Pregnancy After Adoption

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pregnancy after adoption

Although the majority of adoptive parents do not have a biological child subsequent to an adoption, virtually every new adoptive parent has heard about a person with this experience. It is unknown how many adoptive mothers become pregnant after adopting but probably well less than 10% have biological children after they adopt a child. In many cases, the pregnancy is unplanned because the mother presumed she was infertile.

In an extensive study performed by Michael Bohman, he found 8% of the adoptive parents ultimately had a biological child. According to Bohman, 8% of the infertile couples who had applied to the agency and then withdrew before adopting also later had biological children. Bohman discussed other studies, which indicate postadoptive pregnancies at a rate of about 3% to 10%.

The act of adopting a child cannot erase a woman's or man's infertility problem, and individuals who suggest adoption as a psychological "cure" to infertility are sadly misled. What is likely to happen in those instances is that infertility caused by unknown factors was somehow diminished. Since about 20% of infertile couples have "unexplained infertility" for their diagnosis, this is likely to account for such a phenomenon.

Adoption experts strive to ensure that prospective adoptive parents have resolved as much of their conflicts about infertility as possible prior to adoption so the adopted child will be fully accepted.

With increasing breakthroughs in REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGIES, it may be possible for a greater number of adoptive mothers to successfully bear biological children, should they wish to do so. (See also MIXED FAMILIES; SIBLINGS.)


Michael Bohman, Adopted Children and Their Families (Stockholm, Sweden: Proprius, 1970).

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