When you are not able to get pregnant (infertility) 83
Creating a family through adoption
Some women with disabilities choose to create families through adoption. A woman
may do this because she or her partner are infertile, or she has a health problem that
prevents her from giving birth. Or she may decide to adopt a child simply because
she believes it is a good way to become a mother and to make a family.
How I became a mother
When I was growing up, like most young girls in the US, I had a dream of
finding a partner and having a family. But unlike most other young girls,
I didn’t believe it would come true. I use a wheelchair to get around, and
I had no role models of women who used wheelchairs as parents. I had
never been encouraged to think it would be possible for me to have my
When I first met my husband, I was sure he was the right partner for
me. He shared my secret dream of making a family through adoption. I
knew there were many children who had lost their first family and were
waiting for a “forever family.” I knew in my heart we could be that family
for the right child.
At first, my parents felt it would be unfair to my husband to “burden
him with all the child care.” They didn’t think I could care for a child.
Although I was nervous, I knew I had figured out how to do many things
that others had said I would never do. I took care of our house, had
my own job, and had cared for friends’ children in the past. I knew my
husband and I could do this!
We had to try several adoption agencies until we found one that
supported our plan to become parents. We realized we couldn’t change
people’s prejudices, so if an adoption agency felt our plan would not work,
we just went to another agency. After we found a supportive agency, we
showed them how well I could parent, rather than what I couldn’t do.
Finally we were matched with a child who met our hopes and dreams.
She was a wheelchair user, just like me. We were worried that the judge
who had to legally approve the adoption might say no because of my
disability. But he saw we were a great match and approved our adoption.
I feel honored to guide my daughter through her growing years, and to
help her become the lovely and competent person she is now.
A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities 2007