the gravity of infertility

I recently had a conversation with two friends of mine (who happen to be infertile) about why others cannot seem to grasp the gravity of infertility. Many people in the infertile world often compare infertility to cancer because everyone seems to be able to empathize with cancer patients, however very few are able to empathize with infertility patients.

People seem to think it's ok to jokingly offer an infertile person their children. This is not appropriate. "Oh you can't have kids? ha ha ha, you can have mine! ha ha ha." This is neither appropriate nor funny to someone suffering from infertility.

People would never dream of joking with a breast cancer patient by offering them a boob. Not appropriate, not funny.

But people continue to offer us their kids, and I continue to respond by saying "I'll take them."

My friend recently said:
I was thinking of other examples [besides cancer].... Like dismemberment, loss of a child (which clearly relates). As for empathy, I think people see childbearing as a right or something only for those so approved... I have been told many times that this shows I should not have kids because there is clearly something wrong with me. People see infertilies as second class, so there is no need to empathize.

My other friend said:
Would you tell a person with lymphoma that God didn't mean for him to live long and he should just accept it?

We think not, so why, why, WHY is it ok to tell infertiles that they weren't meant to have children, weren't meant to be parents, that things have worked out for the best?


When we use cancer as an example (and I am not alone in this), we are not trying to belittle cancer patients, we are trying to raise awareness of infertility and it's gravity in order to help others understand.


  1. Very well said. I will be referring people to this post in the future!

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  3. Interesting post.

    Along with infertility, I have been diagnosed with skin cancer three times. I hate in the summertime when I am out at the pool (or elsewhere) and people joke about how pale white my skin is.

    But, I also am in the infertility group and hate when people say things about our lack of children (and don't have a clue about our long and painful journey that has costed us so much $$$).

    Honestly, the infertility hurts more than the cancer. If someone makes a joke about my white skin, I have no problem quickly saying back something to the sort of: "...I am cancer free and that makes my skin beautiful.". But with infertility, the responses don't come as quick or easy.

  4. Madison - As I moderate my comments, you may post it here and I can either post it or delete it as needed. Thanks!

    KT - I am so sorry you are dealing with a double dose sweetie.

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  6. Have you looked at helpusadopt.org? They help with funding.

    And the jokes about "take ours"? Hurtful.

    I'm thinking of you.

  7. Libby, we have applied for that grant twice. But keep the tips coming!!!

  8. Hi, Ive just somehow stumbled across your blog. What you say is so true and so so hurtful. I wish people weren't so ignorant at times.