It was a personal decision for me. I’d researched quite a bit about it over the past few years with the debates that rage for and against, and come to the conclusion that unless our pediatrician were to give us a medical reason they absolutely needed to perform it due to health issues, I wouldn’t do it.
Sam and I initially went back and forth on this. He felt like it was a rite of passage for his sons, that even not medically necessary, it was still something men did. As we talked and I began to (gently) show him more evidence to the contrary, he changed his mind. We agreed not to circumcise our sons.
We had our sons at 20 weeks, so it never happened. But when we decided on adoption, and the high likelihood we’ll be referred a boy from South Korea, we discussed it again.
Once more, we came to the same conclusion. If our son was uncircumcised when we adopted him, we would never do it. (He will be – our agency let us know all male Korean babies come home uncircumcised.) It’s a personal choice, we don’t judge anyone who chose to circumcise because they have their own decisions and thoughts on it. Most of the time, we find that couples did not make the decision lightly. I do not take the extreme view on it as others have, but for our family, it’s not something we’ll do.
Here are a few of our thoughts on why we won’t be circumcising our sons. The reasons tend to be a bit different when it’s about an adopted child compared to a biological one.
He’s Been Through Enough Trauma 1 of 8I can't imagine bringing home a little boy who's lost his family, his country, the only identity he knows, the foster family that cared for him, and everything familiar -- and then goes through circumcision while learning to attach to us.
Teaching Good Hygiene is Essential for all Body Parts 2 of 8This is the number one reason we are given when someone tells us we should circumcise our son. Hygiene. However, I plan on finding a pediatrician that is knowledgable and supports our stance on circumcision, and teaching our son the correct way to keep himself clean.
For more on circumcision and hygiene, check out this article on Psychology Today
South Korean Babies Usually Aren’t Circumcised 3 of 8We want our child to keep as much of his or her culture with them as we can provide. The only reason South Korea started circumcising, and mostly on older children and men, was due to the Western influence after the Korean War. Our agency told us our child will not be circumcised -- none of the boys are.
For more about circumcision around the world check out this study from the World Health Organization
He Isn’t Going to Look Like Daddy 4 of 8Our adopted son won't look like us -- he'd be Korean. And that's perfectly OK, since it also ceases the argument about having a son look like their father "down there." He won't anywhere else -- so why start somewhere that isn't going to be public?
We Practice Attachment Parenting 5 of 8Sam and I use the methods of attachment parenting in helping to raise our children. This kind of parenting is crucial with S. Korean children as they are a very high-touch culture. Of course, you can still practice this and have circumcised sons, it's just part of our belief that with our form of parenting includes choosing not to circumcise.
For more on attachment parenting, check out this article on Babble
Our Son will be Older 6 of 8We aren't adopting an infant. Our child will be anywhere from 12-24 months when we bring him home, and while I wouldn't do it on an infant anyway, thinking about circumcising a toddler makes me and Sam cringe.
We Don’t Own His Body 7 of 8We may be raising him. He may be ours. I may make decisions for him like schooling, food, and when he gets to date, but his body altering isn't something I feel is my choice to make without a major medical reason. However, if he wants to do it when he's older we'll support him 100%.
Military Insurance Won’t Pay for it 8 of 8I called and asked Tricare if they would cover an adopted child being circumcised. The answer was a very firm no -- unless medically necessary. Which would be our only reason for having it done anyway.
For more about military insurance, visit Tricare.mil
How do YOU feel about this topic? What are your thoughts on circumcising an older, adopted child?
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