Adopting After Infertility

Adoption & Beyond’s Steffany Aye recently wrote a guest blog post for Complementary Care Group, an organization that offers counseling to help individuals, groups, and couples improve their lives. You can read the original post on the Complementary Care Group’s site.

Adoption after infertility: boy hugs parentsFor most couples, infertility is the reason why they turn to adoption to build their family. However, before a family makes the jump from infertility into adoption, it is extremely important that they have properly grieved their infertility and said good-bye to the perfect biological child who in their dreams would have had all the prefect qualities. A child who comes into a family through adoption cannot fill the void that infertility has left; the child can only fulfill their dreams of raising a child.

Most couples who experience infertility go through a series of stages in their grief and loss journey. Please note these stages are not static, couples will commonly move between stages and back.

Stage One – Denial
Couples at first will typically deny the fact that they are infertile.

Stage Two – Anger
Couples during this stage are angry at each other, angry at themselves, angry at doctors and angry at others who do not understand.

Stage Three – Depression
Couples usually find this stage the most difficult, because society does not recognize infertility as a life crisis and often couples feel isolated, which can deepen their depression.

Stage Four – Acceptance
Couples having accepted the fact that they are infertile, have a greater ability to fully embrace and bond with their child.

The two best ways for families to grieve their infertility and to move past it and into acceptance:

  1. Seek help from a therapist who specializes in infertility counseling.
  2. Time, just giving oneself time to heal from the loss.

Families who have properly grieved their infertility and have moved from their desire of becoming pregnant and to their desire of becoming a parent, are ready to move onto embracing parenthood, no matter how their child joins their family.

Steffany A. Aye, LSCSW, LCSW
Founder, Executive Director, Clinical Social Worker and Adoptive Mom
Adoption & Beyond