Many people, including at least one family member, think it’s not OK to specify gender. The argument is almost always the same: “You wouldn’t get to do that if you were pregnant.”
Using that logic, let’s see what else I wouldn’t get to do if I were pregnant:
- I wouldn’t get to gather six character references from family, neighbors, and friends to recommend me as a good parent.
- I wouldn’t get to be fingerprinted and go through an FBI-level criminal background check and child abuse clearance.
- I wouldn’t get to submit my tax returns, financial statements, and income verification letters to prove I could provide financially for a child.
- I wouldn’t get to go through a physical the likes of which our insurance will not cover.
- I wouldn’t get to ask my child’s teacher for a letter about his behavior and readiness for a baby sister.
- I wouldn’t get to ask my dear friends to be guardians and get to ask them to divulge their financial information to my agency on a notarized form so they can prove they could provide for a child.
- I wouldn’t get to prove that my husband and I have life and health insurance.
- I wouldn’t get to have my home inspected to prove that it’s a safe and healthy place to raise a child.
- I wouldn’t get to spend hours researching every agency that I’d ever heard of to find one to represent us.
- I wouldn’t get to create multiple adoption profile books to show expectant parents what kind of family we are, in the hopes of connecting with one of them.
- I wouldn’t get to lose hundreds of dollars when an unscrupulous woman scammed us. And I was lucky – some adoptive families are taken for thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars.
- I wouldn’t get to freak out every time I think about all of the what if’s – what if she changes her mind? What if the baby’s not healthy? What if she really does know the birthfather and he shows up?
- I wouldn’t get to spend the first days or weeks of our baby’s life in a hotel room while we wait for paperwork to go through.
- I wouldn’t get to submit detailed expenses to the IRS in the hopes of getting some of those expenses back.
- I wouldn’t get to pay over $20,000 for the privilege of getting to do all of the above.
What would I get to do if I were pregnant?
- I would get to know, after about 16 weeks, with relative certainty, that I was going to have a baby.
- I would get to control, to some extent, what goes into the baby’s system.
- I would get to know that the baby wasn’t exposed to alcohol, cigarettes, or harmful drugs.
- I would get to have state health insurance.
- I would get to choose where to have the baby.
- I would get to go home with my baby pretty much whenever I wanted to.
- I would get to write off all of my pregnancy-related expenses on my taxes, no questions asked.
Looking at those lists, it’s pretty easy to see that adoption is nothing like pregnancy. I’m not pregnant. I’m adopting. It’s an invasive, expensive process. I chose to go through it knowing this. I also chose to go through it knowing that, because it’s not pregnancy, one perk is the ability to specify gender.
I have the most wonderful boy in the world. Now, we’ll have the most wonderful girl in the world. I’m not pregnant, so I get to choose this.