Wednesday, August 14, 2013

It Takes Two

Driving to work this morning I heard a “snippet” of news regarding fertility rates. They’re on the rise (according to the report)! Isn’t that wonderful? The report went on to say that the number of infertile women in 1982 was 8.2% and is now 4.9%.

Stop right there. When will the media (and America and the general public, etc…) realize that women are not the only ones who play a role in having babies? I don’t know about you, but I’ve known that for a long, long time.

I wanted to call the radio station and make them aware of the mistake in these statistics, but I realize the station didn’t write the report or do the study.

I wanted to read the entire article before posting anything about it, so I had to do some searching. I think I found it here, but the results I got from Googling “fertility on the rise” made me even angrier…

According to this article the economy, the state you live in (and its political affiliation) and women’s church attendance also affect fertility (or lack thereof).

Well geez! Had I known that, I would have moved, started voting and never missed church! Let’s not forget that I was already relaxing so it could happen, taking my temperature, counting days, doing daily ovulation tests, creating crazy charts, staying still after the “baby dance,” taking Mucinex, avoiding caffeine and many more insane rituals that people claim will get you pregnant. And, guess what? Month after month the pregnancy tests were still negative. And according to my doctor (let’s not forget invasive tests) I probably don’t need to do any of those things at all to get pregnant.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I wish these articles and studies had been more complete. First of all, let’s decide what the definition of fertility is. Yes perhaps your environment, political views, religious beliefs and the economy play a role in your deciding to start a family. This is not fertility. If you’re unable to have children, I doubt that all of those things are the reason that you can’t. I also think that studies like this should take into consideration if fertility treatment (female and male) was used to conceive, instead of basing the numbers on how many couples became pregnant in 12 months.

I shared our plans to adopt with a co-worker of mine yesterday. His response was “oh, you can’t have kids?” I shouldn’t be surprised, but it was just more fuel to the fire. I don’t announce to people that “we’re adopting, because…” I simply say “we’re adopting,” and the rest of the conversation is normally shaped by the response I get. As I’ve mentioned before, adoption is not settling and it is not a last resort. It’s simply the best choice and the best path for us.

Although we are delighted to be starting our family through adoption, it took a lot of work (mentally, emotionally and financially) to get to where we are now. I do wonder why Nate and I (and lots of other people, too) can’t have children naturally – we haven’t been given any answers. Maybe fertility is the same as it always had been, but we are just more aware of it in today’s culture. Maybe female fertility is on the rise, but perhaps male fertility is suffering – if you’ve ever researched it you’ll know that there is a lot more involved than you might once have believed.


  1. It is the most frustrating thing to be going through. I feel like it our job as future adoptive moms to educate or reeducate society on adoption.
    Hang in there! Here's hoping you get a better response from other people you tell!

  2. I completely agree with you, Katie. Adoption doesn't mean that you're settling, and nor should it. And it's funny how even after all the scientific studies done on the subject, infertility is still mostly considered the woman's fault.