Adoption Dysphoria

I can’t stop looking at adoption websites. As somebody with historically little to no sperm in my life (read: vagina), I always assumed and celebrated that having kids would involve adoption. Child rearing as a queer can involve sperm and pregnancy, they just weren’t my first choices. Fertility clinics and seed banks and friendly donors all seemed so messy and expensive. At least adoption is only expensive, but doesn’t come with the guilt of creating another human when there are already so many mouths out there that could use feeding, snuggling and tucking in.

I’ve never had any kind of notion that genetic relatedness is an important factor in child-loving, and I certainly never wanted to be pregnant. My cognitive understanding that breastfeeding can be cozy and nutritious was always outweighed by the fact that I didn’t really want to have huge boobs or a semi-autonomous region karate chopping me from within. I think pregnant chicks are hot and they inspire me to have very dirty thoughts, but I never wanted to be one and only saw very unlikely free-of-charge or accidental means of it happening to me.

I whole-heartedly, chest puffed, obnoxiously get in the face of anybody who says anything like, “But I just want it to be *mine *.” Uhm. Sit down before I push you. ANY child that you love and raise becomes yours. Adoption does not make a child any less yours, and I regularly threaten to cut folks who fail to see that holding and looking out for a small person creates bonds not ever broken by slightly different facial features or naysayers who aren’t smart enough to find love through changing diapers.

Not that the kids anyone adopts need to be pre-potty training. I regularly fantasize about taking advantage of the fact that adopting out of foster care is almost as free as getting knocked up. As soon as the age gap between me and a teenage foster kid is respectable enough, I can’t wait to have a beloved child screaming at me that I will never understand them and reminding me how uncool I am by slamming the door and huffing around like a charming, surly monster. Most behaviors and mild to moderate disabilities don’t scare me. They require extra effort, sure, but all of my favorite people on the planet are nuts and I’ve got tons of experience loving and working with special needs humans. I’d argue that – in addition to my professional background and my own childhood with a special education teacher mother – we’ve all got some special needs that we’d better start dealing with and all teenagers lose their marbles. Adopting out of foster care almost guarantees special needs, but birthing a munchkin isn’t even close to a guarantee that parents won’t have to deal with any developmental delays, emotional hurdles or physical trauma.

And then there’s baby stealing. Partner seems to think that just because we’ve got a baby in progress, I should be able to refrain from thieving other peoples’ children out of their grocery carts and stroller seats. But that one, that one I think is so precious and smiling at me and if I could just create a diversion, ….. Of course I won’t really and truly kidnap anybody’s baby, but the little alien throttling me from inside of my guts can’t stop me from noticing how absolutely delightful the chubby cheeks and waving fat sausage fingers of that one are. That specific one. That’s already in front of me. Existing. So cute. I can see me pushing it in a swing and kissing it’s eyelids goodnight. If only I could adopt that one. I just don’t think that anything I cook form scratch will inherently be any better than the kids who already exist. Except that the ones I raise will clearly be my favorites.

I will love whatever insanely adorable, utterly perfect and completely flawed being squeezes out of my nether regions, and despite my dysphoria that it is coming out of me, it does have some perks. The timeframe with pregnancy is pretty clear. Give or take a few weeks, we know when about it is going to get here. I can just fondle the hoarded, used onesies that I have thrifted for until the due date approaches, reasonably certain of when I should have them ready, washed and folded. As certain as anyone can be, which is not very certain at all.

It is definitely reassuring start with a blank slate. It is always a thing of beauty to protect any creature from harm and abuse, so to know that the creature in my charge from the get-go will not be neglected or battered right off the bat is inherently comforting. Though, I also have to take all of the blame for whatever goes wrong, be it crooked teeth, the potty mouth of a sailor or muscular dystrophy and cancer. It is painful to know that I am putting off the care and feeding of a good handful of foster care pumpkins that I would like to be mine, but at least the chemicals in my system and my inability to not fall in love with any little bean in front of me guarantee that I am about to have a little tot dandle and fawn over. Any which way it arrives.

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