adoption triggers conception?

A repeated old wives tale with plenty of FOAF corroboration: an infertile couple finally resorts to adoption, and a few months later get pregnant.

Has there been a scientific look into this?

I don’t know the answer but my sister tried for six years before deciding to adopt. She was pregnant within the year.

You never hear about all the couples who adopt and don’t get pregnant.

Let’s not forget that a tremendous amount of people who adopt do it as a first option, not something they resort to. My wife and I have adopted twice as first options and she has gotten pregnant during neither adoption because of birth control. In fact, I think if someone is pursuing adoption seriously, they shouldn’t be open to pregnancy unless they are allowed to adopt and have a biological kid simultaneously.

The conception rate among couples who adopt is the same as for those who give up fertility treatment and go on to have a spontaneous pregnancy - 5%. Adopting doesn’t increase your chances of falling pregnant.

The same thing happened with my cousin – after years of unsuccessful attempts, they adopted, and immediately got pregnant.

I’ve also heard of this, but I don’t think it’s because of adoption. I’ve heard of cases where couples gave up and stopped trying, then became pregnant, so I think it’s stress related.

This is completely ignorant, and it’s something infertile couples have to hear all too often. It’s a combination of blame the victim and magical thinking. Most people dealing with infertility haven’t stressed themselves into that state and are pretty unlikely to be feeling relaxed in the face of giving up ever having a child.

As I said above, 5% fall pregnant after giving up on fertility treatments or moving on to adoption. If someone told you their cancer was 5% survivable, would you think they were probably going to make it?

Do you have an issue with:

  1. couples having a baby after giving up trying
  2. saying problems conceiving are stress related?

Infertile couples hear from just about everyone that if they stressing about it, then it would happen. For 95% of them that’s untrue, and it’s not helpful to hear. My ex had a birth defect that was causing our problem - people with his problem actually have a .2% chance of conceiving in five years. That didn’t stop every other damn person we met lecturing us about how we just needed to “relax” and “stop stressing”. It was infuriating, pointless advice and one of the things that drove me most crazy about it is that * we did not start out being stressed!* We had the lowest-possible-key approach to trying to conceive right from the start. We didn’t even speak to a doctor until 12 months had passed, we didn’t start to stress until we’d been trying 2 and a half years and our stress levels maxxed out right around the time we were told there was no possible way we’d ever have a baby without medical intervention. That’s when we finally opened up to people about it, and that’s when all the stupid, ignorant lectures on giving up medical help and trusting fate started.

After we split up, I had two successful pregnancies - one was an accident that happened during the single most stressful period of my life, one happened on the first try. He still has no children and never will unless he goes down the oh-so-stressful IVF or adoption route. Stress was not a factor, and the patronising lectures from people who blamed us for our own problems were not helpful.

Resolve, the infertility organization, says that “Studies reveal that the rate for achieving pregnancy after adopting is the same as for those who do not adopt.” The page does not cite to those studies, but perhaps more research can dig them up.

AFAIK, there’s no evidence linking stress and infertility.

Yeah, the whole “stress” thing and infertility is a pretty persistent meme, without much good scientific evidence to support it.

Should fertilization treatment start with reducing stress?
Campagne DM
Hum Reprod. 2006;21(7):1651.

Well, I know the singular of “data” is not “anecdote”, but here’s our story, and the thread where it all began.

My wife went through long, expensive and difficult fertility treatments, and in the end, she was never able to get pregnant.

We adopted our son almost 9 years ago- and as soon as we did, it seemed as if EVERYBODY we knew told us, “Watch, she’ll get pregnant now.”

It didn’t happen, as I knew it wouldn’t. But we were bombarded with second and third-hand anecdotes about friends of friends who had babies naturally after adopting.

Does it happen? Of course. Does it happen “all the time”? No, not at all. It certainly hasn’t happened to any of the dozens of adoptive parents I know personally.

Your quote does not match your statement?

Have you been able to adopt yet?

My wife and I wanted to adopt and completed a course required by our state (MA) this past January. She did not want to give birth and also believed she could possibly have trouble conceiving, though there was no real confirmation of this. Both of us generally just wanted to adopt seeing no reason to bring a new baby into the world when there were plenty of kids who needed a stable home.

A week or so after we finished the course she got pregnant (from the one time we had unprotected sex in the past year!). Needless to say, adoption plans are on hold! :slight_smile:

I agree with you that it is not common, but it did happen to the one couple I know well who adopted due to infertility* as opposed to other reasons. The wife became pregnant during the adoption process and the family wound up with three new children in under 6 months. It hasn’t been all smooth sailing but everyone is hanging in there.

*mother had a malformed uterus, was told she could not carry a pregnancy to survivable age. Take that, doctors!

The quotes refer to stress in infertility treatment situations, that is having the patient undergo hormonal supplementation, egg harvestation, embryo implantation, etc. Not basic infertility situations.

Ok on another note, isn’t it accepted that stress can cause irregular periods? Does that affect fertility?