Being an adopter is strange.
One of the reactions I have received on a number of occasions is “what a great thing you are doing”.
It feels like a suggestion that it’s a selfless act to “take on” someone else’s child. Or that we’re some kind of charity that rehomes helpless children.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
When it came to deciding whether to adopt, my first motive was entirely selfish. I wanted to be a parent. I wanted to complete my family. I wanted the child(ren) I had always imagined I would have.
If that makes me a bad person then so be it, but please stop saying that I am such a good person for going down this route.
Yes, we made a decision not to try another round of IVF, opting to invest in the future of a prospective child who may have issues rather than bringing into the world one who might. But at the end of the day, that was a logical, not selfless step. Maybe even that decision – to preserve funds/limit borrowing to make life a bit easier – had a selfish slant to it.
Our life was always going to feature children. From the start of our relationship my wife and I agreed that we wanted a family. We’ve just arrived at that goal a lot differently to how we planned/expected.
So it’s not as if we’ve given up the life we might have had if we had not adopted. This is the life we chose for ourselves.
From the moment we became parents then I agree, we had to become selfless and dedicate our lives to our son, but not necessarily any more than those who have biological children.
Where I might agree with those who see us as unselfish is in the choice we made to adopt our son rather than any other. His uncertain future brings challenges which we might otherwise have avoided had we been more selfish, but every day is special and the way he has become an integral part of our family – both immediate and extended – is something magical that I wouldn’t change for the world.