Myth: “Once You Adopt, You Will Get Pregnant”

by Sue Reardon

sue reardonIf I have heard any myth over the years, it has been this one. It is usually tossed around casually by well meaning friends and family without much thought. But here is what I know.

1. I have three children, all adopted, and despite completing the adoption process multiple times, I have not experienced a single pregnancy. Adoption does not increase ones likelihood of pregnancy any more than cutting a toasted cheese sandwich in triangles over squares does. They are simply unrelated.

2. Statistics support the fact that adoption has no bearing on the likelihood of future pregnancy. Studies show that the rate at which women become pregnant after adoption is about 5%. This is the same rate at which women become pregnant after forgoing infertility treatments.

3. The statement regarding pregnancy is not only untrue, but also insensitive. It sends the message that adoption is just a means to an end when the real goal is pregnancy. When we hear this particular piece of (not so helpful) advice, what we really hear is, “Adopt a child (second choice) in order to get the child you really want (first choice). “ This is hurtful, and not at all supportive.

Infertility and adoption are emotional and often private issues that many families face. The average person might not feel equipped to tackle these issues. So instead, flippant jokes are offered in place of compassion or sound advice. In reality, the best thing you can say if someone announces they are planning to adopt is, “Congratulations, I wish you all the success in the world”.