Why Girls?

04 Aug

Growing up and being around people from all walks of life who started families everyone seemed to want to have a boy to carry on the family name.  Of course they wanted girls too, but seemed to all prefer to have a boy first and if they had a girl instead, immediately started planning for when to get pregnant to try for a boy.

Since I have become immersed within this world called adoption, that concept has tilted upside down and MOST seem to want to have girls.  Now I completely understand why that happens in China so no one needs to explain that aspect.  But is the desire for girls in adoption a direct reflection on carrying on the family name?  That boys have now become ‘less than’ a worthy goal to attain simply because the dna doesn’t match and the line won’t be true anymore?

I think it is about the continuation of the family name for a lot of people.  I just wish when that is their truth, they would stop the glorified excuses and be real about it.  What is wrong with the truth?


Posted by on August 4, 2011 in Adoption, biological child



17 responses to “Why Girls?

  1. declassifiedadoptee

    August 4, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    My 2 cents? Yes. This is the reasoning, perhaps even subconscious, of why many PAPs and APs adopted/want to adopt a girl.

    Research on Donor Conception has stated that there is more desire on behalf of the female partner to have a child than the male partner, who has a higher likelihood of being content to remain childless. Research, as per Baran and Panor, has shown that men are more likely to go ahead with DC because their female partners desire to do so and are more likely to desire to concieve a girl. This has been stated to be due to the fact that there is less anxiety from men about having a girl because she will not be passing on the family name with the “wrong genes.”

    Research on adoption has shown that in heterosexual couples, it is the same. Men are more likely to be content to remain childless and in many cases they agree to adoption because of the desire their female partner has to be a parent. The research I have read says that the desire for a specific gender therefore may come from the female partner’s preferences, assuming that women who adopt are more likely to want to adopt a girl.

    But I believe it is the same with DC. While the female partner may want a girl, it is perhaps (even subconsiously) something the male partner is more comfortable with because the daughter will not be passing on the family name with the “wrong” genes.


  2. The adopted ones

    August 4, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Thanks Amanda – it just seems to be obviously the opposite. Adoption is different so why the need to pretend it is the same? Why not just be real?


  3. sundayk

    August 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    That is a really interesting point…I had never thought of it like that. I assumed it was because girls *seem* easier to raise to some people.


  4. Jan

    August 4, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Excuse me? Dundayk, obviously the people you refer to have not reared a girl! My daughter was a pain in the you-know-what! But she’s made up for it in the past 5 years, so I forgave her!

    Actually, I can understand the DNA argument, from the genealogy point of view. But I always thought the point of adoption was to have a family. I guess I missed the boat entirely on that one! And now, it makes sense to me why my parents adopted me and my sister after they had their son. More therapy for me!

    And I, too, wonder why honesty about this issue seemed not to be the best policy. I think when the truth is followed, less people get hurt.


    • The adopted ones

      August 4, 2011 at 10:29 pm

      Jan – Girls can be a royal pain – so get you there. The genealogy is a factor in the family line continuing so it seems like a logical reason – not a bad thing really – just be real about it is my take.


  5. Jan

    August 4, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Sorry, Sundayk. My typing leaves much to be desired!


  6. Dannie

    August 4, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    I don’t have a good answer…..honestly I was way more prepared for a boy than a girl…..because of my job I know there tend to be more boys than girls in foster care…..and that also is because many people specify “girl” only.


  7. cb

    August 4, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    I always got the impression that it was because one tends to think of girl children as being better behaved than boy children and when it is a stranger’s child, then the possibility of a girl “bad seed” seems “better” than a boy “bad seed”. Perhaps also because one thinks of girls as more likely to be “home bodies” and more likely to be “loyal” in later years than boys. That sounds sexist, I know – it is not how I feel myself but I do get that impression from my mum that we girls are/were more likely to be helping her out than the boys. To be fair, there are 2 of each in our family, so there didn’t seem to be more of a plan to have one than the other. Also, a lot of women want a girl they can go shopping with and dress up etc (not all of course) or may even feel they would relate to a girl better. I have to admit that if I ever decided to foster a child, I would prefer a girl (perhaps around 8), not sure why exactly. I suppose it might be because when I worked as a nanny, the younger girl is the one I got along best with.


  8. graceling

    August 4, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Personally, when I became pregnant, I wanted (and was so excited) that I had a girl! What would I do with a boy? I knew nothing about boys, nor did I think it would be “fun” to parent one.

    When I adopted, I was single, and felt that a boy needs a dad. And again, what on earth do I know about raising boys? I wanted a girl because as a single mom, it made sense. My kids could share a room, share clothes, go into the same bathroom as me, etc…

    After I remarried, when I became pregnant, I *kind of* wanted a boy… I feel like my eldest is my “mini-me”- she is JUST like me in personality and looks. I wanted a “mini-hubby”.” My husband didn’t seem to care either way, especially after some health scares. He just wanted a healthy baby and a healthy mom. We didn’t find out the gender because it just wasn’t important. We had a boy, and we were both excited that we wouldn’t have 3 teen girls at the same time. And my son ended up looking just like me… with my husband’s temperament. We are expecting again and since the kids will be so close in age, I kind of want a boy since I am already prepared for a boy (clothes, toys, etc). I think my hub wants a girl- but mostly he says he doesn’t care as long as it’s healthy. And I do believe him. He’s a horrible liar.

    I have long believed that in adoption, people want girls because they think they will be “easier.” And because they believe issues like RAD, developmental issues, etc are less likely in girls and easier to treat/manage. I don’t think that is statistically true, but there are a lot of misconceptions out there. But I can agree that there may be a genetic component to men “agreeing” to adoption of girls over boys…


    • The adopted ones

      August 4, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      Gracelings – being single puts a totally different context into the discussion and the reasoning makes sense.

      As to thinking girls would be easier to deal with re issues – I can speak from experience…they are in for a big surprise, I wasn’t an angel by any means but my sister had issues and it was bad…

      I actually think girls would be much harder and there is more to worry about especially during the search for identity years…so much worse…


      • Dannie

        August 4, 2011 at 11:34 pm

        where’s the “like” button 🙂 oh wait, there is one, but I think I have to register on wordpress or something…lol

        I was a “good girl” but gave my mom attitude and made her cry as as teen and young 20s. I expect nothing less when my darling perfect daughter is a teen and young adult. 🙂

        The thing about girls is that they are the feeling, relational type for the most part. They are just different than boys!


  9. veggiemom

    August 7, 2011 at 1:59 am

    When I was married, I assumed I would have children via pregnancy. I desperately wanted girls because my ex and I disagreed so strongly on circumcision. If we had girls, we’d never have to work it out. I got used to the idea of girls so when I started my first adoption after my divorce, I really wanted a girl. My goal in adopting two children is that they will be good friends (I’m an only child and I hate it…I want my kids to have someone besides me.) I always felt that it would be easier if they were the same gender. I know this doesn’t always work but I have hoped that they would have more in common and therefore be closer as they grow into adults. With the preference for girls in adoption, I do feel guilty about wanting and adopting two girls. Any future child I would adopt would also be a girl (as far as I know) because the only other child I would adopt at this point would be a bio-sibling of Violet’s and the only one still with family is a girl. I’m hoping she will never be relinquished though.


    • The adopted ones

      August 7, 2011 at 1:43 pm

      Veggiemom – I have read the circ debates. It honestly never crossed my mind when my son was born because dad had told me it usually only became a health problem when men were old and “senile” and it could be done then if necessary. I could not imagine doing it to a baby or in cases of international when they come home. BTW: I am assuming your husband was for for the similarity thing?

      Also – I do get the sister thing and agree. Perhaps it is different now but I think the other comments apply regarding the males and adoption – that makes sense.


  10. American Mamacita

    August 7, 2011 at 3:01 am

    Oh it’s totally the “girls are easier” thing. (Don’t you know boys will burn your house down around you while you sleep?!) Actually, I don’t know what that’s about – except that people are thinking of LITTLE girls, who sit still and color a little better than their male peers, on average, and not adolescent/young adult/ adult women who then have their own opinions and feelings and thoughts.

    People forget that people are people, even when they’re small. And that they grow up to become adults. There is no “easier” in adoption – it means taking on extra considerations (as the AP) and preparing yourself for however your growing/grown kids feel and think about their stories.

    I wouldn’t change having two boys… but I’m sure I’d feel the same way if they were girls, too.


    • The adopted ones

      August 7, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      Of course you would feel the same way. Welcome – your comments should post automatically now unless WP glitches.


  11. Raven

    August 7, 2011 at 6:24 am

    Betty Jean Lifton addressed this issue in one of her books that was published over 25 years ago. I can’t remember which one of her books talks about it, though. She concluded that many adoptive parents want girls rather than boys simply because boys carry on the family surname, while girls usually get married and change their names.

    I think a lot of PAPs would deny this dynamic, even if it means they’re lying to themselves. It’s something to consider, though.


    • The adopted ones

      August 7, 2011 at 1:48 pm

      Raven, perhaps it is also the extended family’s feelings that impact them subconsciously as well? The acceptance of girls that don’t change the dna in the family name continuation – comments made by family do impact people even when they don’t realize it, after it makes no difference but the befores…



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