Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The unfairness doctrine.

One of the most frequent, and most heartbreaking, complaints you'll hear from anyone suffering from infertility goes something like this: "It's not fair that [insert name here] gets to have children, and I don't."

And by "[insert name here]," I don't mean that we begrudge our families or friends their pregnancies, even though there's always a pang when you hear on the day of a negative pregnancy test that your cousin-in-law, say, is pregnant with her third.

I'm talking about the people who abuse or neglect their kids. Who abuse or neglect themselves, when they have kids. Here, a certain fallen pop star is often mentioned. Example: After the failure of our most recent, and final, attempt to get pregnant, I whined to Dr. R something along the lines of, "It's not fair that Britney Spears gets to have two kids, and I don't." He chuckled sympathetically. "A lot of my patients are mad at Britney right now," he said.

Every day, it seems like I read or hear about some horrible thing some parent has done to their child. Just today, I read a news story about a Dallas woman who threw her two sons off a freeway overpass. Miraculously, they all survived, but I can't tell you how many similar stories I've read recently where the poor kids didn't. In fact, I could make a weekly feature of candidates for "World's Worst Parents." It's enough to make me start a self-imposed news embargo.

I'll tell you this now: I haven't met ONE infertile couple that wouldn't make great parents. These are the people who really want to have a child. They want to shower a child with love and affection. And for those of you who are going to say, "Well, you/they can adopt": yes, infertile people can adopt. But that doesn't take away the pain of infertility. And it doesn't take away the pain of hearing about people who abuse their kids, when you want one so, so badly.

It just doesn't seem fair, and I still haven't heard anything to make me feel better about it.

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