One thing I haven’t talked about much is the stigma of infertility. This is something often ignored, but when you’re living it- it can’t be.
You can read popular blog posts on infertility and there are ALWAYS Internet trolls who post things like “If you can’t get pregnant this is God telling you you shouldn’t be a parent,” “The world is already overpopulated and you should take a hint,” “How dare you spend thousands of dollars on infertility treatment when there are babies that need to be adopted. You are so selfish.”
If it’s about a celebrity, commenters blame them for waiting too long or being too skinny or just say they’re a terrible person and they should get the picture- they’re not supposed to have children.
Sometimes even on Christian blogs people face condemnation for trying above and beyond to have biological children or going through treatment. “How dare you waste money on treatment when there are children waiting to be adopted! That’s the best option and if you don’t immediately choose it, you’re just voluntarily staying in your suffering.”
You can look anywhere and see it’s a fertile, fertile world.
There’s a stigma to not getting pregnant (What are you doing wrong?) There’s a stigma to getting treatment. (Don’t you think you’re trying too hard? It’ll happen when it’s supposed to happen, you can’t force it.) There’s a stigma to living childfree (Why didn’t you want children?) There’s a stigma to adoption (Didn’t you want your own kids?)
So unless you just wait it out and get pregnant with biological kids on your own, you’re stigmatized.
Because our world values pregnancy and children and parenting so much, when those things are hard to obtain you hear the world whisper “You’re worthless, You can’t bring any good to society, I’d much rather talk to your friend or coworker or sibling who has kids because babies are so fun… I don’t even notice you.”
But YOU can be different. Don’t perpetuate the stigma. Don’t assume everyone can have kids. Don’t assume families are made the same way yours are. Stand up for people who struggle to get pregnant. Educate yourself and others. Don’t ignore that it’s hard to be infertile in this fertile world. Help break the cycle.
To Learn More:
- http://www.resolve.org/infertility101 (About infertility.)
- http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html (About NIAW)