should i adopt
Fertility

Should I Adopt? | Adoption after Infertility

If you are or have been struggling with infertility you may be thinking that the next step is adoption.  Adoption after infertility, however, is not always the answer.  If you are asking yourself, “Should I adopt?” you should first ask yourself these seven questions. If any of these circumstances apply to you, settle them before you move forward with the adoption process.

These may be difficult questions with difficult answers, but the purpose of this article is to define how seriously the decision to adopt should be taken.  They are intended to make you think and analyze your reasons, intentions, and expectations. 

adoption after infertility

If you’re asking yourself, “Should I adopt?”, first start with the “why”.  Why are you considering starting the  adoption process?

If the answer to this is to “save” a child or do a “good deed” then you may not be ready to adopt.  Adoption is about the child.  It is not about you.  

When people find out that you are prospective adoptive parents or that you have adopted your children, they will say things like:

“Good for you.”

“You guys must be really good people.”

“You’ve done a good thing.”

“Your adopted children are so lucky.”

However, please understand that the truth of it is we are the lucky ones.  We are the ones that are blessed to be a part of their family and have them be a part of ours. So the answer to this question should be to love and support a child unconditionally.  

Adoption doesn’t (or shouldn’t) stop at placement/finalization.  When you adopt a child they still have a biological family and biological identity.  Before adopting, make sure that you are considering all of the questions, emotions, and (especially if it’s an open adoption) relationships that come along with it.

**A great reference for understanding the complexity of adoption is, Raising Adopted Children.  Find your copy here.

Who are you adopting for?

Start by asking yourself, “Who should I adopt for?”.  The only answer to this should be for the child.   If there are outside social pressures leading you towards adoption, you may need to reanalyze. The best way to do this question is to listen to your heart.  If you have reservations, you may want to take some time to think about it some more.

Also, understanding that adoption is not a “fix” for your infertility is highly important. Adoption will not fill the hole in your heart from the grief you hold from your struggle with infertility.  Working through that grief prior to starting the adoption process is necessary.     

Have you processed your infertility?

Struggling with infertility is a roller coaster of emotions.  Infertility is physically, emotionally and physiologically taxing on a person/couple.  You should take the time to process those emotions before you start the adoption process. 

During my struggle with infertility grief I did a lot of counseling.  We did individual counseling as well as couples’ counseling before becoming prospective adoptive parents.  Being vulnerable with my therapists allowed me to work through my grief and eventually accept our infertility. 

However, some of the things that result from struggling with infertility never really go away.  I have since adopted twice and have two beautiful daughters but I will still catch myself thinking about what our biological child would have looked like. However, my reaction to those thoughts has changed immensely.  Now when I find myself thinking things like this they are simply that- thoughts.  I no longer pine to actually see what/who our biological kid would have been.  I am at peace with the direction God has taken my life into.  I truly believe that I have found His purpose for me.

You may not be all the way there when you decide to adopt, but you should at least be well into the process. 

If you were to adopt, would you stop infertility treatment?

Adoption is not a “band-aid”.   An adopted child is NOT A PLACEHOLDER.  If you were to continue with infertility treatment during/after adoption try to think of how this would make your potential adopted child feel. 

If you happened to get pregnant naturally after you adopted would you feel differently about your adopted child?

Obviously, the answer to this should be “no”.  Blood or no blood, your children are your family.

Are you ready to continually educate yourself throughout your adoption path?

If you were not adopted yourself you probably do not understand the potential thoughts and feelings that your child may have.  There are support groups (you can find these through your adoption agency or even on Facebook) that can help you to learn from others who have been adopted/ placed a baby for adoption/ are an adoptive parent.  It is important to understand what to expect and learn how what to do to help your child process their adoption. 

**An amazing reference for helping to understand the mind of an adopted child is, Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self.  Find your copy here.

Are you comfortable with vulnerability?

Through the process of adoption your entire life will be exposed.  If you read my post, The Adoption Process, you know how in depth the process can be.  You must be comfortable displaying your entire past/present and future to the agency.

However, your need to be vulnerable doesn’t stop there.  Adoption unites two families.  Even in a closed adoption the child will still (or should) know they have another family- a biological family.  They will still have questions about them, may want to find/meet them, and may have feelings towards them.  If it is too much for you to share a child’s love with his/her biological family then adoption may not be right for you. 

**A recommended reference for helping you to understand the thoughts of your potential adopted child’s birth mother (family) is, Dear Birthmother.  Get your copy here.

Related Post:

You’re More Than a Birth Mother

In an open adoption you will have to be even more vulnerable.  Open adoption consists of having a relationship with the biological family.  You must be prepared for every emotion, question, thought, and complication that can arise within the relationship throughout the child’s life.

Related Post:

Why I love Open Adoption

I remember before we adopted our oldest daughter thinking that it would kill me the day she gets mad at me and says,

“You’re not my real mom, anyway”. 

However, I have been emotionally preparing myself for this day.  It will still sting just like when any child tells their parent:

“I wish I had a different mom.” Or “I hate you.”

However, I also intend to raise her to know that she has two real moms that love her equally and that she is allowed and encouraged to love equally.  We just happen to play two different roles in her life.





should i adopt

Red head plus size model looking back  in skull designed leggings with moths over skull mouth.

Conclusion:

If you started reading this article because you were wondering, “Should I adopt?” and you were able to read all of these questions and answers with understanding and acceptance then you are probably ready to adopt.  If you were offended or overwhelmed you may need more time to process your infertility before choosing an adoption path.

bri

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