What do the Academy Awards and the Dixie Chics have to teach us about Infertility?
March 8, 2010 | By: Liz | Filed under: Thinking Out Loud
I have decided that the Dixie Chics have the best infertility anthem ever; the song “So hard”. Actually that entire album is great when you are down on your child bearing capabilities or waiting for a baby. I was listening to it this morning at the dog park and I was thinking about the comments Celine Dion got on her story in People Mag, and on an unsolicited series of communications I received from a partner at a law firm I used to work for. He linked to me in Linked In and proceeded to accuse me of committing all sorts of sins by helping people have babies through IVF and even domestic adoption. Much as one reader criticized Celine Dion for not adopting internationally, this man accused of me “moral relativism” (whatever that is) and said that IVF was conceited. Yeah, well, to each his own I guess. Quite frankly, to all those people on high horses thinking they have done something god like because they rescued a child from an orphanage somewhere like Russia, I ask what about all the children in foster care in this country? I think The Blind Side (the movie Sandra Bullock won her oscar for last night) is an incredibly eye opening story about what Americans are not seeing in their own country, and how children are suffering here. And Precious. OMG.
I mean really, you want to accuse me of moral relativism for going through 7 IVF cycles, 10 miscarriages, and three domestic adoptions (only two of which resulted in permanent placements, and my gorgeous beautiful babies), fine so be it, but don’t give me some holier than thou BS, you want to do good and say you are superior to me, adopt an older child from the foster care system, someone who has been abused or abandoned. Sandra Bullock thanked all those very wise and strong people who have loved a child that was otherwise left without hope. Indeed two of the Best Picture nominees, The Blind Side and Precious, would be movies I suggest the people who criticized Celine Dion and the gentleman who accused me of having poor morals, watch and think about.
Do you really think that any single one of us has the right to judge the other? Especially when it comes to something so intimate like family building. I don’t believe it’s conceited to want to feel a baby grow inside me. I don’t believe it’s conceited to want to adopt a newborn, nor do I think the vast majority of birth mothers in the US are “coerced” (as that gentleman alleged) by other people into placing their child for adoption. They may be economically coerced, they may be coerced by the life they are stuck in, but any birth mother that can make the self sacrificing choice to place her child with another family to give that child a better life (whether in this country or another) is someone truly worthy of being called a hero. And the international adoption community was until recently (and may still be) rife with black market baby stealing, and ethical issues that the Hague was designed to prevent. No system of child bearing, family building, whatever you want to call it is better than another. None of us are morally superior to the other. None of us. We all have to walk our own path.
And as the Dixie Chics understand very well, for most of us infertile people, that path is So hard.
So do me a favor. Lay off Celine Dion for trying to have another baby through IVF. Lay off me for trying to help people have children however they choose to do so. My goal is to build families and to return the gifts that have been given to me by Dr. Chung (a gift to his patients and reproductive science), all the amazing people at Cornell (M. and L., Dr. Rosenwaks and Dr. Spandorfer), my husband, my children’s birth parents, just to name a few of the people who have blessed me.
And know this, my office, my practice, my agency, are and will always hopefully be a safe haven for my clients. I promise never to judge you. I promise to help you achieve your dreams (even if that means working with another agency, lawyer, whatever) . . . I am paying my blessings forward (as another great movie would say). Moral relativism or not.
And what the hell is moral relativism anyway?