Infertility can be difficult to talk about. If you are currently struggling to get pregnant, you and your partner may be feeling frustrated about being unable to create the family you want. You may also be feeling isolated if it seems like others around you aren’t experiencing the same challenges that you’ve faced when trying to start a family.
Yet infertility is actually a common problem in the United States – 1 in 8 couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy, and over 10% of women have received infertility services in their lifetime.
If you and your partner have struggled with infertility, you may be considering other ways to start a family and become a parent.
Adoption can be an extremely rewarding way to start a family. Not only for you as parents, but also for the child that you will bring into your home.
But before you can consider adoption, you need to be sure you and your partner are ready.
Be honest with yourself – are you ready to adopt?
Are you ready to not focus on pregnancy?
While you may be sure you want to start a family, you may not have fully let go of the desire to pursue parenthood biologically. If you are currently trying to get pregnant or having fertility treatments, you’re not ready to adopt just yet.
Think through your motivations behind wanting to adopt and consider what your priorities are. Take our questionnaire about infertility and adoption to help you decide if you are ready to consider not trying to get pregnant and to think about your plans for the future.If you're currently trying to get pregnant, you’re not ready to consider adopt #adoption #infertilityClick To Tweet
Make sure you and your partner are on the same page.
If you are considering adoption with your partner, struggling with infertility can put a lot of strain on your relationship. Everyone handles grief differently. While one person may be ready to move onto the adoption process, the other may still be uncertain.
Make sure that you and your partner have an open and honest conversation about what your family expectations are. If both you and your partner aren’t fully committed to this decision to adopt, it could cause complications later on in the adoption process.Both you and your partner must be fully committed to adoption #adoption #infertilityClick To Tweet
Fully commit to all that comes with the adoption process.
Finally, make sure that both you and your partner are fully committed to the adoption process. You may have experienced a lot of anxiety while trying to get pregnant, and the process of adopting a child can bring its own challenges. It’s important to be sure you’re ready to pursue the journey together.
Research and educate yourself on the different options and choices you may as prospective adoptive parents. Contact adoption agencies, speak with social workers and caseworkers, and begin to explore how the process works. Being aware and informed about the adoption process will help you decide whether or not adoption is right for your family considerably easier.Research and educate yourself on the different options and choices you may as prospective adoptive parents #adoptionClick To Tweet
Start the process of accepting infertility.
If you’re struggling with stress over infertility, consider these few ways to work towards overcoming it.
1. Find activities that help you to manage your stress about infertility.
Infertility can be a huge cause of stress for individuals and couples trying to start a family. Try to find activities that help you to manage the anxiety you may be feeling about infertility or the adoption process.
Stress can often cause us to behave erratically, and forget to prioritize the self-care activities that help us the most. Commit to doing activities in your normal routine that relax you, such as creative activities, gardening or exercising.
Other activities that can help you think your journey to parenthood, such as journaling or sharing your journey in other ways, may also help to process your experiences.
2. Reach out to family and friends for support.
Family and friends can be an important source of support while trying to start a family. You don’t have to go through the experiences of either infertility or the adoption process alone.
Educate your family and friends about what you are going through, and have honest conversations about the challenges you have faced. Find individuals who you feel comfortable being truthful with, and let them know what support you need from them. Having a close support network can ease the stress of trying to plan for your future.
3. Remember that it’s okay to get upset.
Overcoming grief about infertility is a process. It’s very common to experience the 5 stages of grief while trying to work through infertility. Overcoming will take time, and while some days you may feel accepting, it’s normal to also feel angry, upset, or frustrated other days.
Allow yourself to feel those emotions, without guilt. Processing infertility is a continuing journey, and there is no correct amount of time it will take to reach acceptance. If you find yourself feeling stressed or emotional, let yourself feel the way you do without stressing about the emotions themselves.
If you find yourself struggling to address these emotions, you may want to consider the help of a professional counselor.
When in doubt, don’t be afraid to seek outside help.
1. Contact an adoption professional or agency to learn about resources available to you.
If you’re currently trying to decide if you are ready to adopt, speaking to an adoption professional can help you learn about the options available to you. Call Adoption STAR toll free at 1-866-691-3300 to get support about infertility and talk about your family’s future.
Additionally, speaking to others who have experience with infertility can help you to feel less isolated. Trained volunteers at RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, can discuss their experiences with infertility and available resources. You can see more information about HelpLine here.
2. Join a support group or online community.
Throughout your struggles with infertility you may be feeling isolated or alone, especially if others around you are getting pregnant and growing their own families. Remember that many couples struggle with infertility and starting a family.
Find an infertility support group either in your area or online to talk to others who are facing similar situations. A quick google search can lead you to hundreds of online forums discussing infertility, as well as peer-led or professionally organized support groups. If you can’t find a support group locally that is right for you, consider starting your own.
You don’t have to be alone in your journey to parenthood. Find a community that you feel comfortable with to support and encourage you on your path to starting a family.
3. Seek counseling.
If still struggling with infertility, seek an infertility counselor or marriage and family counselor. Talking to a professional can help you make the decisions that are right for you and your family.
Ultimately, planning your family is a decision that is up to you and your partner. Know that the choices you make, and the times at which you make them, is completely up to you. Whether you decide to adopt, continue to try getting pregnant, or pursue an alternate course, only you can decide what is right for your family.
How about you?
Was infertility a factor in your journey to adoption? How did you decide to stop pursuing pregnancy and decide to adopt? Do you have any suggestions about overcoming infertility? Let us know. You never know how your story may help help another person!