Adoption and Conception

Everyone seems to have heard that adopting a child often leads to the adoptive couple conceiving a child with no medical intervention. But is this truth or fiction? As with most urban legends, this one contains a bit of both.

Consider the fact that giving up a long struggle to conceive, coming to terms with adoption, and the adoption itself, can all serve to ease the great mental and physical strain of infertility. Stress is known to have a negative impact on fertility. Relaxing because you have a baby in your arms is certain to aid in your reproductive health.

Hormonal Changes As A Response To Adopted Babies.

Meredith Albright* found that as she anticipated her adopted child's arrival, she stopped having her periods. This was three months prior to the baby moving in with her. After the baby moved in, her periods came back and were regular for the first time she could remember. There were also clear signs that Meredith was ovulating. Research shows that hormonal changes can occur in non-birth parents as a response to their adopted babies.

"You Should Just Adopt."

But don't rush into adoption for conception's sake. Some studies suggest that only 5% of adoptive couples go on to conceive children. This is a handy statistic to tell those unkind people who tell you that, "You should just adopt."

However, adoptive couples are forfeiting the experience of pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. Besides, the cost of adoption can be up to three times the cost of IVF. Newborn adoption is becoming a rare occurrence as the result of the ease with which one can obtain a therapeutic abortion. In fact, in the United States, from 1989-1995, only 1% of babies born to unmarried women were given up for adoption. International adoption is not an option for most couples, since costs run from around $10,000-$30,000 a child.

But back to investing the truth behind such statements like: "Couples that do adopt tend to conceive a child. This has happened to two married couples I know."

The perception of what has happened, plus the knowledge of two specific instances of such an occurrence, is not substantial proof that adoption leads to conception. This then leaves us with the original question: is the urban legend about how adoption leads to conception fact or fiction?  Unfortunately, just as with most legends, we may never know the truth.

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