Feb 082013

“So when are you planning on having the next kid? You’re adopting? But you’re young and can still have kids, right? I don’t know…” (shakes head) “…that’s really rough. Those kids can come with a lot of baggage.”  - OB to mother with a 14 month old during a visit for a recurring yeast infection.

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 February 8, 2013  birth control, Gyn, OB  Add comments

  29 Responses to ““…Those Kids Can Come With A Lot Of Baggage.””

  1. When did my dad become an OB?

    I admire anyone who adopts and would love to. When I mentions this to my father, he went off on one. Said you never knew what you were getting. Blah blah blah. Well the last time I checked, I didn’t exactly know what I was getting when I had my two boys.

  2. And biological children can’t come with “baggage”? My son feels it’s an important expression of his personality to wear stereotypical female clothing. Ask me how fun it is to navigate helping him feel supported while protecting him from Western society.

    Or how about my good friend that was born with Down’s Syndrome. I’m sure that her mom considers that “baggage”, no matter how much she is loved or wanted. It’s still hard.

    Or, how about children born with mental disabilities, such as bi-polar, autism, or ADHD. I’m pretty sure that compared to neurotypical children that would be considered “baggage”.

    So why all the hate for adopted children that just might have “baggage”?

  3. Where’s the correlation between adoption and yeast infection? Gee, doc, try staying on topic here.

  4. Because, according to my bil (who was adopted) you never know what type of “seed” you’re getting

    • I think that’s fundamentalist jargon–Gothard or Phillips or somebody of that ilk.

      In fundamentalist thinking, the only reason to adopt is to rescue a child from a horrible background. The child’s role is to be grateful and conform absolutely to whatever the fundamentalist adopters want the child to be.

      Of course, if the child really is being rescued from a horrible background (instead of just a background of being not exactly like the adopters), he/she probably has serious problems with food or anger or addiction or depression or . . . But fundamentalists don’t believe in psychology; it’s Godless science. So they interpret all of the child’s problems as defiance and punish the child for not being what they expected. And they talk about bad seed and generational curses.

      • Yes, generational curse, I’ve heard that from him too! I just think he’s a hypocritical a-hole but that’s bc he thinks he knows better than anyone about everything. He even tried to give me childbirth and nursing advice.

      • I don’t think that’s fundamentalist jargon because the whole concept of “a bad seed” implies there’s no action of grace on the soul and that some human souls are worth less than others.

        • But purity trumps grace in the preaching of these people. Look up Gothard’s teaching about family life sometime–but not unless you can afford to spend an afternoon being very, very angry.

          • I’d rather not get angry. I’ll just say most of the fundamentalist Christians I’ve known wouldn’t have believed some people are born irredeemably bad. :-( What you’re talking about sounds like all kinds of messed-up.

          • A little late but, I agree with you, Jane. My brother was adopted, and my family is fundamentalist Christian. (I’m not any more, but not the point.) And, yeah he came with a LOT of baggage (neglect, abuse, addict parents). And even though he was less than 2 when we got him, he never fully recovered, and has struggled his whole life.

            Does that mean we don’t love him? That he isn’t ours? NO. The family made the decision together to adopt him. We all chose him and he is ours.

            Baggage or no, a child is a child, and worthy of love. Struggle or no, that love is worth it, even in the eyes of many fundamentalists.

          • Jenny, if you should come across this nonsense again, point out John 9:

            9:1-3 And as he passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth. And his disciples asked [Jesus], saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man, or his parents, that he should be born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither did this man sin, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”

            In other words, even if the child comes with “baggage,” then that “baggage” is an opportunity for everyone around that child to be Christ-like and loving.

            I did look up Gothard last night, and that’s really fringe stuff. Yuck.

      • Blech, Gothard. *shudder* Wrecked so many families.

      • The fundamentalist children’s “expert” is James Dobson; Gothard is almost more Christian cultism. I’ve spent my entire life in what would be considered “fundamentalism” and so far I’ve only ever met one family who practiced Gothard’s principles, and they were “the weird family” who forbade their daughters to cut their hair and their sons to listen to anything other than hymns…

  5. I’m not saying this doc’s comment was ok, but when he’s talking about “baggage” I’m guessing he’s not talking about physical disorders, Down Syndrome, or cross-dressing proclivities. Most likely he’s referencing things like attachment disorders and other extremely serious and severe psychological issues that many older adopted kids have. Many have severe trust issues due to the foster care system or orphanages (when coming from foreign countries) and the outcomes are rarely favorable either to the child or the adopted family.

    It’s extremely heartbreaking on all sides. :(

    • That was my first thought too. My in-laws adopted 2 teenage girls who both had attachment disorders. They tried so hard with both of them. One wouldn’t respond to any of the counseling/treatments/love at all. The other showed a ton of promise and we think would have done great, but a teacher at her school put her in contact with her birth family against my in-laws wishes, and all of her hard work went down the drain. :(

    • Then the next question becomes why the doctor thinks the woman doesn’t know about these issues — or maybe the doctor thinks they’re only written up in Special OB Reports that only s/he can see?

      I’d hazard a guess that most people who become parents through adoption have put a LOT of thought and research into the decision, and the process itself seems to involve no small amount of education and analysis. Did the doctor think the woman would say, “Wait, you mean I can’t just reformat the kid’s hard drive and reinstall System 1 For Humans? Dang! Well, there goes that idea.” :-b

    • That’s not the baggage the doctor is referring to, there are a lot of reasons that mothers give up their child(ren), most of the reasons are heartbreaking and are damaging to the child. Not always, not all of them, but most have issues with health, some but all have issues with intimacy (I mean simple hugging and trust), some but not all take a lot of effort to be okay. Adopted adults question themselves, their position, adoptive families tend to discount the adopted kid’s position (not the parents, the surrounding family). It is very very unusual for it all to be smooth or easy in comparison to a regular, usual baby born into a family. Really. I have seen it too often.

      Adoptive parents are heroes, but please do not knock folks who recognize they are not cut out to adopt – they are honest with themselves and the world.

  6. Of COURSE he’s all for biological children…he’s not in the adoption agency business. No money for him in it. Except for this yeast infection.

  7. This was mine, and, exactly: all I could think was, are you REALLY trying to sell your practice that bad??? This was the last time I saw this OB. She’d been my provider for problems (like the above mentioned) but when I became pregnant, I temporarily switched care to a homebirth midwife. My mother was (and is) also this OB’s patient, and while I was pregnant I temporarily switched care to a homebirth midwife. During this time, this OB urged my mother that I shouldn’t give birth at home (a no-risk pregnancy)”especially after YOUR health issues.” (“Your” meaning my mother’s.) My mother, decades earlier, had delivered prematurely, hemorrhaged, and ultimately lost the baby. Obviously inappropriate on so many levels; first and foremost for using the scare tactic on an already nervous first time grandmother — in order to promote her own business.

    I was also rather baffled because my (biological) child was only a little over a year old at the time. I’m not criticizing those who don’t wait to space their children, but isn’t pretty much the standard for OB’s and midwives to recommend 18 months to 2 years before conceiving again?

    It also just drives me up the wall when it’s assumed that people only adopt because of fertility. “But you’re young and can still have kids, right?” Like, “What’s wrong with you?”

    Saddest of all, this was rather a mild comment compared to many of the things we’ve experienced as an adoptive family.

    • I’m sorry you were treated so badly. The doctor had no right to insert herself into your business that way. You (and your mother) were there for medical care, not input on your life decisions.

  8. Whoa, lots of typos. Sorry about that

  9. Wow. I’m adopted. So is one of my two siblings. Way to go, b****. After spitting in your face, I’d post that comment far and wide. But I guess that that’s some of that “baggage” you were talking about?

    • What my husband and I now term adoption discrimination is very real and (obviously) very damaging… I’m so sorry for you if you’ve experienced some of it yourself.

      • I really haven’t myself, in general. Just the usual “real” parents comments… I gently correct them and move on. But my adoptive status was recently mentioned in a family member’s will, and it specifically stated that provisions were made for only my “natural” children. Kind of odd. But not intended to be mean.

  10. I, too, want to adopt, and I have heard too many times “Why would you want to adopt? You’re obviously fertile.” Completely dismissing that adoption is an option is an option for everyone. It’s not always a final option to become a parent for those who can’t habe kids naturally. I’m adopting because I feel like there is a child (perhaps children) somewhere that needs me to be his or her or their mom, and I need them. I can’t really explain it. So when someone says “You don’t NEED to adopt.” I always say “I absolutely do.” I refuse to explain what I mean to people like that, so they are really confused by that. Lol

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