As is my impatient nature, I have already looked into all possible fertility options post-cancer. Egg freezing, surrogacy, and adoption are all on the table if cancer treatment affects my fertility. I have always considered the possibility of adoption after I'm in remission, as I know there are so many babies out there who need homes. One would think a young, intelligent married couple such as Ben and myself would be great candidates for adoption.
THINK AGAIN, CANCER-FACE! ... (is what the imaginary adoption agency would say to me)
In my research, I have found that even women who have been declared cancer-free for years are being shut out of the adoption process. In fact, anyone who would like to adopt must be free of any life-threatening illness, have no history of cancer, have no diagnosed mental illness and be married. Yikes. I guess I have at least one of those.
Let me address these one by one...
First of all, I must ask what they consider a life-threatening illness. I mean, the flu can be life-threatening and I had that last week. Can people who get the flu adopt?
And what mental illnesses are we talking about? Schizophrenia or just garden-variety depression? Because if it's anything, then that cuts out about 75% of women--many of whom were probably diagnosed with depression because they couldn't have children.
In that same vein, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point, so that eliminates like 12% of the population. Don't get me wrong--I totally get why women who are still in treatment or have only a few years to live would have trouble adopting. But 5, 10 years down the line cancer-free and a married woman still can't adopt?
Let's talk for a moment about the requirement of being married, too (mostly the case for international adoptions, like in China or Russia). If a woman is single and makes like $100,000 a year on her own, why shouldn't she be able to support a child? While I totally believe that 2 parents are usually better than 1...isn't one great parent better than two bad ones?
That brings me to my main point: if this Social Darwinism can exist in public adoption, why the hell are some people out there even allowed to have children? Is just having a decent immune system and a good set of ovaries all a person needs to deserve a child? Shouldn't we have to pass a psych test or something?
When I have full clearance from a physician and a reasonable assurance of longevity, am I really still not as capable of being a parent as Octomom or that couple that put their son in the weather balloon?! I call triple shenanigans!
No, octuple shenanigans!