The Truth About Getting Pregnant After Adoption

Please stop saying "You'll get pregnant after you adopt." It's not true. And it's hurtful.

Shelley Skuster October 06, 2015
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When my husband and I first announced our intentions to adopt, I was a television news reporter living life in a glass fishbowl.

This allowed for all sorts of comments to roll in—not just about my shade of lipstick or wardrobe at the news desk, but about our choice to grow our family through adoption.

“You know what happens after you adopt?” People would ask. “You get pregnant!”

Telling a couple they’ll get pregnant after adopting a child suggests that adoption itself is not a happy way to grow their family.

That’s not true.

And it suggests the adoption process is somehow related to a couple’s ability or desire to conceive.

That’s also not true.

Some people adopt without knowing whether they can have biological children. Others—like my husband and me—choose to adopt after struggling for years with infertility.

The Surprise Pregnancy

Imagine our surprise two years after adopting two beautiful baby girls when we found out we were pregnant.


We quickly became one of “those couples” who spontaneously got pregnant after adopting.

But even our doctors confirm: Adopting our daughters (a non-medical process) did not increase our ability to conceive after years of infertility (a medical diagnosis).

In fact, there’s research that proves a lack of correlation as well.

According to National Infertility Association, studies show the rate for getting pregnant after adopting is the same for people who do not adopt.

It may seem like it happens more often because we hear about it; after all, getting pregnant after adopting is memorable.

But it’s important to remember this scenario isn’t the norm for couples who have adopted after they’ve struggled with infertility.

The Power of Words

While most people shared in our excitement with our surprise pregnancy, others deducted we got pregnant because we adopted.

And they voiced it.

Not only is this is one of the most hurtful myths for adoptive families who have struggled with infertility to hear, but saying so implies our beautiful daughters who joined our family through adoption were simply a means to grow our family biologically.

That they’re somehow second-best until a biological child comes along.

And the worst part is their little ears are listening and hearing those words.

The Truth

No matter how a child is born into a family, it is a miracle.

Every child’s life is a gift.

Adoption has been a wonderful option to grow our family, just as this pregnancy has been a wonderful option to grow our family.

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Shelley Skuster

Shelley is a former award-winning television journalist who traded in suit coats and red lipstick for a messy bun and yoga pants. She's a freelance writer who stays at home with her three daughters who are all ((gasp)) under the age of three and came to her via adoption and birth. She's the woman behind the blog Shelley Writes, and she can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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