Sir: Polly Toynbee produced a well-reasoned statement in favour of intercountry adoption. It is a shame, therefore, that she uses the cliche of describing infertile couples as "desperate". The lengthy and thorough process of obtaining approval for intercountry adoption ensures that such couples have come to terms with their infertility, have been fully informed of the issues relating to adopting a child from another cultural background and have been evaluated for their ability to meet the challenges of a transracial family. Consequently, the decision to build a family by intercountry adoption is never a spur-of-the-moment one made by desperate people. "Determined", yes; "desperate", no.