Monday, January 5, 2015

Infertility: Adoption

It is natural to desire children of your own or to have your child naturally, but infertility sometimes times prevents this desire from becoming reality.  Fertility treatments often reverse this otherwise reality in married couples and they become parents.  Still, some married couples receiving fertility treatments do not experience success and remain childless.  These married couples must decide to accept they will not be parents or they will find an alternative to be parents.

For many married couples that alternative is adoption.  Though, adoption may not be an easy decision for some married couples, it often becomes the choice once they realize their desire to be parents is stronger than their desire to be pregnant or have a child of their own. 

Once married couples have gone through the five stages of grief, which are Stage 1: Denial, Stage 2: Anger, Stage 3: Bargaining, Stage 4: Sadness and Stage 5: Acceptance, they are ready to pursue adoption.  This isn’t to say that all married couples will go through the stages in order or repeat any stages.  It is also normal for each spouse to experience these stages separate from one another and at different times and degrees.

Both husband and wife should be at the acceptance stage before they move forward with the adoption process.  It is possible and likely that both spouses will not be on the same page at the same time.  For example, the husband may need a little more time to warm up to the idea when the wife is ready or vice versa.  If one spouse is for adoption and the other is against or has their doubts about it, then a conflict may result in the marriage.  This is why it is important that both husband and wife have open conversations regarding adoption.  It will definitely do more harm to a marriage to pursue the adoption process if one spouse feels pressured to move forward on this path.  In these cases time, love, and prayer are the best medicine.

Once married couples are ready to expand their family through adoption they should prepare themselves for the challenges of the adoption process.

Let me reassure you that YOU can love a non-biological child as much as a biological child.  A common question that people ask themselves concerning adoption is “Will I love my adopted child as much as I would my biological child?”  It may not be easy to imagine, but yes you will!  Love grows from attachment and bonding.  You become attached and bond with your children as you care for them.  You develop an attachment and bond with your baby each time you hold, kiss, feed, change, rock, and bathe them.  If you still doubt, then ask adoptive couples how they feel about their adopted child.  You are certain to confirm the same message.

You may experience doubts along the way as you transition toward parenthood.  My advice to you, like with anything that you don’t feel ready for, is practice faith and search out the answers that will extinguish these doubts.

Come up with an adoption budget.  Even with adoption tax credits adopting a child can be expensive. Deciding with your spouse how much you are willing to spend on the adoption process is a must to avoid financial problems from disrupting your marriage.

Tell your family and friends about your joint decision to adopt.  This type of word of mouth sometimes can create adoption leads and opportunities.  Enjoy the congratulations from family and friends as you share your good news, together.

            Agree on what type of adoption, including: Domestic adoption, International adoption, Foster care adoption, Private adoption, and Independent adoption.   Depending on your family budget you may be more in favor of one over another, since costs can range from $1,000 to $50,000 for these types of adoptions.  Up until recently I had always thought about adopting an infant from a third world country, but after looking at the average prices to adopt I am now thinking about doing a foster adoption instead.  Also, consider the age of the child you both are willing to adopt as you choose the type of adoption to pursue; the ages of the available children may differ according to the type of adoption.

Together with your spouse choose an agency to pursue the adoption with.  It is best to research different agencies and decide on one rather than use multiple agencies.  This can save married couples a huge amount of stress in the long run.

Decide together with your spouse whether or not you want a closed or open adoption.  Each offers its own benefits and drawbacks.  A closed adoption allows for privacy, but doesn’t make it easy for an adult adopted child to contact their birth parents.  An open adoption allows the sharing of birth parent health information. It also allows birth parents the opportunity to either visit or get pictures and letters about their child, so that they still are in some small way involved in their child’s life; this could be a good or bad thing depending on perspectives of what crossing the boundaries is.  Both spouses need to feel comfortable with the type of adoption they pursue.

            Gaining approval to adopt is quite the process.  Married couples should find out about any guidelines that they should follow prior to starting the process.  Both husbands and wives need to be prepared for the lack of privacy they will experience along the way.  They should also take into account the amount of time and effort they will spend on required paperwork, home visits, fingerprints, and background checks.

            Focus on the family you wish to have as you continue the adoption process.  It will be trying at times, but if you ask couples who’ve already adopted you will find that they feel their adopted child was worth it. 

Most importantly keep the faith during the adoption process, trusting that someday you will hold your future family member in your arms.


-Together with your spouse, please watch the video on ‘Choosing Adoption’ from the following webpage:

By Tawnya