One of the more controversial topics in international adoption – along with corruption, breaking birth order, and virtual twinning – is whether prospective adoptive parents should be allowed to choose the gender of the children they are hoping to adopt.  If we lived in a world where the demand for boys and girls were equal, and children of both genders had an equal chance of finding homes quickly, then I guess it’s wouldn’t be a big deal.  The reality, however, is that the demand for girls far exceeds the demand for boys –85% girls to 15% boys.  Not just in ET, but in every international adoption program.  And I’m sure it happens in domestic too if the sex of the baby is known.  The article I linked to speculates that the inequity is because women tend to be the driving force when it comes to adoption, and women naturally tend to want daughters – I suspect that’s true.  I do know that when I started out on this long, windy, long road to becoming a mommy, I personally wanted a daughter.  I always pictured myself with a baby girl – the dresses, the dolls, the cute little hairstyles. 

The thing is, the agency I’m using allows families to choose girls if they have only boy(s) at home or if choosing an older child.  First time parents, like myself, have to be open to either gender or they can always choose a boy.  Their gender policy is a direct consequence of the unequal demand for girls.  The agency’s reasoning is that they are trying to find families for children who need homes, and boys need homes too.  It’s about what the kids need, not what the parents want.  I happen to agree with this underlying philosophy 100%, so I declared myself open to either gender and not-so-secretly kept my fingers crossed for a girl. 

It’s a really good thing I didn’t go with an agency that let me choose a girl, because somewhere along the way I changed my mind.  Lately, I really want a son.  I’ll be thrilled with a child of either gender, don’t get me wrong, but I’m sure lg’s going to a boy.  And I’m happy about it, although I do think it’s pretty funny that I’ve done a complete 180 in the past year and a half.  Unconsciously, I nearly always use masculine pronouns now – he, him – when talking about my future child.  At Toys r us, I naturally gravitate towards boy clothes and train sets.   That kind of snuck up on me out of nowhere.  I think the universe might be trying to tell me something, you know?  I’m also looking quite closely at my agency’s pilot program in Democratic Republic of Congo, where single women are only allowed to adopt girls.  I can’t help thinking that I could adopt a little guy from ET and, maybe in a couple of years, a little girl from the DRC…Hmmm… 

I don’t have a boy name picked out yet.  Right now Solomon’s (“peace”) in the running, and I also like Tegene (“my protector”), Tamirat (“miracle”) and Mehari (“merciful, compassionate”).  I’ll make individual posts soon to talk about each name in more detail, but those are my current faves.