infertility a boon to the economy?

I’m not sure how I feel about how the Wall Street Journal has framed this bit of “news.”  Curious to hear from egg donors and recipients, surrogates, and intended parents.  Note there is also a discussion entitled “giving life — selling it,” but you have to be a member to read or post. From the title, I’ll pass… 

On another note, I have to say, I’ve wondered if and how this economic crisis could affect the adoption industry (make no mistake, it is a business). Might more expectant mothers decide they are unable to parent? One young mother we spoke to recently said that losing her job was what forced her to consider placing her unborn child for adoption. Might once-prospective adoptive parents have fewer resources to invest in adoption if their circumstances have changed? Or maybe there will be not much change at all?


~ by luna on December 9, 2008.

17 Responses to “infertility a boon to the economy?”

  1. Issues of poverty and financial security are so intertwined with the adoption industry that it’s hard to see how the economic crisis won’t have some effect. One social worker I talked to recently said her agency is seeing a lot more parents coming in wanting to talk about placing children they’ve been parenting for several months already. (Usually her agency works with newborn placements.) They’re able to direct a lot of them to local resources and support programs, but it’s such a bummer to hear that more parents are getting to that place of desperation.

    I read a history of infant adoption in the US a few months ago, and I wish I could recall what it said about the changes in adoption during the Great Depression (the whole system was different, but the GD did have some effect). I remember that it wasn’t exactly what I would have predicted. Lordy, my reading retention has left much to be desired this year.

  2. I’ve thought about that myself as we go through adoption, that economically even parenting can be an economic decision. Very thought provoking…

  3. Coming to adoption from the older child/foster care side, I know our state is gearing up to have more kids coming into foster care at the same time the state budget is getting slashed and there’s a hiring freeze for social workers, etc. I’ve also heard about foster families having to stop caring for children because the economic pressure is more than they can bear or one of the parents has gotten laid off or something like that. So even in the part of the adoption complex that isn’t as obviously money-driven, the economy is playing a huge rule.

  4. Everyone’s been joking about the Nebraska Law that was recently amended wherein people were dropping off older children (including teenagers) at hospitals — instead of the infants the law intended. I often wondered what would happen if we instituted some sort of national free pass where you could do that for a week — what would happen? And I don’t think these were “problem” children necessarily, but that parents really felt there was a better place out there for them, that someone else could do a better job. I found that rather depressing.

    My cousin who adopted had to move last year, and it took a while to sell her home, so for a spell, they had two. And when she finally sold it, the first words were, “well! [My son] is finally paid for!” And obviously I didn’t take this the wrong way, and knew exactly what she meant, and anyone who thinks someone “can just adopt!” needs to have their head held underwater for a bit while studying the balance sheets.

  5. Sigh. I don’t even know where to begin. The complexities are mind-boggling.

  6. Heather, I think you’re right. It can’t help but have some effect.

    Lindsay, I hear you!

    Thorn, thanks for raising the foster adopt issue. Definitely an important part of the picture.

    Tash, I agree what’s happening with Nebraska’s “safe harbor” law is very depressing, and just wrong.

    PJ, yep.

  7. On the one hand, there might be a rise in more mothers wanting to place babies for adoption, & would-be surrogate mothers & egg donors interested in making some money.

    On the other hand, if your job and health insurance are in jeopardy (or out the window), you’re not going to have tens of thousands or dollars to spend on infertility treatment or adoption (assuming you did in the first place…!).

    I hate so much that so much about these situations comes down to matters of money. 😦

  8. Luna,
    I was able to read your WSJ link. I think its worth a read if you know nothing about requirements of egg donor. I’m not surprised its a buyer’s market. Tash’s Nebrsska comment first came to mind. My heart reaches out to foster kids.

  9. I don’t remember whose survey this is, but it says that statistically the number one reason for getting an abortion is not being able to afford a child. That is so sad to me. And it also indicates that there’s likely to be an increase in babies placed for adoption. But I also wonder how fast the new congress and the new administration can/will move on the health insurance issue, and what effect that might have…

  10. I was thinking the same thing as Loribeth — some people may no longer have the money to pursue the most expensive treatments, so the “buyer’s market” may not be as lopsided as the article suggests. Of course, for many of us it would take an awful lot of financial downturn to interrupt what we have underway.

  11. Yup.

  12. Adoption is mostly about economics, and the chances are that more children will be placed in more difficult economic times. Not only that, but the number of prospective adoptive parents may be reduced because fewer people can handle the high adoption expenses.

    My potential facilitator mentioned this to me.

  13. It would be interesting to see a correlation chart between relinquishment rates and economic health to see just how closely they are linked, and what kind of lag there is (if any). I wonder if anyone has done a study.

  14. I guess we won’t know until retrospect, but you have to believe there will be a domino effect in finances affecting decisions all over the board. There are already people writing about how they have to stop treatments or not start due to the economic climate. I have to believe there will be people who can’t parent due to finances as well as people who can’t adopt due to finances.

  15. I just posted a link to that story on my blog. My hubby is making noises that surrogacy may be on par with adoption now. I know for a fact that the economic downturn has affected our financial lives and we’re panicking about whether we can truly afford adoption now. For years, all I wanted was to have a baby with my husband – I had no idea it was going to be like climbing Everest.

  16. wow Luna,

    great thought to ponder here. I do think this economy might make birthparents that are on the fence lean further toward adoption. this economy is definitely eliminating resources for some…

  17. I’ve been thinking about this myself. What I’ve been seeing, as I look at the surrogacy classifieds and sites, is, seemingly, more women ready to be surrogates, but somewhat fewer potential parents seeking to pursue surrogacy. I’m sure that the economy, though not the only reason, is a part of it.

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