Infertility is a widespread struggle in America. It may be more common than you imagine — one out of eight couples face it each year. But that probably doesn’t address your feeling appropriately. Solidarity is nice, but it doesn’t solve the problem when you are in the midst of it.
Moving on from infertility is a personal process of healing. It’s unique to each individual. Even within a relationship, you and your partner may need a different amount of time to recover. Through the healing process, most couples still never lose sight of their dream to become parents. Eventually, when you’re feeling ready, it’s common to being researching alternative family-building options.
Perhaps this search has led you to adoption. Adoption can be an amazing way to start a family. If you’re new to the subject, there’s a lot to learn. There are agencies and laws and home studies and types of adoption to understand. Before getting to those important subjects, you and your partner need to answer one important question: Are we ready to move on from infertility to adoption?
Only you will know the true answer. We want to help you find it.
Based on many years of experience, here are four questions to ask yourself that will help you determine whether or not you are ready to move on from the pain of infertility and begin the adoption process.
Have you honestly processed the pain of infertility?
Embracing pain is hard. It’s easier to hide it somewhere deep inside of you and pretend that things are alright. But that’s not how you heal from a diagnosis of infertility. This diagnosis takes the ability to have biological children away from you. For many people, that’s a crushing blow. Moving on quickly can feel easier than dealing with how this makes you feel. But moving on quickly without processing the pain will come back to bite you in the long run.
Many couples find counseling to be very helpful in this situation. Others may not need a counselor, but still need time to be honest about how they feel. If you’ve only recently received your diagnosis of infertility, we would encourage you to not rush to other family-building methods. Have you taken the time you really need to process this life-changing news?
Do you think of adoption as a second-best alternative to having children biologically?
Adoption doesn’t have to come first chronologically, but it does need to be of equal value. Adoption isn’t most couple’s first idea, and that’s fine. However, it shouldn’t be seen as a lesser-than alternative to biological children.
How do you see adoption? Can you embrace it as an equally valid way to have children, or does it seem like a fallback option? Don’t be disingenuous with your partner about these questions. It’s better to be honest upfront — even if your honesty may make you feel bad — than to start a life-changing process with serious reservations.
Are your finances stable enough for the adoption process and the following cost of raising a child?
There are deeply personal emotional aspects of healing from infertility to consider. There are also logistical problems that we have to think about. If you have attempted IVF treatments or other medical response to infertility, you likely invested quite a bit of money into attempts at having a child biologically. This frustrating reality only adds to the pain.
Is your financial life stable and ready to take on another significant investment? The cost associated with the adoption process can be too much for some families. You don’t have to be rich to adopt, but you do need to be prepared.
Financial pressure is one of the most common sources of anxiety in America. As you heal from your struggle with infertility and prepare for an emotional journey with adoption, the last thing you need is an additional point of stress in your life. Getting your finances in order before adopting makes a big difference in the way you experience the process.
Are you excited about your future when you imagine adoption?
What’s your gut reaction to the thought of holding your adopted child for the first time? Listen to your instincts. If you don’t feel hopeful, your subconscious may be trying to tell you that it’s not time to move on yet.
It’s okay to have concerns. You can feel nervous and even a little scared. That’s completely normal. But if there’s not a spark of hope and excitement when you think about adoption, it may not be time to start the process.
When it comes to this feeling, it’s important that both partners are on the same page. We’ve seen how hard it can be on a relationship when one partner is charging ahead with the other begrudgingly following along. You both need to feel some excitement about your future when you think about adoption. Otherwise, the adoption process can turn into another family-building attempt that causes pain.
Next Steps for Adoption
Take your time to ponder these questions. Talk with your partner. Be open and honest with each other. If you decide you are both ready to pursue starting a family through adoption, then congratulations. Adoption is beautiful. The process may be long and challenging, but it is always worth it.
You can contact us at any time about adopting a baby. We would love to connect you with a knowledgeable and helpful adoption professional.