It takes three desires to make a baby

This week-end we went to a support group for aspiring adoptive parents organised by an adoption association. There were two psychologists and a few other couples. It was very nice to exchange with the other couples about various topics related to adoption.

The first topic discussed was how much to tell family and friends about the story of the abandonment before the child is old enough to be told. The example that was given was that of a child conceived after sexual violence. Would you want to tell family and friends? Telling them has no benefits but risks changing people’s attitude towards the child. Also, if I were the child I wouldn’t want people to know such a detail about my own story before knowing myself.

We then started talking about how you would tell the child his story, especially when difficult such as that of a sexual violence. One of the psychologists suggested that one way was to tell the child that he was conceived in difficult conditions but that he wanted to live so much that he kept growing in his mother’s womb even if the mother did not want him to. One of the girls attending said she didn’t think it was that a good idea because it could create a guilt feeling towards the biological mother. I agree with her.

The psychologist went on elaborating on the idea of the desire of the baby to come to life. She talked about a book in which it is argued that for a baby to be born you need three desires. This is the citation:

“A human child is the fruit of three desires: it takes at least the conscious desire for a complete sexual act of the father, it takes at least an unconscious desire of the mother, but what we forget is that it also takes the unconscious desire to survive for this embryo in which a human life originates.” (Francoise Dolto)

According to her this theory could help explain the abandonment to a child, as it underlines his/her willingness to live. I couldn’t help telling her I disagreed. I would have a hard time telling a child that he is in this world because of his desire to come to life. For me that is like saying that babies that are not born because of a miscarriage or still birth did not want it enough. That they did not have enough willingness to live. I don’t think I could do that, with all the little sparkles of life that were in me and did not survive. I can blame it on my body, on biology, on medicine and even on the strength of the embryos.. but not on their desire to live.

It was a good discussion and we were happy to go. The next meet up is not until September. The only negative thing was that were were told a statistic we didn’t know. Out of 10 couples/persons that receive approval for adoption, only 1 succeeds. Since we got approval we have often been told that now it is not a matter of “if” we will adopt, but “when”. Well, it looks like it’s still “if”. We won’t give up but the fight is certainly not over.

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25 Responses to It takes three desires to make a baby

  1. damelapin says:

    Only 1?? Why that?

    • kiftsgate says:

      I don’t know exactly. I know some get too old because of the long waiting lists and then cannot adopt anymore. I guess some manage to get pregnant so give up on adoption (if you have a biological baby you are automatically out of national adoption). Some may not have their “agrement”renewed. And some maybe just give up, move abroad, change life…

  2. Lisette says:

    Maybe we can understand it a little bit differently… Je te le dis en français, je suis désolée, mais je n’ai pas les mots justes en anglais. Un enfant qui malgré le contexte terrible de sa conception voire de son tout début de vie est un lion, il est resté en vie malgré ce contexte peu propice, il a du se battre in utero et à la naissance pour vivre alors que personne ne le désirait. Son désir de vivre a été plus fort que tout… Cette manière de présenter les choses à un enfant adopté l’aide je pense à se sentir acteur de sa vie, pour qu’il ne se pose pas uniquement en victime qui a subit. Ca ne veut pas dire que nos petites vies portées et éteintes ne désiraient pas vivre, ça veut dire que malgré tout, cet enfant adopté a montré une ténacité et une envie de vivre incroyable. C’est rendre à cet enfant une forme de controle ou de maitrise de son destin qui peut lui sembler très rassurante. Merci pour cet article que je trouve très interessant🙂

    • Lisette says:

      erreur : “Un enfant qui survit malgré le contexte terrible de sa conception voire de son tout début de vie est un lion”…

    • kiftsgate says:

      oui je comprend bien et je suis plutot d’accord avec toi. C’est juste que je parlerais de force plutot que de desir.. peut etre c’est parce que dans ma langue maternelle le desir est tres different de la force. de toute facon ca m’a bien fait reflechir..🙂

  3. NotSoNewtoIVF says:

    I agree with you, I really don’t like this way of looking at it….well done for saying so. Lots of big steps though hon xxx

  4. jesselyn6585 says:

    I’m glad you got to attend and meet other couples in similar situations. It’s always nice to feel less alone.

  5. E v e l y n says:

    1 in 10 sounds so low. There has to be other reason the number is so low, such as people withdrawing from the process.

    I agree with you about the embryos desire. Perhaps a better explanation was that the adoptive parents were lucky enough that the child/embryo was strong enough to be born. In my case I feel there are 4 desires: the egg donor to donate, the sperm donor to donate, the doctor to treat my situation, and me to coordinate it all coming together.

    • kiftsgate says:

      she even said 1 in 10 was an positive estimate… I do think this includes people that withdraw as well as people who get pregnant naturally so they are cancelled from the lists. But also people who for instance look for adoption in a certain country, that after years stops international adoption.. It’s happened in a few countries (e.g. Cambodia, Colombia..).
      It’s true in your case you need the donors to be willing too.. I wish there were more donors..

  6. redbluebird says:

    I don’t really like her theory about the embryo wanting to live either. For the reasons you mentioned, and also, I’m not sure how it changes the fact that the child may feel abandoned. Telling him/her about their willingness to live may give them a sense of power, but doesn’t change that their birth parents didn’t want them (or couldn’t take care of them). I don’t pretend to know what to say though. I’d probably say something about their birth parents being selfless/caring/loving enough to know their baby would be better cared for by other parents. Or maybe that the two (three) of you were meant to find each other and be a family.

  7. What I would tell a child who was born into a less than ideal situation is: EVERY baby is born perfect. But the world is not perfect. And they are here to make it better. And we are here to help them do that (and perhaps their bio parents needed some help themselves). Very rudimentary. But palatable to a child, I think. XO

  8. barrenbetty says:

    I definitely agree with you too… Seems like quite a strange thing to tell a child to me. I like MLACS idea much better. I was trying to think up a good way of explaining it to a child, but all the ideas here are much better than mine! You did good to speak up at the meeting, I’m always nervous of doing things like that. Was it good to meet the other to-be adoptive parents? x

    • kiftsgate says:

      yes it was really nice to meet other couples. The girl in one of the couples looked so nice and so much fun. I may ask her if she wants to grab a drink next time. I was nervous to speak but my husband told me later he was even more nervous about me speaking. He said he thought: OMG, what is she going to say now??!
      Thanks for trusting me, husband… 😉
      xx

  9. ivfbegins says:

    Interesting post, we’re giving it one paid for go, and then adoption will definitely be on our radar.

    p.s. I love the term ‘sparkles of life’, I struggled explaining to friends why my bfp felt like such a loss rather than just a fail. It was because of the sparkle of life it held. xx

  10. ivfbegins says:

    Oh god, I meant bfn obviously not bfp lol

  11. I agree with you and Lisette. If, and just if, we replace the context : conception, preconceved life, embryo, life during pregnancy… = biology.
    Then, when the child is born, so yes, maybe (and we hope) he have lots of ressources to survive in a vulnerability context. And just, maybe, because at the end, life is just biology (food, water, health…), and without this, he couldn’t survive. Like all human being.
    But to survive with healthy reactions, and without (affect…) deficiencies, so yes a child need love, attention, care, be strong … In this case, ok. But not for “come to life”, just “after be born alive”.
    Anyway, I really like and feel what you say.
    Kisses

  12. Pingback: Whoever says “just adopt” has not read the statistics! | Today I hope

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