Tuesday, May 17, 2016


I saw this IVF baby announcement in the headlines yesterday. I read the article because it is relevant to me, gasped at the number of injections (since I begin stims Friday), and then made the mistake of reading some of the comments.

The majority of the commentary is supportive and positive, but there are a few comments that are extremely ignorant and downright mean. I mean, it's the Internet after all; what do I expect?

I thought I'd post some of those comments here, post some of the meaningful responses to them, and address some of them myself. 

"Maybe you just aren't meant to have kids..."

There seems to be many comments like this one pointing out that this woman "wasn't meant to have kids" because her body was obviously telling her not to. This frustrates me because people often assume that infertility is always a woman's issue--it's not. "Infertility is often believed to be a woman's problem. However, studies indicate that 30% of infertility is related to male factor problems such as structural abnormalities, sperm production disorders, ejaculatory disturbances and immunologic disorders" (RESOLVE, 2016). This hits particularly close to home given our particular situation. I particularly like Galyna's response to Marcus.

"If you have the money to do IVF, why don't you adopt?"

This is another common one. My response is that not everyone is called to adopt. Adoption, just like IVF, isn't for everyone...so why do people who can afford IVF (and are considering it) have to be the only ones to consider adoption? There are plenty of "privileged" fertile people out there that "should" consider it too. Many argue that adoption is "free" or "cheaper" than IVF through the foster care system, but why doesn't that pressure fall on everyone else too, not just people who choose to try IVF? There are also many that are able to afford IVF because of their insurance, but may no be able to afford adoption.

Not all adoptions are free. According to American Adoptions, the average total cost of adopting through a domestic adoption agency is $39,966 (including agency fees, legal fees, birth mother expenses, and advertising/networking). International adoption averaged $36,338 in China, $45,960 in Ethiopia, and $40,067 in Ukraine from 2012-2013. Going through your state's foster care system is "the least expensive method" but again, "foster care adoption is not for everyone and presents it's share of challenges to adoptive families." There are also home study fees, attorney fees, and travel expenses involved. 

Adoption itself can be a controversial topic with people criticizing those who choose to adopt internationally vs. domestically, or those who prefer to go through a private agency vs. their state's foster care system. Again, I think people can be overly critical and judgmental. I think most couples think long and hard about what they feel led to do, and what they feel is best for their family and given situation. My husband actually has 2 adopted siblings, we have many friends who are adopted, and we know many that have adopted or are in the process of adopting. I think this is great. I also don't think we would never consider adopting, but we have decided we want to try IVF at this point in time. This is our choice and our decision. 

I've also heard many stories where foster care and adoption ended in devastating heartbreak. There may be so much more to why a couple has chosen to try IVF instead of adoption, and vice versa. The thing is, you don't know their particular situation, so don't make hasty judgments! Some friends of ours have been going through the international adoption process for 3 years, and it will probably be another year before they are able to bring their child home. This has been a long and frustrating experience for them.

I love some of these responses:

"This cant be healthy..."

This is a legitimate concern. There are many drugs and hormones involved with the IVF procedure, as well as many of the other non-IVF fertility procedures. Calling IVF "Frankensteinish" is a little brash, but I can understand why. People wonder how IVF affects the mother as well as the baby. I think that most couples going through IVF do a lot of thinking and research, and seriously weigh the risks and benefits before jumping in. The truth is that 1978 (the first IVF pregnancy) is not that long ago, and more research remains to be done. I will say that I know several people who have healthy, intelligent children as a result of IVF. In fact, one of my students this year was an IVF baby, and she was at the top of the class. I also know that there may be future health risks involved. However, again, I weighed the risks and benefits just like I do when I take any new medication or vaccine, and I decided that the benefits outweighed the risks in our case.


The majority of the comments were positive and encouraging. It's nice to see people be happy for and kind towards others. 

I will admit I was a little hurt when I read some of the negative comments posted on the Yahoo! version of this story, and I made the mistake of reading some of the corresponding FB and Today.com comments, but my mom made me feel better about the situation. She reminded me of the many Internet trolls that have nothing better to do than to post controversial comments to get others riled up. She also reminded me that my decision to try IVF was between me, my husband, and God, and that it was no one else's business but ours.

We still haven't told anyone beyond our parents and a few close friends about our choice to try IVF. I honestly don't know what people will say, how they will react, or if they will support our decision. I admit I'm a bit nervous about it...but right now I am focusing on the task ahead--mainly, starting my stims injections in a few days--and we will cross that bridge when the time comes. 

My point in writing this post is to encourage you to not to let others get you down. Remember that some people are naive, some people are ignorant, and some people are just downright mean...but the majority of people are kind, encouraging, and supportive. Focus on the comments and well wishes of those people, and don't let the trolls and ugly hearts get you down!

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