Sunday, July 1, 2007

Too fat for adoption

I read about the woman who was denied adoption because of her weight. Junkfood Science and Kate Harding covered the subject beautifully, but here are my thoughts anyway:

I was horrified at the story of the woman who was "too fat to adopt". I have PCOS. Because of this, I am short an ovary (it had to be removed three years ago because it was encased in a huge cyst), a fallopian tube, and a chunk of uterus (both removed along with the ovary three years ago).

My husband's friend also has PCOS, and somehow managed to beat the odds and conceive three times--and she REALLY wanted children. She has one daughter and had two miscarriages.

Because of the PCOS, she gained a lot of weight very quickly. She tried really hard to lose it, but, as you probably know, it's next to impossible with insulin resistance to lose weight. I would guess that she is at least as large as the woman in the news story. Guess what? She's a great mother, and her weight does not prevent her from giving her daughter a happy, healthy upbringing.

I am sure that Kylie Lannigan would not be refused IVF if she offered up her money to a fertility doctor. I suppose these fat-haters would prefer she put her body and feelings at risk with IVF than be permitted to adopt? Not only are the hormones and the rest of the process really hard on the body, but it's awful to have failed attempts at IVF. Many women mourn every failure as a miscarriage (which it is). It's also possible that she would end up with multiple viable fetuses and have to make the choice to terminate a few or try to carry too many babies to term. All of this, plus going broke trying to make a baby with your own genes--is it worth it, if there are adoptable children available, and you are willing to choose adoption over IVF?

She could give an EXISTING child a loving home, spending her monetary resources on clothing, toys, food, and other kid stuff, instead of blowing it on expensive, risky, and often unsuccessful medical procedures. I guess the adoption folks would rather advance their agenda of discrimination, though, than actually find loving homes for the children that need them.

Now, if you look at biological parents, my husband's parents are not thin people. They would fall into the category of "overweight" or beyond, yet they managed to raise three happy, healthy, well-adjusted children to adulthood. Brian and his sister are both naturally thin, while his brother is naturally stocky. I've never thought about a person's size as a factor in their ability to parent children.

How about we focus resources on making sure that truly abused children get the interventions they need? Or that needy families get support so that they can give their children the best possible start in life? Whose boneheaded idea was it to waste resources on persecuting fat people who are or would be perfectly good parents?

For the record, I am incredibly fortunate that I have no desire to have children. My husband and I are both just not interested in them, and I got thoroughly burned out on childcare, being the oldest cousin on both sides of the family. Years of forced babysitting (without pay) was enough of raising kids for me! I'm also just not into hairless apes. I'm into scaly creatures, furry felines, and slimy sea life :)

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