For those encontering childless couples and small families


I feel like I should bring this up because I encounter it a lot having an only child. The comment “Have you thought about adoption?” or “You could always adopt.”

I truly understand people are well meaning by this but after about the 100th time it grates on the nerves. When a comment like this is made I feel I then have to go into a long explanation of why adoption would not be right for us. (Serious health problems, financial issues etc.) I think just as people with large families get annoyed about unsolicited advice about their family size and find it inappropriate, couples with no or few children are just as vulnerable.

Really, it’s not like people have never heard of adoption or that a comment from a stranger or aquaintance or even a family member would suddenly make a person go “Oh, yeah I never would have thought of that.” I realize people are often just making conversation or have this need to try to be helpful in someway or just don’t know what to say. It’s just tiring and sometimes I don’t feel like sharing my personal business but I also don’t want to come across as anti-adoption or anti-child.

I am an adopted child and I think adoption is great. I just think adoption is a personal decision and those with no children or have small families and can not naturally have more should not have to constantly explain why they may not chose to adopt.

Just a friendly reminder.:slight_smile:


And for those of you encountering families with adopted kids, “Why did you adopt?” is an extremely personal question that has no place in the first 10 minutes of an acquaintanship, if that’s a word and if I’m spelling it right, which I doubt.



Rayne -

Thank you and AMEN.


AMEN, sister!

I’ll add to that (although very few posters here would tell me this): “Have you thought about in vitro? How about insemination? Anyone can have babies, seriously!” These are kindly and well-meaning people telling me these things (often after having done such things themselves), so I don’t feel right snapping and saying “My church teaches that those things are sinful and I agree with the Church. I think they’re a waste of money that could be better spent on adoption. I don’t need to bear my children to be their ‘real’ mommy.” Usually I nod politely and tell them that we have decided that those are not options for us. But it gets really irritating after the three-dozenth time and I’m afraid I might snap eventually.


:thumbsup: After 5 years of no children, the whole “When are you going to have babies?” thing gets pretty old. How well I handle it depends on how well I know the person asking. People I don’t know well–:mad:.

I don’t understand why something so personal as having children, whether it’s 20 or 0 is fodder for conversation. I know that most people are well meaning, but still, personal issues are just that, none of anyone else’s business.


My own mother bugs me about this from time to time, and we haven’t even been married a year yet! She is going to be 60 this December, so I’m sure she is feeling the grand-baby urge in a big way. I’m an only child so the pressure is on me. I’ve told her that this is just not an option for us, but she insists in going on and on about how many unwanted children there are - as if we are supposed to become adoptive parents only for this reason, and not because we are called to do this. :rolleyes: We are not called to do this. It does not make us selfish or uncaring people, it just means that neither of us are moved to adopt a child. If God does not give us a child of our own, then we are perfectly happy to remain childless.

I too get tired of the adoption question - it’s so personal, and some people just don’t get it when you say that it’s not something you are interested in and continue to push it, they need to convince you that you are wrong about your own life decisions. Sheesh.



I’ve wondered this myself. I recently was at a work luncheon and was sitting next to a woman who I only see once every couple of years. She knows we are newlyweds, and asked if we are going to try for a family. And this woman is Catholic!! My standard response lately is that it’s up to God, not up to us, and we aren’t trying to influence that one way or the other. Let them figure it out from there.

I’m with you though… :mad: Grrrrr.



My mom was actually the hardest one to talk to about this, too. She’s wonderful, but was so excited at the idea of grandchildren. I finally had to tell her that it really hurt when she’d talk about me getting pregnant, cause it just wasn’t happening. Finally when I did that, she talked about how she and dad had 6 years of secondary infertility between me and one of my brothers. I had never thought about why there was that gap between us; turns out they were trying, but they were waiting for him to come along. It started out being a difficult issue for the two of us, but it’s now brought us closer together. Now that DH and I have made the decision to begin the adoption process, she’s all excited again!


THANK YOU for this thread! As someone who’s been married for a grand total of 3 months and 2.5 weeks, I can’t tell you how many people have inquired about our family planning! We get the whole gamut of questions…

It makes the whole beautiful wait for our first baby rather strained, especially since I’m surrounded by acquaintances who had honeymoon babies… Before we got married I always responded to the family planning questions by saying that we’d love a large family. Now that we’re married, though, I frequently get asked if we’re trying… I’m learning to just say something along the lines of God’s waiting to bless us or something like that.

But it certainly gets old fast!!!:o And when I have PMS, I find myself boiling a little bit inside…:mad: :rolleyes:


I boil about this too. I was asked by a cabdriver last week if we had any children. When I replied, “No, but we are hoping to adopt once we are settled in our new home,” he asked “Why wouldn’t you have your own babies?” As though that thought never crossed my mind. When I vaguely answered that we had tried for a number of years and it didn’t appear that it would be likely that I would get pregnant, he asked if I had started trying when I was young.


You know, I’ve adopted twice and it was a ton of work for both! Paperwork, paperwork paperwork. And lets not forget fees, fees, fees! Interviews, fingerprinting, home-studies, home inspections, background checks, health check-ups, marital assesment “tests” (you know, to make sure you’re compatible and like each other :rolleyes: . Our first social worker told us that based on our test results my husband and I didn’t like each other :eek: :rolleyes: ).

I wonder how many people would have children if that were the norm.


We’ve been married 7 years and no children. We’d love to have some but so far… My husband is slowly coming around to the idea of adoption, not the norm in Japan. We’ve had all the comments people have mentioned so far and one more… "You can always get a dog! This one always makes me so mad :mad: A dog does not equal a child. We are both animal lovers and have several including adog, but it is not the same at all. I really wish people would be more sensitive and less intrusive.



After I had my hysterectomy, my inlaws told DH that we could travel, start up a business, basically all the good things that would come from not having children. I try to think they meant this to be nice (it’s much better for my sanity if I think this), but it was so horribly inappropriate. We’d seen my gynecologist b/c of our infertility, so such comments just floored me.

I guess some people just don’t know when to keep their mouths shut. Hearing comments about my fertility (or lack thereof) has definitely made me more sensitive to what I say to others.


**How about being shown a “baby’s first christmas” outfit that is a gift to you from a grandmother in law that just passed. That was one of her last shopping trips right before she died, was buying us that outfit. **

**Carry the weight of that around for a while! **

**I know she meant well, and didn’t know we were suffering infertility problems. But…Great…we have a baby outfit…minus the baby…woo hoo. :rolleyes: **


I know the feeling. Dh and I weren’t trying or avoiding since the beginning of our marriage, and I conceived 8 months after the wedding.

We had decided to just enjoy being married, without worrying about anything either way. But the comments started even before we were married (some thought we were only getting married b/c I was pregnant :rolleyes: ). And then it was ‘So, what are you waiting for?’, over and over and over again… Takes all the fun out of it.

But I’m sure no one meant any harm. Just as I’m sure I would have told any infertile couple how they could travel or start a business if I hadn’t just read how that’s an unpleasant thing to say. :blush:


Just my .02, but I think because conception and childbearing has become so mechanized and technical (sometimes technology is needed in childbirth) and sex has become less personal, people feel free to discuss it with anyone.

Since sex is no longer just between a husband and wife, it’s become fair game - in action and discussion. —KCT


How about AFTER you’ve adopted several children, and someone says that they know LOTS of people who had their “own” children after adopting. I’ve heard that common a million times, and it doesn’t get any easier to hear. Blech!


Hmmm. I’ve never really minded talking to people about our adoption. I figure anything that gets the word out there that adoption is not the horribly difficult process some people try to make it out to be, that many more people might think about it. Yes, I tell people that we had infertility, and no, we did not try IVF :rolleyes: . I usually get to do some pro-life evangelization there. :wink:
My gripe was always the ‘holier than thou’ people who assumed our one child in 9 years of marriage was because of birth control and selfishness. Way to live out that whole love and charity thing. :rolleyes: If they only knew just how badly I wanted more kids that whole time…


Thank you for this post. While I think its great that some people want and can have large families it’s not for everyone!


ann landers had only one response for these exceedingly thoughtless out of line comments:
why on earth would you make a comment about my family size? with a cold look and tone of voice that clearly conveys how outrageous such unsolicited advice really is.

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