Costs of Adoption: Increased Secondary Infertility Rates Infographic

Risks to birthmothers


According to multiple studies, women who relinquish a child to adoption are forty to sixty percent more likely to experience secondary infertility that other mothers.

As a group, they also experience higher than average rates of:

  • Anxiety disorder
  • Chronic depression
  • Dissociation
  • On-going, unresolved grief (no closure)
  • PTSD
  • Panic disorders
  • Self esteem problems
  • Severe trust issues
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Suicide thoughts

Adoption agencies, facilitators, and counselors are not required to disclose this information to expectant mothers considering adoption – so of course, they don’t.

Does that sound like helping people make INFORMED decisions to YOU?

Claud’s Notes: Research Into Secondary Infertility Among Birthmothers

There are three studies that I know regarding secondary infertility but finding them is actually quite a challenge:

The most recent one was in 2010 and was published in the journal Psychoanalytic Inquiry and conducted/written by Isabel Andrews titled “Secondary Infertility and Birth Mothers.” (Andrews, I. (2010). Secondary infertility and birth mothers. Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 30(1), 80-93.).)

A good break down of the study was done by Amanda on Declassified Adoptee:

  • Of original mothers who attend support groups40-60% had not had other children.
  • 3-20% of the randomly selected group of first mothers had not gone on to have more children.
  • 23% of original mothers who searched for their surrendered descendants have not had other children.

There is one report in 1991 by L. H. Stiffler that came in with 36% of birth mothers do not go on to having other children; but that single phrase is all that I have from it: “Parent-child synchronicities during years of separation by adoption: Anomalous connecting information in histories of union/loss/reunion. Doctoral dissertation, Oxford Graduate School (USA), Dayton, TN. (University Microfilms No. LD-02254)

An older one by E. Deykin Ph.D. in 1982 “The post adoption experience of surrendering parents”. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry where I have seen the reports that secondary infertility are 170% higher than the general population.

I would actually LOVE to get my hands on all three of these research reports on secondary infertility among birthmothers, but I have been unsuccessful to date. I can say that the anecdotal evidence from mothers I know also supports it.

Some mothers do remain child free by choice.. the feeling that having another pregnancy would be too traumatic or somehow a betrayal or they were unworthy of mothering once, so they cannot repeat it. For others, it seems too often be an unknown origin, though likely subconscious variations of the same themes.

There are actually MANY ways that our subsequent parenting is altered and those ramifications of relinquishment will NOT be found on any adoption agency websites that I have ever found nor discussed in “adoption counseling” given by any agency.



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About the Author

Kate Dahlquist
Kate is an amazing human being who lives in North Carolina with her equally amazing husband Shawn and family. She has lost two children to the corrupt adoption industry. She is known for her kind spirit, her incredible photography and an orphaned squirrel named Fergie. And her incredible Adoption Info Graphics Collection which she has been kind enough to share here. Hail to the Kate!

4 Comments on "Costs of Adoption: Increased Secondary Infertility Rates Infographic"

  1. And these statistics don’t even touch those of us that had secondary infertility and had to use some kind of intervention to conceive and then continue the pregnancy that resulted in a living child. I have two children, but only after five years of miscarriages not being able to conceive at all.

  2. Claud,
    I have a pdf of the first article. I am working on getting the other two, but am on hold with my uni library, and will try again tomorrow. let me know if you want me to send you the pdf

  3. My first mother had no other living children (she had premature twins) – I can’t imagine how she would have felt. According to the rest of my first family, she seems to have a very kind person and her friends say she had a bit of a “mother hen” type of personality. Sadly, she passed away before she was 40.
    It is actually surprising how many people I know who have had at least one first parent pass away at a young ager. My older siblings (twins) mother died in her late 20s/early 30s, apparently from an overdose. My younger sibling’s father died at sea in his early 20s. Another friend’s mother died from kidney failure caused by Bex Powders. Those are just some of the stories and one wonders what hidden tales lies behind them.

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