Friday, March 23, 2012

So , why don't you just adopt a baby ?

Couples who have children can be remarkably clueless about the emotional pain and suffering which infertile couples go through. Because they take their childbearing ability for granted, they sometimes forget what a huge gift a child is – and that not everyone is as fortunate as they are.
Because they do not understand what infertile couples go through , some of them can be remarkably unsympathetic and even unintentionally cruel when talking to infertile couples. In fact, this is one of the reasons why infertile couples are so reluctant to talk to others about what they're going through.

One of the commonest pieces of gratuitous advice which friends , family members and even strangers provide to infertile couples is - Why don't you adopt ? The general opinion seems to be that there are lots of unwanted children begging on the streets ; and that it's an easy matter for infertile couples to just pick up one of these kids and adopt them and provide them with a loving home. Isn't this a great win-win situation for everyone concerned ?

Unfortunately, most people don't realize how hard it is to actually adopt babies in India today. Sadly even infertile couples underestimate the difficulties involved in the process. Adoption now has long waiting lists of up to 2 to 3 years - and for couples who don't live in India, the wait times can be even longer . Adoption agencies are very reluctant to give newborn babies to older couples , as a result of which the number of choices which older couples have becomes extremely limited.

The truth is that there really are not that many unwanted children anymore. As a result of improving literacy levels and better healthcare, most women will terminate unwanted pregnancies, rather than continue them. The easy availability of contraception and emergency contraception has allowed women more control over their bodies; , and inexpensive abortion services allow unmarried women who find themselves inadvertently pregnant to terminate the pregnancies in the first trimester itself . This is a major advance as compared to the past , when they were forced to continue with the pregnancy because they were so poorly informed that they did not even realize that they were pregnant until they had crossed 20 weeks. Adoption agencies just don't have that many unwanted children anymore.

So what about all the beggar children you see on the streets? Please remember these are not unwanted children ! They are actually economic assets for their families , because they are sources of income for their parents ; and they earn money either by begging; scavenging; or by selling newspapers . The street urchins you see are not unwanted children and are not available for adoption.

Not only is it extremely hard to adopt a kid even if you wanted to, the fact remains that lots of infertile couples are thoughtful and conscientious. They are not sure whether they would be able to provide the loving care which children need, if they adopted child. It's very easy to tell someone else to adopt but in actual life this is an extremely complicated decision , because it's not one which involves just your personal feelings. You also need to get buy-in and support from family members and relatives as well , so that they will accept your adopted child as a part of the family.

When infertile couples choose not to adopt , this does not mean that they are being selfish because they just want to propagate their genes. It just means that they are being thoughtful , and doing a lot of soul-searching , before making a decision which is right both for them and for the child.

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  1. Anonymous3:19 PM

    Dear Dr,

    You made me cry early in the morning :) You are an extremely gifted writer.

    True, fertile couples could never ever understand what we are going through. The most hurting gesture they show is sympathy (of course they can't empathize!). Because of sympathy (without understanding our emotions deeply) they give us some ideas and say certain words which are too hurting. One such idea which they give us is 'why can't you adopt?’ When I heard this question from one of my friend quite early in our infertility journey I am shocked! I felt that the question is too cruel. It targeted my ego directly. She has two lovely children. I cried my eyes out.

    But when you go through infertility for quite some time you become humble. Your ego dies down. Adoption is no more a shocking word. You get the courage to answer the people who ask, 'why can't you adopt?' in a quite normal way. When IVF is my only option and that stupid thing never seems to work what should I do? When we started our attempts of conceiving, the reason why we wanted to have a baby is different. There are several probable reasons like - after marriage it is a social norm to have a baby, my friend is having a baby and I should also have one, having a baby shows that my husband and me are reproductively capable, to fulfill my in-laws rightful wish, my mom wants a grandchild - it will make her happy, I want to experience a pregnancy, to propagate our genes (how will our gene combination look like!) and so on and so forth! To tell the truth baby is like a symbol of good health, good fortune and we just wanted to make sure that we have one too! But the reason why I want to have a baby now is very different. I want to experience a baby’s love and I need a baby to shower my love. It is as simple as that. I think as you pass through your reproductive age it’s a natural craving (to love and loved by a baby in return) every woman will have (I think every man too!). When IVF never seems to work the next possible way of procuring a baby is through adoption (that is what we thought!). Until I read your book and blog posts the idea about adoption is quite different in my mind. I perceived adoption as a very easy process! The other reason to embrace adoption is – if we infertile couples are going through this hell, what kind of hell an orphaned child will go through? Why can’t I bring happiness into my life by giving love and happiness to an abandoned baby? Like you always say-‘Helping others is the best way of helping yourself’ isn’t it?
    IVF is not easy, adoption is not easy, and nothing else is easy!!!! God please give me a baby! Hmmm…..oh my baby struggle!

    Dr, when a fertile couple has the right to be selfish in order to propagate their genes why can’t an infertile couple be selfish too :). Everyone in this world are just our genes survival machines and if we accept or not our genes are too selfish. That is why human race has survived all the odds and perhaps that’s the reason why IVF is invented! Even adoption is not an altruistic act. It is just an expression of our gene-protecting nature. I want to have my own genetic child (to protect my genes), if not possible I will be very happy if my close relative provides a baby (protection of closely related genes) and if it is not possible I would like to adopt a baby from my own species (not a dog or cat! :D).

  2. Yes, there are children in orphanages all over the world, but many have families and parents who are still living. They may not want to leave and their families often come back to get them, and find out their child was adopted out overseas. Many people in western, industrialized nations don't realize adoption can be a shady business.It can also cost twenty or thirty thousand dollars to adopt internationally, and you can wait up to three years or longer. There is also no guarantee of getting a child. Many adoption agencies exploit couples who are desperate for a child. Charging a fee of 20 grand for adoption is exploitation and taking unfair advantage.

    I decided not to adopt for many reasons. Every person I know who was adopted, does not view their adoptive parents as their real parents. They feel a sense of loss and betrayal; they are angry at the world. They are not grateful to their adoptive parents for the sacrifices they made. Many of them try to find their "real" (biological) parents as soon as they turn 18. I recently talked to an older lady who adopted two children, and they are adults now; and she no longer has a relationship with them.They only contact her when they want money now. She wishes she could have had biological children instead. It may be shocking and wrong for her to feel that way, but that is how she feels, and so do many other adoptive parents.

  3. Hi,

    We have been trying for a baby 2 and a half years I am 33 and my husband is 35. We have unexplained infertility, however we had an AA grade blastocyst via ET on Saturday put in. The success rates of the clinic I'm using for my age and for a blastocyst are 59% is this likely to increase given the quality of the blastocyst?

    Also I had cramps on and off 1st 2 days, sharp pain and pulling sensation right hand side of abdomen yesterday. Today hot flushes when I eat this evening and one and off mild head ache today. Are these good signs?

    1. There is no symptom or sign which will tell you whether you are pregnant or not, sorry.

      Please do not let your mind play games with you

      Success rates for an individual patient are either 100% or 0% !

      Can you send me more details about your IVF cycles ? What were the meds which were used for
      superovulation ? What was the dose used ? How many follicles did you grow ? How many eggs were collected ? What was the E2 ( estradiol) level in the blood ? What was the endometrial thickness ?
      DO YOU HAVE PHOTOS OF YOUR EMBRYO ? You can see what embryos should look like at
      Can you please send me the printed treatment summary from your IVF clinic ?

      Best of luck !

    2. Anonymous12:50 PM

      Hello doctor I got transferred 4AA grade two blastocyst now I m on 10th day but no symptoms

  4. I believe you have to have hope and be positive, whilst reading into symptoms isn't the best thing i agree I don't think it's s matter of letting your mind play games and I do believe there are pregnancy symptoms of course. The subconscious is a powerful tool we don't understand and we don't believe we can be pregnant this can effect the outcome.

    Clinics have success rates to help give you hope. Am I being deluded?

    I honestly believe I should be staying positive. I know there are thousands of women going through the same scenario right now that would say the same.

  5. Hello Dr Malpani

    We Have spent the last few years trying to get pregnet. Finally 2 weeks ago we had our 5th attempt at IVF with implanting day 2 x day 3 embryos as mine never seemed to make it to day five for Blasto and implantation.
    As it is my body seems to be a better incubator as I got the blood results yesterday and we are 4 weeks pregnet.
    I was speechless not symptoms except slight discomfort so I wasn't hopeful...
    We are so happy...
    I know it's a long road ahead to get past the safe mark but nurse said my levels were over 200 so I assume that's good?
    She also said I don't need to continue taking the Endometrin Pessaaries is that correct Doctor as I'm a bit worried. I want the best possibly chances of staying pregnet...

    I just wanted to say also Thank you for this amazing page & your blogs you have been a great deal of help and so comforting to read other ladies comments and concerns and you helping them...

    Fingers crossed :)

    1. Congrats ! I am so glad that your patience and determination have paid off

      Yes, a beta HCG level of 200 is a good level


      Repeat the test in 2 days. In a healthy pregnancy, it should double

      Please register at so you can track and monitor your pregnancy

      We look forward to helping you to have a baby !

      Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD
      Malpani Infertility Clinic, Jamuna Sagar, SBS Road, Colaba
      Bombay 400 005. India
      Tel: 91-22-22151065, 22151066, 2218 3270, 65527073

      Helping you to build your family !

      PS Watch our infertility cartoon film at

      Read our book, How to Have a Baby – A Guide for the Infertile Couple,
      Online at !

      Read my blog about improving the doctor-patient
      Relationship at

  6. Anonymous1:23 PM

    Dear doctor,
    This is my first ivf doc has kept me on susten 400
    4times a day,loprin,Progenova ...Still waitg for my first scan on 12th of June..My m getg too much iching and pocky feeling on vagina..Not able to sit not able to sleep .Pls advice...Doc are saying Cz of susten might be but they cant reduce the corse of dosge ..Pls suggest ..

  7. Anonymous8:56 PM

    Hii, Doctor. This is my second cycle for donor frozen embryo transfer. I m on progesterone. After 9 days I have started feeling of frequent urination and a little soreness on breast..could it be a sign of pregnancy? As my first cycle got failed...I m very much tensed this time..

  8. Hi dr
    I'm 10 days post day 3 (8 cell)embryo transfer. Have some lower back pain and period cramps. Tomorrow is beta but tested today on hpt which was negative. I'm currently on progesterone in oil injection.


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