child when everyone wants a white one - I don't have as big of a problem with that but I still don't know if that makes it 'right'. *sigh*

RussellFamily said...

Holly I never thought of that reversed either...interesting!!!

We have two girls and we would love a boy. However, if/when we get our act together we won't specify gender! We will probably specify racial minorities!

So Andi, since most couples want CA girls...placing with an AA boy just might be in our future!!!! :D

Debbie B said...

I've thought of the reverse on race. Shortly after bringing home our daughter I told my husband when we adopt again it will most likely not be a white child because we likely wouldn't be chosen because of our transracial family.
I agree with you on the boy/girl thing. When people ask me I tell them if we have another girl we might request a boy for #3 because I want a boy but it's just to make them stop talking normally. And is always followed by you can't pick with pregnancy so why should I be able to pick with adoption.

Melba said...

I agree with you completely, Andi! We were told that we were "the most open couple" with our agency while we waited but that had less to do with openness on our parts than it did with a choice to let the cards unfold as they would. If we were "meant" to have a boy we would have a boy and if we were "meant" to have a girl we would have a girl. Likewise with race--and even to an extent with disabilities, although we were required to make some choices in that regard. Ugh, the whole topic of choice in adoption just makes me feel unsettled. I'm definitely of the camp that since you can't choose with pregnancy you shouldn't choose with adoption either, even though the two are (of course) completely different ways of building a family.

Great post!

Melba

Rach said...

we thought we were wanted a boy and a girl---and would mark a preference. (that's when we first started and knew NOTHING about adoption). now, there is NO WAY i'd state a preference. doesn't mean I don't have certain yearnings/desires---but i just can't fathom rejecting a child based on sex.

Lisa said...

I totally agree with you!!! We have a son and I would love a daughter, though. Guess we'll just have to see what happens. When adopting, it's obviously "easier" to prefer.

LeeJo said...

There's a sort of catch 22 there. You have forms to fill out with choices to make. It resonates of a restaurant menu where you have made to order baby. There is a certain extent to which this works, however the consumer mentality created by the fill in the blank of choices detracts from the humanity of the situation.

Kyle and Crystal said...

I love it when you blog :) When we first filled out our application for Project Cuddle we selected male for our gender preference. A week later I thought that doing that was completely ridiculous and that I would love any child God brought to us - so I resubmitted our application and asked them to update that we were open to any gender... and less than two months later we got a call about our daughter. We have never again specified race whether it was for a temporary placement or adoption. We also are not set in stone on race or age or special needs because I can't possibly guess who God has in store for our family. Its funny you brought up international adoption because I always hear how everyone wants a girl... well when we looked into ethiopia and jamaica we were told the wait would be less if we specified we wanted a boy... but I just kept thinking "why limit God" - maybe he would send us a son but maybe our little girl was out there too... I don't think you should get to specify gender for dia or ia. Kyle had made the comment that it should be like the lottery as far as race and gender.. people should be happy/thankful with whatever child God gives them!

mom2many said...

I think there is a difference in demanding a boy or girl and wanting the desire that God laid on your heart. For years I had a desire, from God, and a promise to go along with it, for a baby girl. Now, we adopted two boys before God gave us our baby girl, and I was fine with whatever God gave us. But, in my heart, I knew that God had placed the desire for a baby girl there and that He would give me that baby. I think the difference is the attitude in which the request is made. If God chose to give me ALL boys because He knew that's what was best for me, then bring on the boys!! I do understand where you are coming from...I have met those who would pass a baby up because it didn't fit their gender "needs". Can't even fathom!! :)

Rachel said...

We were actually taken aback when our lawyer said we could specify gender. I won't lie - we've always wanted a boy, but we certainly didn't tell that to them!! We just prayed about it and left it up to God. I think you should go into adoption thinking that you have the same options as childbearing. We had a HUGE form to fill out about medical stuff. We only marked off things we could control had I gotten pregnant (ie drug & alcohol abuse). If I could get pregnant, we could very easily have a child with some sort of "imperfection." Why would we limit our adoption to "perfect" babies?

I totally agree with you on this, Andi. I think any prospective adoptive parent should show unconditional love & commitment from the beginning.

Thanks for this post!!