Is it wrong to specify boy or girl when adopting? — The Bump
Adoption

Is it wrong to specify boy or girl when adopting?

DH and I have always wanted a daughter (we have no children) but I keep thinking it's wrong to specify on our adoption paperwork.  I know it could slow down the process, and there will surely be differing opinions on the matter, but is it frowned upon to have a preference?  We're open to all races, for what it's worth.

Re: Is it wrong to specify boy or girl when adopting?

  • amm78amm78
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    No, it isn't wrong... but I don't believe in doing so.  You get what you are given in pregnancy, and I think adoption should be the same way.

    Also, you do run the risk of lengthening your wait by specifying. 


  • Im typing with a baby on my lap, excuse typos.

    I do not think it is wrong to specificity that you would only like a girl. You do know that it may be a longer wait and depending on your route it may not be possible. For example, if you are doing domestic adoption sometimes the mothers will not know at matching the gender, or the u/s could be wrong.

    If you are doing IA or foster2adopt then you will likely have more success with getting your preferred gender.  

    Although, if you have a biological child you will not get to select the gender (usually, unless you get genetic testing and such) . I think that is one of the fun parts of having kids is leaving gender selection up to the lord. Then again with 3 girls, I would like a boy. I also do not know your story, but with my IF history I am thankful for any children and know that I would love it to pieces no matter the gender.

    Good luck with your adoption though, and I say if you guys want to request only a girl then go for it!  

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  • image amm78:

    No, it isn't wrong... but I don't believe in doing so.  You get what you are given in pregnancy, and I think adoption should be the same way.

    Also, you do run the risk of lengthening your wait by specifying. 

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  • I don't see anything wrong with it whatsoever.  I'm sorry but I disagree that with those who say you can't pick when you give birth so you shouldn't be able to with adoption.  Adoption is NOT birthing.  It's not your biological child.  Even though most of us treat an adopted children the same as our biological children, the circumstance are different and I think it's silly to pretend it's the same.  I see chosing the gender as a "perk" of adoption.  With that said, we wanted a girl too.  Not sure why but I didn't want to tell the adoption agency we'd only accept girls, so I said either gender, but had them note that we gravitated more towards girls.  We got a girl :)
  • I don't really see anything wrong with specifying a gender.  Many adoptive parents specify a certain race.   It's a choice although it will probably make your wait longer.
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  • I don't know that it's 'wrong'. 
    But I'm not for it.

    So many people who are adopting have been through the pain and tragedy of infertility and miscarriage that they are desperate to have any child.  I can't imagine waiting longer, or choosing my child. 
    I just want any child to love.

    But I know I bring different things to the table.
    You will do what's right for your family.

  • I think it is hard to do so.  It really limits the birth moms that u can be presented to.  I would think that it would make your wait even longer due to that.  I would love a daughter too (I have one adopted son, and one foster son who we hope to adopt).  I would love to turn around and specify a girl, but either a. I hope to get pregnant (and then I really don't have a say in the sex) or wait for an adoptive situation to work itself out for us, and I will not be picky of what sex because I just want to add to my family, regardless of sex, even tho I'd LOVE LOVE LOVEEEEE a daughter!!
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  • image hereonceagain:
    I don't see anything wrong with it whatsoever.  I'm sorry but I disagree that with those who say you can't pick when you give birth so you shouldn't be able to with adoption.  Adoption is NOT birthing.  It's not your biological child.  Even though most of us treat an adopted children the same as our biological children, the circumstance are different and I think it's silly to pretend it's the same.  I see choosing the gender as a "perk" of adoption.  With that said, we wanted a girl too.  Not sure why but I didn't want to tell the adoption agency we'd only accept girls, so I said either gender, but had them note that we gravitated more towards girls.  We got a girl :)

    I totally agree.  We are in the process of adopting a boy, but I am not going to lie; had I been able to conceive, I would've had a pronounced gender bias, wanting a girl way more with every fiber of my being.

    I don't think it is any different than specifying age, level of disabilities, etc. Seriously, we're judging whether you say "yay or nay" to gender...   I don't know about you, but I filled out five pages of yay or nay on every category under the sun, including a list of personality traits.  Should I have left it to the lord whether or not I got a child who would kill animals, a child who would set the house on fire,  who had violent tendences,  who had RAD?   The parallel with biological children is totally fake; let's not pretend it's the same thing. 

    If we end up adopting again after this child, I absolutely would specify that I wish to adopt a girl.

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  • I have mixed feelings on this. 

    On the one hand, I think PPs who said that adoption isn't the same as having a bio child are correct.  That's especially true in foster/adopt or IA situations, when the children are likely to be somewhat older -- APs have to decide what situations they can handle, and part of that decision might be the sex of the child, along with age, level of special needs, etc.  (I think it's different in domestic infant adoption, and that domestic infant adoption is more "like" having a bio child in that it seems a bit stranger to specify the sex of a newborn -- and as others have said, specifying may run the risk of alienating some birth mothers or lengthening your wait...  But some agencies will let you specify for domestic infant adoption, too.) 

    On the other hand, it breaks my heart to know that there are so many boys languishing in orphanages around the world because APs, both APs from their own countries and abroad, often prefer girls.... 

    Again, mixed feelings on my part.  I know that we won't specify boy or girl, but I really try not to judge others because I know that each family has to decide what situations are right for them.

  • image JulieFe:

    image hereonceagain:
    I don't see anything wrong with it whatsoever.  I'm sorry but I disagree that with those who say you can't pick when you give birth so you shouldn't be able to with adoption.  Adoption is NOT birthing.  It's not your biological child.  Even though most of us treat an adopted children the same as our biological children, the circumstance are different and I think it's silly to pretend it's the same.  I see choosing the gender as a "perk" of adoption.  With that said, we wanted a girl too.  Not sure why but I didn't want to tell the adoption agency we'd only accept girls, so I said either gender, but had them note that we gravitated more towards girls.  We got a girl :)

    I totally agree.  We are in the process of adopting a boy, but I am not going to lie; had I been able to conceive, I would've had a pronounced gender bias, wanting a girl way more with every fiber of my being.

    I don't think it is any different than specifying age, level of disabilities, etc. Seriously, we're judging whether you say "yay or nay" to gender...   I don't know about you, but I filled out five pages of yay or nay on every category under the sun, including a list of personality traits.  Should I have left it to the lord whether or not I got a child who would kill animals, a child who would set the house on fire,  who had violent tendences,  who had RAD?   The parallel with biological children is totally fake; let's not pretend it's the same thing. 

    If we end up adopting again after this child, I absolutely would specify that I wish to adopt a girl.

    I'm not sure that's a fair comparison. 
    As I got married, prepared to have a child, and worked to conceive, I took certain precautions or lived a life that would have kept me from having a child with some of the issues that we eliminate on an adoption request form.  I wouldn't drink during a pregnancy, so I wouldn't run a risk of having a child  with FAS.  My husband and I choose not to abuse drugs, so I wouldn't have a child born addicted.  And I know our medical history so I would have a better chance of knowing potential psychological/medical problems.  I know that doesn't eliminate every potential biological, medical or psychological problem.  But if I were able to have a child - I had chosen to live within a set of parameters that would have kept me from some of the problems you mention.

    But no matter how many choices I would have made in lifestyle - I would not have the choice of gender.

    So I feel it's fair to say that you can choose certain parameters for a child that would fit in your family - gender isn't one of them.

    But I'm glad this is a board where can have a variety of opinions.
    I guess mine's different than most. 

  • Here's my point-of-view.  I am adopting an older child, probably a 14-year-old, so I am already missing out on so much: the cuteness of the young years, the molding of the personality, cultivating healthy habits, intellectual development, etc.  I even wonder at times if there's a point to adopting a fourteen-year-old, whether we're just going to be the "caretaker" in his mind for a couple years til he hits 18 and makes him way back to his dysfunctional birth family members.  When he hits 18 he will have been with us less time than he's been with his foster family. 

    If you are going to miss out on SO MUCH, (and I know this may not necessarily be true if you adopt an infant, but it certainly is in my situation) why not take advantage of the little bit of control that you do have and make the choices you want?   If you have always longed for a girl, why not specify?  I specified age and race, not even thinking twice about it.  You do have the right to and shouldn't feel bad about it, especially if you are going to look at a son down the road and secretly yearn for a girl and resent that you didn't make the choice that you could've made.

    I could care less at this point whether biological mommies can choose gender or not.   It's irrelevant to adoptive parents because adoption brings a whole other group of concerns.  Are biological parents not going to mold their children because somewhere, somehow, adoptive parents won't get the chance to ?  I think not.

    Sorry that I'm a little hard core on this, but I have a lot of feelings swirling in my head about my (perhaps) pending adoption.  Our meeting with the workers to read the file is in two days.

    Romney-Portman 2012 ORGAN DONOR: DEAL WITH IT. :-) :-)
  • I was grouchy this morning.  Excuse the prior tone.  I'm just very nervous about the upcoming meeting. :-)

    Also, when I say specify age, our age range was 4-14.  I don't want anybody to get the wrong impression that I'm creating a narrow "ideal child" checklist.

    I should just shut up when I am hungry and grouchy from having to run around all day to various family functions. 

    Romney-Portman 2012 ORGAN DONOR: DEAL WITH IT. :-) :-)
  • Adoption is hard on so many fronts, particularly because of the lack of control.  I think, because of that, I've seen many families try to grasp as much control as they can by setting all sorts of other specificiations - i'll say that with our first adoption I was coming off the pain of a miscarriage and was grasping at straws, trying to take control of as much as I possibly could.  I had an "ideal" in my mind but In the end I ended up getting a child that was COMPLETELY different than what my original "specifications" were.  And I'm so blessed because of that.  I think I have grown to realize that sometimes we think we have a picture in our minds of what we think we want or need but if we're able to let go and trust the process, trust God (or whatever you believe in) sometimes you learn that there is something even better than what you could have planned for yourself. 

    FWIW, I really wanted a girl but had a bio boy and then adopted a boy.  My 3rd child (adopted) ended up being a girl.  And holy moly, she's a livewire!  DH always tells me "Careful what you wish for!" Honestly, if we'd had her first, I don't know, as unexperienced parents, if we would have had anymore kids!   

    So to answer the question, I don't know that I feel it's "wrong" but I do think that by not specifying you might be in a for an awesome pleasant surprise that you may not otherwise know.  I don't know about DA, but I do know that with IA, the request for girls is something like 85% and it breaks my heart to know that there are so many healthy and wonderful boys that wait for families, simply because they are boys. 

  • I don't think it's wrong, but some agencies, etc. won't let you specify gender. If you're willing to wait and have found someone who will let you pick gender, that's your perogative.

    ETA: you also have to think about what happens if you're matched with an e-mom who think she's having a child of one gender, and the u/s was wrong and you end up with the other gender. What would you do, back out of the match? Just something to keep in mind.

  • PheWmsPheWms member
    We are thinking of beginning our adoption journey, as we are having trouble trying to conceive our 2nd child.  I have a 3 yr old son and I would like a daughter.  I don't think it's "wrong" to specify my requests. 
  • I don't think it's wrong...but it gives me a skeevy feeling.  Like those people who keep trying for a boy after a bunch of girls or vice versa.  Like you know they didn't want all those girls, but now they're stuck with them.

    Our agency doesn't allow gender specification.

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  • I do not believe in adoption for gender selection (or in assisted fertility, barring diseases like hemophilia with linkage to a specific gender).

    Personally, I feel as though there is too much projected onto the infant/child--an expected role that child is expected to fulfill. And I believe that burden is too much for a child.

    For me, adoption is about finding familes for children, not finding children for parents.

  • I don't think its "wrong". Many agencies (even countries!) will let you specify gender PREFERENCES, but usually if there is already a child in the home. It is not uncommon for a family to want a second child of the opposite gender, etc. You've already been through so many struggles and riding the emotional roller coaster is rough! If specifying a gender will help you in the parenting process--go ahead. Only you can know whats in your heart. But I would discuss how you would handle a match with a birthmother that doesn't know the gender. Good luck!
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  • It doesn't matter what we think. Our (individual) opinions on whether it is right or wrong doesn't matter to your situation, family or beliefs. If you are questioning it - then perhaps YOU feel that is wrong. 

    There are lot of paths/avenues/forks on the road with adoption. The best anyone can do is research, research, research and educate themselves (not just before adoption, but during it and as the child continues to grow). Adoption doesn't really begin or end with a baby in your arms - it's much more complicated than that.

    I personally don't buy the ideas of .... equating pregnancy with adoption - they are not the same nor do they have the same options, considerations (social, economic, etc) or blessings/consequences in life .... the notion that we are 'blessed to have a child, period, therefore shouldn't be so picky' - doesn't fly with me either (that notion typically only extends until you start talking about skin color or any other number of factors such as biological social and medical history). 

    As long as you are educated about the process and consequences (which includes that you won't feel that a child of the opposite sex than you sought is lesser or second choice) - it doesn't matter what others find right or wrong.

  • Thank you for the frank replies.  This only came up because it was a question on our (domestic infant adoption) paperwork. We have dealt with infertility and would love any child, but feel drawn to girls.  Maybe because we have eight nieces, and MH grew up with only women...  

    I guess I feel like we've been through so much, it would be nice to take advantage of one of the perks of adoption.  I wondered if it would be frowned upon by others. 

  • image hereonceagain:
    I don't see anything wrong with it whatsoever.  I'm sorry but I disagree that with those who say you can't pick when you give birth so you shouldn't be able to with adoption.  Adoption is NOT birthing.  It's not your biological child.  Even though most of us treat an adopted children the same as our biological children, the circumstance are different and I think it's silly to pretend it's the same.  I see chosing the gender as a "perk" of adoption.  With that said, we wanted a girl too.  Not sure why but I didn't want to tell the adoption agency we'd only accept girls, so I said either gender, but had them note that we gravitated more towards girls.  We got a girl :)

    100% agree. 

     

  • image JulieFe:

    Here's my point-of-view.  I am adopting an older child, probably a 14-year-old, so I am already missing out on so much: the cuteness of the young years, the molding of the personality, cultivating healthy habits, intellectual development, etc.  I even wonder at times if there's a point to adopting a fourteen-year-old, whether we're just going to be the "caretaker" in his mind for a couple years til he hits 18 and makes him way back to his dysfunctional birth family members.  When he hits 18 he will have been with us less time than he's been with his foster family. 

    If you are going to miss out on SO MUCH, (and I know this may not necessarily be true if you adopt an infant, but it certainly is in my situation) why not take advantage of the little bit of control that you do have and make the choices you want?   If you have always longed for a girl, why not specify?  I specified age and race, not even thinking twice about it.  You do have the right to and shouldn't feel bad about it, especially if you are going to look at a son down the road and secretly yearn for a girl and resent that you didn't make the choice that you could've made.

    I could care less at this point whether biological mommies can choose gender or not.   It's irrelevant to adoptive parents because adoption brings a whole other group of concerns.  Are biological parents not going to mold their children because somewhere, somehow, adoptive parents won't get the chance to ?  I think not.

    Sorry that I'm a little hard core on this, but I have a lot of feelings swirling in my head about my (perhaps) pending adoption.  Our meeting with the workers to read the file is in two days.

    I don't have an opiniono n the gender thing (actually I do but its not important).  But I am concerned for you about some of the things I highlighted above.  Adoption (or growing a family in any way) should be something that is wonderful and looked forward to and not something where you feel like youa re missing out, or somethign taht your esent down the road, or something where you wonder wha'ts the point and if you're jsut a caretaker.  That's not fair to you, and its not fair to the child.  If this is how you're feeling you might want to take a step back and decide if adopting a 14 year old is really what you want to do.  Certainly there is a great need for families for children this age and so I would never discourage anyone who wanted to go this route, but if its not right for you and you are feeling all of the things you mention above, maybe its not a path you should go down.  Only you can decide, but I certainly wouldn't advise you to take on a 14 year old boy if you will restn it/him down the road, and I would encourage you to think about adopting a 14 year old at all if you will resent missing out on all of the younger years.  Like I aid, only you can decide what is right for you.  Jsut something to think about.

    And sorry all of this is so tough.  It is not an easy journey.

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  • I agree with those who say it's not "wrong" but it might lengthen the time depending on how you're adopting.

    I know I'm late to the party, but I also wanted to say that while birthing, you can pick your gender now. Friends of my mom "spun" the swimmers to get girl sperm LOL. They have three little girls. Crazy, but true!

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