The other day Paul made a really interesting comment to my parents. He said something like, "You know, if you want to adopt a child, there are all these tests and checks that you have to go through to confirm that you'll be a fit parent. But if you have a baby of your own, they just let you walk out of the hospital with her!"
I had to think about that. You know, it really is crazy. How come the physical ability to bear a child negates the need to check for fit parenthood? Just cause my "plumbing" functioned, that doesn't mean I'll be the kind of mother I should. Shouldn't they have stopped us at the door of the hospital and checked our mental and emotional stability BEFORE the checked to see if we had a proper car seat?
I have friends who have adopted, either domestically or internationally, and it is amazing how much paperwork they had to go through just to be approved for consideration. We even went down that road ourselves for a little while, and it was amazing how much there was to do. But then we got pregnant, and no one asked us to do a home study or fill out a survey about our relationship or anything. No one checked to make sure I was eating properly or taking my vitamins or keeping my doctor appointments. They didn't call to confirm that we'd gone through childbirth classes or read up on all the latest parenting wisdom. Then she was born, and after just a few days in the hospital, they said, "Yep, she looks good, here ya go!" And off we went. Oh my gosh, how did they know we aren't stark raving lunatics? (I mean, ALL the time.)
To all my friends who've adopted, kudos to you for going through the red tape to become parents. I have no idea why there's this strange assumption that working biology equals the right to be a parent, but if you've had to run the bureaucratic gauntlet to bring home your own child, hats off to you!