Is it him, or is it her?

When folks find out we are adopting, one question isn't far behind. "Is it him, or is it her?" Most people believe that one of the pair has to be broken for them to decide to adopt. A couple capable of biologically producing a child certainly wouldn't choose to grow their family through adoption, would they?

Well, yes they would. The Man and I had chosen adoption as our preferred method a long time ago.

My boss, who adopted domestically a few years back, warned me that we would hear this question repeatedly. He fields the question regularly when people ask about his wife. "They won't ask you, they'll ask him," he explained.

So far, The Man hasn't fielded many of those questions because he hasn't told anyone at work. But we know without a doubt there are several folks who won't refrain from personal interrogations.

We haven't heard it from our friends at all, thankfully. And if they did ask it would be at an appropriate time and manner because they care about our health, not because they needed to know if we are fertile or not.

And after talking with my mother-in-law the other day, I realized that she has been asked this question too. I felt angry that people thought they had a right to ask her to share such personal things. What the hell is it to them anyway?

My question to the askers is why DIDN'T they adopt? Just because they could pop out their own kids, why wouldn't they want to adopt as well? Is it such a shock that some people don't need to add to the world's population, and choose instead to care for the children already in the world?

OK. Simmer down. I'm not bitter that they had biological children. I just don't understand why is it important to people to know about the details of people's fertility health, or to pinpoint which one of the couple is to blame?  And when they want to know "is it him or is it her" that does seem like they are trying to pin the responsibility on someone.

Sometimes it's neither. And sometimes it's true that there are fertility issues.

But every time, it's none of their damned business.


  1. Agreed -- I find the line of thinking that says adoption is nothing more than a nice backup plan for infertile couples to be incredibly offensive. Yes, some people who adopt are infertile; others are not. But no child is ever a "backup plan." And anyone that communicates such an idea to my future child - oh, we'll have words, to say the least!

  2. I wrote about this a couple of weeks ago. It's a hot button issue for me because I AM infertile and I DON'T want to share it with the world. It isn't anybody's business, but for some reason people seem to think it's an appropriate question to ask. My personal opinion is that most people doing the asking would have never considered adoption themselves unless they were infertile. And you know, since most people assume everyone thinks like they do (GRRR!!) they assume one of the parents-to-be are to "blame."

  3. *totally* nobody's business. it's just a creepy question!

  4. I had the same question occasionally, too. But my experience was different from your boss's: I was the one who was asked.

    Thanks so much for visiting me today. I'll see you around again at ICLW :-)

  5. for some reason people feel its totally fine to ask people anything they want regarding adoption...i just don't get it. I would never walk up to a stranger in the park and ask "did you have a natural birth or a c-section?".

  6. Yours was already my favorite adoption blog, but this post reinforced that! My husband and I are considering adoption as our first choice for creating a family as well. It has always been my first choice, and I am finding that this is somewhat unusual. When I mention it to family and friends, the response is always the same - Why don't you try to have "your own"? Ugh!

    Glad to know there are others in the same boat!


  7. "Just because they could pop out their own kids, why wouldn't they want to adopt as well?"

    Probably because biology is inherently wanted and significant for most people, so it's more preferred.


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