I’m going to write this post in two sittings. This is the first sitting, where I write down all my knowledge and thoughts on circumcision before doing any research.
This is what I think I know:
There is cutting involved.
I don’t remember mine, so I assumed the boy won’t remember if we do it.
These are the adoption related notes:
For the first 72 hours (or whichever point the birthparents sign the paperwork), we have no official say in the matter.
Birthparents can have him circumcised without our consent as they will still be the boy’s legal guardians.
We have a solid relationship with our birthparents, and birthmother would likely go with any decision that we made.
These are the things I don’t know:
Why do we circumcise?
What percentage of boys born in this country gets circumcised?
What does the role of religion fill in this decision?
What are the benefits of circumcision?
What are the negatives?
What is the value of a small piece of skin?
Will I see pictures that I don’t want to see while researching this topic?
You can probably move that last question from unknowns to facts, and the answer most assuredly will be yes.
Ok, I’m back. The decision is so…unclear. Usually in moments like this, like a great leader, I defer to my wife.
“What do you think we should…”
“No no no, nice try! I don’t have one so this is all on you!”
Here’s what my research has turned up, and by research I mean the internet (always the most reliable source.) Many people find the procedure to be barbaric, due to the pain and irrevicability of the procedure. The medical reasons for the procedure are few. Urinary Tract Infections are 1 in 1000 for circumcised, while 1 in 100 for non. STDs are more prevalent in non-circumcised, but this concern can be reduced by teaching the boy proper sexual behavior (let’s worry about that one later). However, the procedure itself can have minor complications as well.
About 60% of American men are being circumcised now (worldwide the number is lower). That percentage is dropping. The American Pediatric Association does not necessarily recommend, but does not discourage the procedure. Basically, many of the nurses and doctors I’ve read say the same thing. Either way is fine.
I’m not making the decision to avoid pain now if it is in his best interest. However, I don’t know if the medical is worth it. What if you could cut the tip of your pinky to lower your chance of contracting an STD and getting a UTI? What if you could just practice safe sex and proper hygiene and achieve the same results?
Well, whatever we decide, we’ll be right and wrong. I lean towards no right now, but I’ve had 33 years of experience with the other way with no issues. In some ways I wish that the choice wasn’t ours, but when we met with our birth mother recently she said she would do what we wanted.
You don’t get to be a parent without making the tough choices.