Do I have to give birth to my baby? (Thoughts on Adoption)

When I tell people that Tim and I don’t necessarily want to have children, I get a lot of mixed responses.  Mostly, people ask why which, I’ve come to understand, is maybe a fair question considering Tim and I are both teachers and have chosen to dedicate our lives to educating children.  So why not have children of our own?  About equally, people tell us, “Oh, don’t worry, you’ll want them someday.”  (Don’t worry?  I wasn’t worried in the least.  Not wanting kids is not like a bad cold or a shortage of money or a breakup to which you might be told “Don’t worry.  It’ll get better.”  But I digress.)  I’m open to changing my mind about this topic – don’t get me wrong - but I’m not counting on it happening.

Occasionally, someone will tell me,”Oh, but you’d be so cute pregnant!” (Yes, because cuteness for nine months is a good reason to alter your life forever) or, “But you’re so good with kids!” (Yes, I am.  Again, I’m a teacher.  I like little kids, too, especially when I can give them back to their parents.  And, honestly, I have never held a baby under 1 year old.  Never.  Scouts honor.  They terrify the crap out of me.  Always have.)

People talk about the joy and satisfaction and the you’ll-never-do-anything-greater feeling that is derived from childrearing.  People, really, will do anything to persuade you to have children.  Which I do not understand.  If you’re not ready, wait.  If you’re never ready, don’t do it.

However, through all of my tough façade, I really do like kids, and I really do feel like there might come a point in our lives when Tim and I are done traveling and eating out and drinking wine and we’re ready to settle down a little bit and jump on the baby bandwagon.  But, to be honest, pregnancy scares the bejesus out of me.  I don’t want my body to be a host for another body.  I don’t want to have everyone and their mother telling me what I can and can’t do to my body whilst pregnant.  I don’t want to be put in a life or death situation where I have to decide between me and the baby.  I don’t want to gain weight.  I don’t want the pain.  I don’t want to have a 6-8 week recovery off of work.  I absoultely do not want a C-section because surgery scares me more than anything.

Most of all, I don’t want to have to stop drinking wine. ;)

Now, Tim and I have talked about adoption as a possibility.  There are so many babies out there without homes, and that seems like a really great way to have a baby and not be pregnant.  Not to mention, my best friend was adopted and has a wonderful life. Of course, articles like this one about women being pressured to give up their babies for adoption really scare me, too, but I imagine that, (like anything) with some research, we could find an adoption agency that isn’t totally shady.

But when I tell people my thoughts on adoption (or even when I don’t, sometimes these opinions are just offered to me), I’m sometimes told that, no matter what I do, an adopted baby wouldn’t be my baby.  Or I’m told that I should have my own baby if I can because I’d want it to look like me or Tim.  Or that it’d be fun.  Or that pregnancy is worth it to have your own baby. 

Or that if I can have my own baby, I should because I don’t know what I’m missing and there are women who desperately want to be pregnant out there that can’t.

I’m not so sure what my ability and desire to be pregnant (if I even have that ability – having never been pregnant, I couldn’t even tell you) has to do with other women’s ability and desire to be pregnant.  I’m desperately sorry for women who want to be pregnant more than anything but who can’t.  But I’m certainly not going to tell someone who is pregnant and who doesn’t want to be – or someone who isn’t and doesn’t want to be – that they don’t know how lucky they are.

Here’s the thing.  For many women, it’s either have a baby or don’t have a baby at all.  And that’s fine, if that’s what you want.  But don’t tell women with unwanted pregnancies they take pregnancy and childrearing for granted if you’re not willing to adopt a baby that someone else couldn’t take care of for whatever reason.  And don’t undermine my desire and ability to adopt just because… well why?  Why would you?  Because it isn’t my baby?  Why isn’t it my baby?  If I love and care for and would do anything for that child, why isn’t it my baby?

I usually leave these conversations infuriated and frustrated with nothing to really say in return.  It’s a crossing of beliefs, and I’m not going to change anyone’s mind by spouting out statistics about how many babies are waiting to be adopted or how many pregnancies go bad or how many women suffer postpartum depression.  But I would like something to say in return other than, “You worry about your family and I’ll worry about mine.”  It’s just such an emotional issue – and one that I’m still sorting out in my head - that the snarky comebacks haven’t come to me yet.  I’m open to suggestions.

43 thoughts on “Do I have to give birth to my baby? (Thoughts on Adoption)

  1. Ashley, i believe that adoption is a splendid idea. Being raised in Okinawa, Japan, the Philippines and Detroit, there are plenty of homeless children. Being a dude, we take women for granted. My wife had to endure our two children. All the symptoms u mentioned is correct. Us males are lucky. So making the decision to adopt will work well. Or you can work for the peace corp as an alternative. Poverty is all around globally. Peace! ;-)

    • Ashley on

      Aniel – Thank you for your support! It’s refreshing to hear support of these ideas. :)

  2. Maria on

    This is related to the beginning of the post, not the adoption part….

    It really annoys me when people talk about my “new” family, now that the baby is here. (As in, “Here’s a picture of the new family!”) I’m sorry, people, but Wesley and I (and our two kitties) were a completely valid family pre-baby. I hate when people imply that you’re not actually a family until you have kids. (I try to refer to us as a “newly-expanded family.”)

    Also, you still have 9 months in which I can help you rectify the fact that you’ve never held a baby under 1 year old! ;)

    • Ashley on

      Maria, you read my mind. Tim and I have a family. In fact, we have lots of family. Why do babies legitimize us as a couple?? That’s like royal family circa Edward VIII stuff. Ugh. I like your “newly-expanded family” term, though. I may use that – when referencing other people, of course. ;)

      And we are coming your way in the summer! We’ll talk details soon.

  3. “Why is having children the ultimate performance for successful people?” -I Heart Huckabees

    I hate the attitude that a woman somehow owes it to the world to bear children. And i agree so strongly with your assertion that pro-lifers should more heavily consider adopting the babies they so want to save. The way i see it, people who don’t have their own children are doing the world a favor; there is an overpopulation problem. There are babies who already exist and need love, and i commend you for considering adoption. But i also encourage you not to feel pressured to raise children. It’s up to you and your husband, and nobody needs to make that monumentally important decision for you.

    • Ashley on

      Or the attitude that a woman somehow owes it to her HUSBAND to have children. That’s the question I get most often – “Well what about if Tim wants kids?” Like… you think we haven’t talked about this major life decision at all?

      Thanks for your encouragement.

  4. Dr. O. on

    Oh, Ashley, there are so many responses I have to this, and I say this as the mom of 2 adopted children, as a person whose brother has an adopted daughter, as someone who has a family of cousins entirely comprised of adopted children (4 of them), as a person whose siblings have had children biologically, as step children, or not at all. . . .you get the picture (and you know some of it/them first hand!). So within a certain range I know whereof I speak, and I say, no one has the right to tell you you should bear children, adopt children, abstain from bearing children or from adopting children. It’s your body, your decision. It’s your family, your decision with Tim. Adoption can be a fantastic way to have a family, but it’s not necessarily so. It’s not a decision to be talked into by anyone (nor would they want to be responsible for that, if they knew the heartache it can be). As for adopted kids being yours or not, they are. You love them unqualifiedly. People who think otherwise have no empathetic imagination and have no right to an opinion that you should take seriously as a result. As for snappy comebacks, the only ones that come to mind would involve lowering yourself to the level of those who would be so insensitive as to tell you what to do. So, to a female telling you to bear children: “Wait, before we have this conversation, we need to discuss your having your tubes tied, which obviously you need to do.” For a male doing the same: “Wait, before we have this conversation, we need to discuss your having a vasectomy, which you obviously need to do.” For anyone telling you to have kids by any means: “So are you offering us the $200,000 it will cost to put the baby through college?” You get the idea. Sorry if this is too visceral a response, but you’re an intelligent, thoughtful, caring person, and people need to respect that and respect you. You’ll have a happy life living with decisions you make with Tim about your future.

    • Ashley on

      Dr. O, you just made my day.

      I think of you often when I think about adoption, for obvious reasons. If we do make the decision to adopt, you can bet I’ll be calling you for advice… just like in undergrad! :)

      I think the problem is just exactly what you said – there are people who just don’t have any imagination when it comes to family life. And that explains SO MANY problems people have with gay marriage, domestic partnerships, cohabitation, not having children, adoption, divorce, step-children… just to name a few. Some people just can’t think outside of their tiny little boxes, and I feel sorry for them. They will never know the joy that people experience from simply opening up their lives and accepting people into them. It’s so frustrating.

      As far as the snappy comebacks, you’re right. I shouldn’t lower myself to their level. I guess I was more referencing when I decided to keep my name and people would give me a lecture about it, I found saying things like, “Well, Tim and I aren’t sure if it’s going to work out, so we figured this would just be easier” just shut them up really quick, and gave us a bit of a giggle. :) But you’re right – the best thing I can do is explain my position and hope they come around.

      Thanks!

  5. I love, love, love this post; it echoes quite a few of my thoughts. Especially this part: “People, really, will do anything to persuade you to have children. Which I do not understand.” YES. Why?!

  6. I feel exactly the same way. First of all, it’s my choice. It’s my body. I do what I want. Secondly, a family is a family because you love each other and care for each other, not because of genetic material. And what I do with my body and my family is my business.

    • Ashley on

      And a family isn’t a family because of vows, either. If Tim and I lived together and didn’t get married, he’d be no less my family than he is now!

      Amen, sister!

  7. Joey on

    I completely agree. Since going to Honduras several times to do missions work with a church, I’ve seen so many children in malnutrition clinics or AIDS orphanages that desperately need parents. So why, if you desire not to become pregnant, should you not have the opportunity to adopt those kids? That’s just foolishness. You should feel free to adopt if you don’t desire to be pregnant! I wish the best for you and Tim.

    I’ve got a video I think you might be interested in embedding and commenting about: http://www.newsy.com/videos/u-k-virginity-tests-more-widespread-than-once-thought/. The videos looks into reports that the UK used virginity tests back in the ‘70s to screen immigrants from entering the country. Initially the UK was punished for their actions, but a new report shows the invasive tests were more frequent than once though.

    I hope you can find some use for the video. Let me know if you have any questions. And I hope if ya’ll do adopt one day, you can have peace and joy in that adoption.

  8. The only real perk of having a disease that affects fertility is that when people ask me when I’m going to start breeding, I get to say “I may not be able to have children.” That puts an end to the conversation right away.

    And the more research I do about fertility issues, the more I think that anyone can answer the question that way. Because that’s just it: being able to conceive and carry a baby to term are not givens for anyone, so people shouldn’t go around pretending they are!

  9. I only encourage you to research the hell out of any agency that you consider (which also means avoiding facilitators and solo-working attorneys). Ethical adoption is possible, but it’s also difficult and frustrating as it’s still not common place.

    There are fantastic blogs out there by adoptees, adoptive parents and birth parents that you need to be reading now, way before contacting any agency.

  10. I am 100% for adoption. Yes, there are horror stories of adoptions gone wrong (like that one family putting the kid on the plane back to Russia), but I have a feeling there are more good stories than bad.

    I know many couples who have adopted and that is their child. Doesn’t matter if they are white and the child is black… it is their child. You don’t have to give birth to a child to love it and care for it. You as a teacher care for your children… why wouldn’t you love a child that you bring into your home?

    I plan on adopting some day as a single mother (if I don’t meet Mr. Right between then and now). I have so much to give as a mother and there are plenty of children who need a mother. Like everyone else, I suggest heavy research into adoption and agencies. Talk with people who have adopted. Hit the library and the book stores for books on adoption. Surf the web. A great starter site is the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

    I think with proper research on all fronts, you and your husband will be able to decide if adoption is truly right for you.

  11. I know you wrote this back in May, but I just found it, and I wanted to say that it feels so good knowing there is someone out there with my same thoughts and dilemma. Once I got married the questions started rolling in from every single person I know, “Is she pregnant yet?” LITERALLY every single person, and non-stop pressure. Like I have no choice in the matter, like because I’m female I HAVE to give birth, and if my husband wants a baby I have to be submissive, and adoption is only an option if I can’t conceive. Some women honestly want to have kids and raise a family, but I am extremely terrified of pregnancy and giving birth. I hyperventilate, get nauseous and cry for hours just thinking about some of preganancy and labor’s highlights. Which is something my husband knew before marrying me, but obviously he didn’t believe me or thought I would change my mind, and now he does not want to adopt because he doesn’t think it will be “ours,” even though he sees the love between me and my parents and I’M adopted! I desperately wanted to carry on a sort of tradition by adopting with him, but even my parents, who adopted me because they couldn’t conceive, think I should try on my own first, despite my extreme fear. I think that because I’m adopted I know all about what’s it’s like, and would be very able to raise an adopted child. But people tell me that in order to adopt through an agency you need to prove you cannot have children of your own. I don’t want to believe this is true, but I can’t find any information about it online, and I don’t want to contact an agency until I’m ready. Anyway, I think I might be babbling, so I’ll let it go. Thanks so much for sharing this personal topic! It made me feel better to know I’m not alone.

    • Julie on

      I don’t know if you’re right about the adoption piece and not being able to have a child (I don’t think you are, though), but here’s the bottom line: no one should pressure you into getting pregnant and giving birth. Period. It’s so tough to tell people that you don’t want to have that experience, or are afraid of that experience–people just don’t get it. But you are NOT alone, and it IS ok. You have to do what YOU feel is right, even if it disappoints some people. You didn’t mislead your husband. And your parents, well, I just have nothing to say on that point. In this instance I can only advise to listen very carefully to your own needs and no one else’s. Pregnancy is a risk–granted, it’s one many many women take and come out of just fine, but that is not the point. The point is it is your choice, and there is no right or wrong choice–except the one you make just to bow to pressure. Good luck!!

  12. Bryan on

    I am in full support of families not wanting kids but come on Ashley, after reading your reasons for not wanting to birth children it appears they are all temporary excuses. I wish I could express some tone but I am not wagging my finger at you. I believe though that if you and Tim are to find yourselves in the situation where you guys are pregnant I feel you would accept it and embrace it with little effort. I don’t want to sound as if I know you but as I listed above you could only give temporary excuses. I also had no idea the pressure women are under to have kids. I could understand family members of yours trying to persuade you to have kids cause that is a job of a family is to continue the cycle of your own genes, but nobody else.(except if you blog about it for more than 2 billion people to see lol)I thought after writing out some of my feelings on this I would come to a understanding where I stand on the issue but I’m split. I think it goes against nature and shows how individually minded we have become to put ourselves before the complete human race. Also, people make decisions to smoke, drink excessively, and have horrible diets which kill them at obscenely low ages definitely goes against one of the most rule of nature which is to keep yourself alive and to be healthy. I’m still split, as much as I want to say its your body do as you please I just cannot say it with 100 percent sincerity. In the end, people will not regret things they did in life as much as things they did not do is what is regretted. Its just my attitude of to never leave anything on the table and birthing a child would be leaving something, of epic proportions, on the table. Whatever it is you decide to do I hope you do it the best of your potential. -I hope I did not sound harsh

  13. Abbie on

    Or if like me Diabetic and been flat out told id damage my eyes including vision as ive had retinopahty and kidney failure as on permanent blood pressure pills to try to stop the damage even more (protinuria) So for me its because if i adopt my body wont fail on me and i wont go blind or have kidney failure. Ill live longer and will be able to see the child not be disabled. But still get some wise cracks. I didnt ever meet a man in the end. And now im 31 im googling how to adopt. And i really hope you dont need to proove it. Could be hard to explain over and over without getting tired of it.

  14. I had all those ideas just like yourself before I got married and preg after. But now that I look back I would never change the fact that my baby is going to be here in just 2 more months. Sometimes you have one idea about something but after it happens to you, you don’t think the same. I wouldn’t go back in time to change anything in my life. People change and circumstances changes the way we think. Is like growing up: You liked pink now you like black, you liked dolls now you don’t, you wanted to be a singer now you want another career, you used to see guys as buddies now you want to date them. You we all change at one point of another. I just think all you have are “DUMP EXCUSES” because that’s all they are. You don’t have a real reason of why not to have kids. I am sorry but I think you are away too selfish and ignorant. I believe you don’t feel good about yourself and having a child will make you feel worse. Having kids isn’t that bad. I am actually scared to death to give birth but, who isn’t? Is nice to adopt kids that deserve a “home” but it doesn’t matter how many kids you adopt they will never be the same was giving birth to your “own” child. I think you should give yourself some time and don’t feel pressure to have kids because in the end of the day your are the one going home with them while the rest of the world won’t help you. So, every time someone tells you to have kids just tell them: if your give birth to them, pay for them, take care of them, breast feed them, pay for their college and give them support “$” sure let’s have them! I think all of you who have unrealistic ideas about kids just get more info and educate yourself more.
    “Why is this world full of ignorants? Because they have lack of info”

    Have a good night everyone!!

    • Ashley on

      I just think all you have are “DUMP EXCUSES” because that’s all they are. You don’t have a real reason of why not to have kids. I am sorry but I think you are away too selfish and ignorant.

      Well, Kate, I’m going to assume you are talking about “dumb” excuses, not “dump” ones. All I have to say about this is that there are a lot of reasons not to have kids, and none of them are dumb. What’s dumb is having a kid before you are ready. I’m not ready, and no amount of people calling me “dumb” will make me ready. This is not to say that having a kid is dumb – far from it. If you’re ready and you’ve decided that’s what you want, go for it.

      Furthermore, assuming I CAN even have kids (as I haven’t yet tried, I don’t even know if it’s biologically possible), an adopted kid would be no less my child than a biologically born child. My best friend in the world was adopted, and I have many, many friends who have adopted children and they are absolutely family – sometimes even more so than biologically born children because these kids are so desperately wanted.

      Let’s not judge, ok? Family is family, and blood has nothing to do with it.

    • Kae on

      Kate – your response is full of ignorance: “Is nice to adopt kids that deserve a “home” but it doesn’t matter how many kids you adopt they will never be the same was giving birth to your “own” child.” I couldn’t disagree with you more. My brother was adopted. Blood doesn’t make you family. Love, that special bond, makes you one. I don’t think of my brother as different or adopted. I couldn’t be more proud or love him any more than I already do. My parents love him just as much as they love me, he was very much wanted. People like you are selfish and ignorant … don’t call other people out on issues you don’t agree with … especially when your heart is so small. Educate yourself more … you are clearly lacking information.

      • KATE on

        When it comes to bringing a new person to the family it does not make a difference from where that person comes from even if is not blood related. But giving birth to my daughter did make me see the difference of having someone growing inside you for 9 months and having someone in your arm already born. The difference is huge but those people who never had kids would never understand. Having a special something growing inside you made from your and your partner’s DNA is a very emotional experience that an adopt child cannot give you. I am really happy when someone adopts a child because I do believe that everyone needs a chance to grow in a good environment regardless of where they come from. What I try to explain is that giving birth to someone that was MADE inside you is an experience your adopt child did not give you. I will love an adopt child as much as I love my daughter but having my own child was the best blessing my body has given me. I am not trying to say that adopting is bad but we cannot compare the two because every experience comes with something special.

        • Brooklynn on

          I’m totally with Ashley on this one! I never want to be pregnant/give birth. No matter the reasons, they’re definitely not dumb! I really hate when people start to tell me what i have to do with my body/serious life choices. My reasons are my own, just like Ashley’s are hers. Feelings are feelings and need no validation from anyone. I’m definitely not ready for kids right now, but even if I were, I’d look at adoption, not getting pregnant. Honestly, whenever people talk about their child forming inside of them, I feel physically ill. They may find it special, but to me, it seems like a terrifying parasite. I remember my mom being pregnant with my little sister. She was extremely sick throughout the pregnancy. IV in the arm, vomiting a lot, aching body, cold sweats, high fevers, gestational diabetes kind of sick. It was traumatizing. She was sick like that when she was pregnant with me too. It’s really a miracle my sister was born. If I’d been sick like that while pregnant, I’d never have done it again. I was old enough to see how sick I would probably get (it runs in my family) if I were ever pregnant and realized it wasn’t for me. That was reconfirmed in middle school when we had to watch a video of a woman giving birth. I couldn’t look at newborns for months without feeling a certain amount of terror. I hated when people tried to tell me, “You could be married soon!” but, “Are you going to try for a baby soon?” is even worse. Don’t get me wrong, I love kids. I babysat all the time in middle and high school, worked in an after child care program, and have even been a nanny. I’m even one of the people who sees babies and just has to talk to them. I’ve made friends with new parents in grocery stores while making funny faces at their babies. I’m very social and everyone tells me I’d make a great mom and would have such cute kids, but yikes! Let’s let everyone make their own family choices, shall we? There’s a running joke in my family (okay, maybe I’m the ome who keeps the “joke” around) about wanting to “have kids, but not HAVE them,” including arm motions hinting towards labor haha. Anyway, I’m totally for adoption (or even surrogacy for those it works for)! Obviously, they’re not easy options, but they can work to expand a family. My dad was technically my step-dad until he adopted me after my bio dad passed, but I would never consider him as anything but my father. It’s true that love makes a family, not blood!

  15. Ashley,

    I stumbled upon your blog because my husband and I have been entertaining foster and adoption to bring a child into our home. First off, I must warn the others out there who disagree with you…………I DO NOT want to give birth to my own children. I have never been given the desire to do so. I LOVE children and even majored in Early Childhood Development! Just because I do not want to give LIVE birth to a child makes me no less of a woman, wife or (eventually, maybe) mother. If I want to adopt a child, why should I be judged?? Over the entire world there are MILLIONS of orphans with NO ONE to love them and I cannot see myself bringing another mouth to feed into this world. Why not do the SELFLESS thing and adopt?

    I’d also like to add, my husband and I are both Christians, so you can only imagine the absolute horror on the faces of people we know we we say “we don’t want to have kids.” “What???? Isn’t that going against God and the Bible?” As a matter of fact, it isn’t. Jesus requests for believers to take care of the fatherless and the widows. Not to get religious on anyone, but I am making a point.

    I’m just like you. I have no idea if I can even give birth to my own children anyway and I am afraid I already know the answer. It is no. My mother had extreme issues in carrying a child to term, and, on her third try, she finally had me.

    I find it very discouraging for people to tell you that your choices are unfounded or “DUMP”. If you want to adopt rather than give birth to your own children, go right ahead!! I think that it is VERY noble that you want to adopt. If I only loved people that were “blood” relatives of mine, I wouldn’t love many people in this world! I would not love my husband, best friend or any of my other friends. Being related to someone by blood has nothing to do with love and giving birth to a child doesn’t mean that you will love them, either. Many women give birth to children every day and lack a maternal instinct to love and care for a baby. In all honesty, my mother was one of those people and her mother was the same way with her.

    I know I went off on my soapbox, but it makes me so angry when people refuse to look at things from another person’s perspective.

    Thank you for posting this blog posting wayyyyyyyyyyy back in 2011. It was something I really needed to read today and helped me realize that adoption is okay. I also love that you are “creative” when it comes to family life. I just wish more people were like you.

    And, hey, you and I might not have anything else in common, but please know that someone out there is in the same boat you are.

  16. Things like marriage and giving birth make sense in hunter-gatherer societies but not in the post-modern world. I live in one of the most developed, wealthiest cities in the world. For me, the only reason to have my own child would be arrogance: wanting to continue my bloodline, which is actually not dissimilar to wanting to upload the mundane details of your daily activities on Facebook. No one else really cares (unless you’re Kate Middleton) but if you don’t have a Facebook account you’re an outcast just like if you don’t have your own child. There are so many stray cats and dogs in need of a good home but some people still insist on buying a pure breed. If we truly love and care for our fellow man or woman or animal, it simply does not make sense ethically or economically not to adopt a child or animal in need. That is simply how I feel about the issue. I understand that other people make different decisions based on other logic or beliefs. I’m fine with that as long as they don’t dictate to me how I should feel or act. Thank you for your interesting blog!

  17. I’m 32 and *almost* certain I don’t want children. Most certain I don’t want them any time soon. If I ever choose to have a child, I will adopt one. And no, I don’t hate children. I quite like them. But just like you, I like returning them back to their parents! :)

    For some reason I notice these thoughts offend people. I never start this subject by myself, the answer is usually extracted from me like a bad tooth. :D I have come to realisation why the choice not to have biological children is considered so offensive. It’s a slap in the face of a status quo. It’s saying “no thank you” to what 99,99% of people consider to be the meaning of life without thinking twice about it. We are all raised to believe what kind of life is “the right kind”. We are told that the ultimate act of being human is procreation. So how dare we reject something so natural and unquestionable? As if it is out of arrogance of lack of knowledge that a person chooses not to procreate. How dare we give an illusion of choice in this matter, when it is quite clear that happiness equals family and family equals biological babies? How dare we assert there are other ways to be happy, fulfilled and successful? This is an idea that raises so many questions, including sociological kind, and it threatens with confusion where once everything was unquestionable, safe and sure… I feel like being child-free is like being pro gay marriage. I’m sure someone here will sooner or later share with us a quote from the bible that proves just how wrong we are to go against god’s will. ;)

    Good luck to you and your husband regardless of what choice you make in the future. Choose happiness whatever that means to you. :)

  18. What did you end up deciding? I’m going through this right now. I know I want to be a mother but I’m not sure I really want to be a mother of a baby.

    • Ashley on

      Unfortunately, I haven’t decided anything yet. We know we want at least one kid for sure, but we also don’t know when that will be, or how. I will update in a new post, soon, so be sure to check back or subscribe.

  19. Shannon on

    Finding this blog was totally random, but I am so glad that I did. Hubby and I are trying to decide if we will move straight to adoption or try for a genetic child. Nice to see that we are not the only people facing this dilemma. Thank you!!

  20. caro on

    I just have to tell you how nice it is to know that *one person* somewhere in the world can relate to the way I feel about childbirth and adoption. Pretty much everyone I’ve ever discussed this with made me feel like a failure of a woman or a selfish monster. My husband and I abstractly want kids “someday” and we know that probably ought to be fairly soonish, but we’re not emotionally or financially ready yet. (We’re in our late 20′s and still trying to find our footing in our careers.) But regardless, I do. not. want. to be pregnant.

    I am terrified of childbirth. I have health issues that could cause complications (I like to research major life decisions!), not to mention the base line risk of pregnancy and childbirth, but even medical professionals seem more interested in reassuring me that I *could* do it than actually having an honest conversation about whether I *should*. I also have body image issues that make me really, really NOT want to put myself through anything that could worsen those issues.

    People always handwave the near-death experiences, the vaginal tearing OR the irreparable damage from c-sections, the “changes” to breasts, nipples, vaginas, and everything else. They act like I’m crazy or selfish for not wanting to undergo those things. They tell me not to think about it because once you have a baby it’s worth it! And I’m sure for them it is. And I’m sure that if I chose that, I would justify it to myself afterward and maybe it would even be true, and I wouldn’t care about the toll it took on my body. But all I can think is- why? Why would I put myself through 9 months of discomfort, medical risk, and eventually pain, when there are so many children growing up in our broken foster care system? That is something my husband and I are both passionate about, so (of course making sure it’s not a coercive or exploitative adoption) why not just adopt?

    Sometimes I worry that I’ll wake up one day and be heartbroken that I never had this defining experience of womanhood… But will I really? I can’t tell if that’s a legitimate fear, if I’m still undecided, or if that’s just second-guessing because literally everyone around me is telling me that’s what’s going to happen. (I live in the Bible Belt and have already bucked the norm by waiting til my mid-twenties to get married, much less start having kids!)

    Anyway,sorry to write a book. Thank you for writing this.

  21. I am michelle from hawaii usa my husband and i have been looking for a child after our marriage for 8years and we have done several things but to no avail, but husband and i did not relent, we continue to find result until we met this spell caster online and we explained our situation to him and he told us that he will cast a fertility spell for me and my husband and he told us what is required of it. so we gave the spell caster our information and he told us to wait for two days before we begin to see result. me and my husband made love again, and after two weeks i went to the hospital and i was confirm positive. so i am very happy and that at last i can now have my own baby. in case you need his help, meet him on…….. fertilitytemple@yahoo.com

  22. Kristy on

    I know this was written quite a while ago, but I just want to say. I’m so glad to have found this post and these comments, and to know that I’m not the only one that feels this way. I get so frustrated when people tell me what I’m supposed to want as a woman, as if individual choice on major life decisions were out of the question. And I HATE when people who barely know me tell me with a knowing smile that I’m going to change my mind, because that’s just my nature as a woman. Or worse, when people call me selfish or vain for not wanting to give birth. When I got excited because I read an article about the possibility of artificial wombs in the future, people literally called me crazy, saying that women would lose their value to society. Excuse me for disagreeing, but I believe as a woman I contribute much more to society than my ability to be a human incubator. People tell me it is morally wrong to bring a child into the world without a woman giving birth to it, which I find absolutely ridiculous. If no one gets hurt, what’s immoral about it? The fact they women are cheating out of God’s punishment for Original Sin? Anyways, since people are so closed minded about this, and even about surrogacy unless you’re infertile, I’ll be happy to opt for adoption if I decide I want children.

  23. Ashley on

    Like everyone esle I’m glad to have found this. I must say I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who’s going through this. I guess people have this idea of women are suppose to give birth or populate an this is why God put women on this earth to have babies.. I do not agree with that entirely.That is how some people think. I know I maybe still young in my early 20s. An still the thought of having a baby is something I wouldn’t want. I will still keep that option open just in case because u never know. I have strongly drawn closer to adoption.. I just dnt see anything wrong with it. There are kids out there that need a loving family to. Everyone has their own
    Title on how they would like to live their lives. Kids arent made for everyone so why think they are crazy, or selfish,or believe they will change their mind in the future .
    Its ok not to want kids or have them biologically. If adoption fits best go for it. You will not be less of a woman if u choose not to have kids. I’ve known people even teachers who chose not to be married or have kids an they are find. All our lives we are told to do this an that but in reality it doesnt have to be. I know I would like to have kids someday,when the time is ready , but through adoption. Hey who knows I may have a baby of my own. Well everthing will be left in the Lord’s hands.
    I hope everthing goes well with u an Mr. Tim on whatever u guys descide.

  24. It’s good to read an opinion on birth that I agree with. I’ve come to the same conclusions on my own, but having an opinion validated by an outside and unrelated source is so good! I also never want to birth a child. I’m way too afraid of what might happen to me in that whole nine-month body-sharing experience. The pay off is simply being able to raise a child who looks like you, but really, couldn’t you find a kid to raise who looks like you anyway? Humans are pretty alike overall. Especially if you leave skin color out of it. Anyway; rambling, thanks for writing this up!

    • I agree! I get wanting to have a child that looks and acts like you and your partner, but it’s kind of superficial. DNA says a lot but so does nurture.

  25. I don’t know how I stumbled across this website because I am sensing that my beliefs are very different than many of yours but it is not my job to judge anyone and that is not my goal. My life has just taken me on a very different road than most of the above commentators. I do believe as a Christian, that we are not our own as many of you have stated. That doesn’t mean that we can’t make our own decisions. It just means that being a Christian, I weigh everything in the view of what God has to say and what he would have me do. I have an anchor which has led to a life of absolute freedom from confusion and regrets. He guides my life and I use the Bible to gain insight and wisdom into many of life’s questions. I do believe that children are a blessing as God says. Because this world is far from perfect, we cannot all have children and we can not all adopt. I get that. As a follower of Christ, I have the desire to have children which I believe was God given. Why don’t you ask God if you should have children? You may be surprised at the answer. I have four and have given birth to them with few problems. Medicine has come a long way and we are truly blessed in this country. I fear very little about pregnancy and childbirth. If you are healthy, the chances of any major problems are very rare. Not that it can’t happen but why should we let fear control us? I am not saying not having children is wrong here. I do believe it is wrong not to acknowledge the one who has given us everything including our own lives. Now I know that not everyone believes in God but it does not mean that he does not exist. Someone’s beliefs has no relevance on the existence of God. As a conservative I know I must be careful here because my views are not popular. Christ is not popular but I plead with you…don’t you think that the very fact that he is willing to die on a cross for your potential freedom legitimizes your consideration of his views for your life? I pray and ask that you would consider reading the Bible for life’s most amazing and humbling answers known to mankind. You may laugh and scoff…which is not new but I can guarantee that if you give it a true chance, it could change your life forever. It has for me. I am not on here to change you or your mind. I feel that I have been led here to offer you a relationship with Christ Jesus which is true freedom and transformation. I have nothing to gain from your salvation. God so loved the world that he gave His one and only son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16). God loves you. Praying that you obtain guidance and clarity with all of your future decisions. Peace to you.

  26. Thank you for writing this! Stumbled upon this entry in a google search.

    I’m currently in a similar situation. I do want children, but I don’t want to give birth to a child. Everyone tells me it’s really noble of me to want to adopt, but to me, I feel giving birth to a child is noble and don’t feel like I could ever choose to do it.

    However, my husband wants me to have a child naturally. He wavers back and forth, saying, oh, well, you don’t have to but I know he also really wants that. Maybe some day I’ll be ready, but I want to start a family before then and adopt. Like you, I also work in childhood education, but haven’t handled a child under 6 months much and they terrify me! That would be the same for most new mothers of course. But I hope to adopt an older child, around 2 to 4, or even older. Usually babies get adopted, but I know a lot of older kids need homes and I’m better with that preschool age than infancy.

    My husband’s completely comfortable with adoption as well, but isn’t sure about me never choosing to give birth naturally. Just happy to know there’s someone else out there like me! It’s really frustrating when people argue that there are women out there who are desperate to have a child as a guilt trip. Why does that mean I have to naturally have a child?

    If I do get pregnant accidentally I’ll go through with it and I know I’ll love the child, but I don’t know about choosing that path on my own.

    • Oh, and just want to clarify, my reasons are because I am extremely afraid of childbirth and pain in general. It’s called tokophobia. I would actually prefer a c-section and don’t think I could ever give birth without finding a doctor who will let me have one. That’s controversial enough on its own. I wish I just never had to have the burden of giving birth to my own child and could just adopt guilt-free of never having my own.

      • Sorry for commenting so much! I just keep having after thoughts.

        At the same time, this doesn’t mean I won’t have my own someday! After all, you ended up getting pregnant as well. It’s just that I totally relate to the feelings in this post!

    • Ashley on

      Thanks for all of your thoughtful comments, Rachel! It’s so good to know other people have the same issues and feelings out there – it’s a great community!

      As you noted, I did end up getting pregnant. As it turns out, I’m actually really excited about it, but I still maintain that if it wasn’t in the cards for us, we would have adopted and that would have been great, too. The decision to have a biological child was a complicated one for us, as it is for many people, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There are many ways to become a parent, and all of them are the “right way” as long as it is right for you and your family.

      We haven’t written off adoption completely, either. We might decide to expand our family after this child arrives, and we might decide to do it through adoption. Only time will tell.

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