An Alternative to Reversing Sterilization

I began to think recently about the stories I’ve heard about sterilized couples being convicted as to the value of children. Usually (every time, actually, in the stories I’ve heard) the sterilization is successfully reversed and the happy couple goes on to have 5-8 more kids to raise in the fear/nurture/admonition of the Lord.

Now, I don’t want this to sound like a criticism of what they did, but does anybody know how often these couples (with a renewed vision for the value of children) look at their self-inflicted sterility as part of God’s plan?

That is, are there any stories of couples taking Paul’s admonition to “remain as you were” (i.e. his advice about circumcision) when they had their awakening? I am thinking of adoption. Specifically adoption from the American foster system.

As someone who has done foster-care, and who expects to again when it will no longer be a risk to my own children, I feel sad sometimes about the local “lost” children who are forgotten in the clambering for easier over-seas adoption, and families built big at home, rather than taking in needy children.

Again, this is not a criticism of those God has called to other things– I mean, he hasn’t called me to it (yet), and– God help me if he does!– I know how much extra work that is. So I know it’s not for everyone. But I hope and pray that these sterilized couples–

Frequently they are older couples who have a measure of child-rearing experience and so are good foster-parent candidates–

I hope those that have had an awakening to the value of children might consider the value and neediness of “the least of these” who have none but the State to look out for their well-being.

And if the couple feels called for their lives to make a statement about the value of children, it might be a louder statement when spoken with the children who were invisible to others.

And [Jesus] said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.” (Luke 9:48)

9 thoughts on “An Alternative to Reversing Sterilization

  1. In all fairness, I must add that I do know four families in my area who have done this– adopted children and teens out of the foster system after raising their own kids.

    What I think makes me sad is these four are the only I have ever heard of. The only calls to adopt that I have heard (other than locally) are centered exclusively around foreign and abortion-alternate contexts.

    I sincerely hope this is only for “privacy” reasons and not because foster children are as invisible as they seem.

    These are all real needs, so I don’t mean to minimize them, but when seeking God’s will it helps (I believe) to educate ourselves and one option I feel currently under-represented is domestic adoption.

  2. Voddie Baucham and his wife are a great example of this….Mrs. Baucham had a tubal ligation after they had two children, and God changed their hearts about that decision. The sterilization was irreversible in her case, and the Bauchams went on the adopt three kids domestically, and I believe they are planning to adopt more. Voddie’s book “Family Driven Faith” is very good.

    For couples who come to believe they sinned in having a sterilization done, and really believe they need to rectify it by having it reversed, I definitely support their decision to do so.

  3. My mom had a tubal after my second brother. Later, after a sincere return to the faith, she and my father became convicted, and when I was about 14 she got her tubal reversed. But after several miscarriages, I know that my mom was thinking seriously about adoption. My father was against it at that time (I don’t know now – it’s been 10 years), and perhaps for a reason, as my youngest brother was born when I was 18. He is now 9 and a great blessing to my parents, who would otherwise be empty-nesters.

    I personally know a few people who cannot have children who are looking into or in the process of adopting, but I must admit, I only know ONE person who is doing foster care. I agree, it is sad. Some people think the government is there to “handle” them. The real sad thing is that it is NOT these kids fault that their parents were unable to raise them, but I think a lot of people write them off because of their rough life. We can’t have any foster children at this time but I hope that in the future we’ll be able to.

  4. Hi, I am one of those people who has recently been convicted of the value of children. My husband had a vasectomy after our second daughter was born. Witihin the past 2 years I have begun to really regret that decision and we have considered reversal (but because of our ages it may not work, I’m 40 and he’s 43). We have also considered adoption but it is a huge expense. Recently I have been looking at the children on the state adoption website but honestly fear bringing an older child into our home because of the depth of disfunction that could be there due to their upbringing. I know that sounds awful but I don’t know if I would really have what it takes and I don’t want my husband or children to resent me for bringing a problem child into our home. If only there was some way to guarantee a fit. If it were only me to consider I would go for it. I would love to redeem a life with the Lord’s help. I’m one of those children myself.

  5. Thank you for your perspective, Michelle. I was hoping someone like you would comment.

    I share your concerns, as the children we already have are our first priority.

    However, if you are interested in foster-adoption there are children who are less-damaged than others, as well as children whose “damage” has little bearing on the way they treat other children (e.g., those with disabilities).

    Giving an “unwanted” child a new family will always require adjustment, but it doesn’t mean you need to take in the most troubled child available.

    The program my husband and I participated in was focussed on the… more intense kids, that we wouldn’t want around our littles, but I’m sure a good caseworker or adoption advocate could help you find someone that would fit your family when you’re ready to grown again.

    (Or when/if you feel God calling you to grow again, irregardless of being “ready”.)

    God bless you on your journey!

  6. Amy Jane,
    I hear your concerns. As a person with first hand experience with what you spoke of, I can say, I have a different perspective. I think your thoughts on this are wise and good, and well worth considering, but might I suggest coming at another angle? Why does having more children and adopting, have to be mutually exclusive? My husband had a vasectomy when my second born was only 2 weeks old. Years later, we both, separately, came to feel great repentance over that decision. We began to see children in a new light. A biblical light. This drove us to a decision to adopt AND reverse. We have since reversed the vasectomy, and while hoping to conceive, have also done a lot towards adoption. It’s a very very long story, which I cannot write all out right now, but I can say that we had immediately the desire to do both adopt and have more children. The point is not whether you have too many children in your home and if you can have “room” to adopt, or if you are adopting or fostering, then you shouldn’t be having more children. The point is God never excluded us from either one. He said to have children. He gave us the gift to enjoy doing that if we have the right perspective. He also commanded us to take care of the orphans and widows. The two do not cancel each other out. We cannot say,”well I am having children therefore I do not have to care for the orphans.” OR, “I am caring for the orphans I do not have to have any biological children.” OF course there is always an individual calling for every family and that may look different from family to family. But we should all be doing something. We can all help orphanages through our prayer and monetary donations. We can visit them. We can adopt them. We can HAVE children without taking away from orphans. My husband and I have done foster care and we plan to adopt soon, both through the foster system AND overseas. And if the Lord decides to bless us by allowing a child to grow in my womb, I would rejoice with that as well. The point is to love life. All life. The life in the womb and the little lives forgotten and abandoned in this world. And although I agree with your point wholeheartedly, that is not my experience. Most families I know who have had reversals (either tubal or vasectomy) also go on to adopt :) I pray that more families are able to do the same. I have never regretted our decision to reverse our vasectomy, and will always praise God that he led us to that decision and has led us to be an example to others in that area. Thank you for your heart for the fatherless. Thank you for your willingness to think of them.

  7. Wow, Valerie, thank you for your thorough and thoughtful comment. This is an old post to be commenting on– how did you trip over it?

    As to your argument, I completely agree: adoption and childbearing don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

    Also 3+ years further into my parenting (and life) journey from when I wrote this, I must humbly confess that the pity I felt for those families that “opted” for only one or two or three or four children (then “stopped”) has completely dissolved into understanding.

    Who am I do judge another man’s servant? and all that. I have met more challenges in the last three years than I knew to expect or even thought could “bother” me. Since then I’ve looked a great deal more in the mirror than in windows, and perhaps that’s why I haven’t written much on controversial topics recently.

  8. I actually found it while looking for a certain testimony online of someone who had had a vasectomy reversal. Anyhow, Google brought up your blog as an option from my search so I went ahead and read your post on it. I know exactly what you mean about getting further out and looking and seeing that we can often change our perspective on some things when we or someone we know goes through things and makes decisions. Well, were just able to see the humanness of us all and our decisions are so personal and emotional. I appreciate so much your transparency in saying that to me. I truly feel, although some things can be discussed in a loving and biblical matter, I often am reminded by God that I look wayyy too often through windows, rather than my mirror (ouch) Thank you again for that great reminder. Take care.

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