Infertility to Adoption – How to Choose Your Path

by | Jun 29, 2022 | Adoptive Families Blog

Young couple spend time outdoors with baby boy after they turned from infertility to adoptionIf you’re struggling with infertility, you’re not alone. Statistics show that one in eight couples in the U.S. struggle with infertility. There are many reasons couples have trouble conceiving and many different options to treat infertility. Unfortunately, these treatments are not always successful. In addition, the emotional and financial strain can become overwhelming. So, what can you do when you have been through several treatments and have not realized your dream of getting pregnant and having a baby? How do you know when the time has come to stop fertility treatments and consider other options? The journey from infertility to adoption is a path that many hopeful parents choose. Read on for tips on how to determine if it’s the right path for you.

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Take a Break

Your first step may be to take a break from treatments. Take some time to reevaluate your situation. When you are in the day-to-day routine of treatments and waiting for results, it can be easy to be so involved in the process that you lose sight of the ultimate purpose.
 
A pause in your treatments can give you some space to connect with your partner. You might try and take a look at your situation from the outside. This break in treatments may lead you to consider other options, or it may reinforce and reinvigorate your commitment to the treatments.
 
As you take your break, try and look at your journey as if you are a stranger listening to your story. Sometimes it can be hard to see things clearly when you are embroiled in the battle. Fertility treatment can cause emotions to run high. The ups and downs, the doctor visits, and sometimes hormone treatments can be emotionally and physically exhausting.
 

Have a Heart-to-Heart

During your break from treatments, sit down and have some earnest and honest discussions with your partner. Find out if you are on the same page and, if not, where you both really stand on the issue. Infertility can take a toll on a marriage, but honest communication and understanding can reverse the effect. Some issues to consider are:

  • Are the treatments causing a financial strain?
  • Are you feeling overwhelmed?
  • Do you think your enthusiasm is lessening?
  • Are you physically exhausted?
  • Are you beginning to feel tension or a disconnect with your partner?

Consider Seeking Help

If you find discussing these issues difficult, or you and your partner are on very different pages, consider talking with a counselor. Infertility is a very emotional subject, and having a third party to help navigate the discussions needed can be very helpful.
 
This break can also be an excellent time to take a good hard look at what your ultimate goal really is and what is most important to you. The purpose of fertility treatments is to have a child and become parents. The path to parenthood can take many different routes, and infertility treatments are just one of those routes.
 

Ending Fertility Treatments

Every couple is unique, so only you and your partner can answer the question, “Should we continue with treatments or consider our other options?”
 
If you decide that continuing with treatments is not the right choice for you, you need to be prepared to face the emotions that that decision creates. There is a grieving process that will take place. You may go through feelings of sadness, anger, maybe even relief.
 
Ending this journey without meeting the goal you were hoping for is emotional and complex. You and your partner may have similar feelings at the same time, or you may be at different stages. Work hard to be kind and understanding with your partner.
 
Once you feel you have come to terms with your decision, your next step will be to plan your path forward. You may decide that you want to change your priorities and consider a future with just the two of you. You can schedule some travel or focus on your careers, whatever goals you feel will bring you happiness. If you still dream of parenthood, then you do have options.
 

Should We Adopt?

Adoption is an excellent avenue to becoming parents. But before you move from infertility to adoption, you want to make sure you have dealt with any feelings of disappointment from your experience with infertility.
 
Adoption should not feel like a last resort. Instead, it needs to be a journey you and your partner are excited about and committed to, for the benefit of your future child. Of course, no parent ever wants their child to feel like they’re a consolation prize or second-best to a biological child. However, if you still have grief surrounding infertility, your child will notice. Many adult adoptees have shared how their parents unconsciously made them feel “second-best” since they couldn’t move on from their grief.
 
Domestic Adoption
Once you have decided on adoption, you have three choices: domestic adoption, international adoption, or foster care. Lifetime specializes in domestic adoption, which generally involves adopting a newborn or child up to the age of six.
 
Open adoption is the most common type of domestic adoption. With open adoption, the birth parents choose the adoptive parents for their baby. They review profiles and speak with adoptive couples, and then make their choice.
 
After the adoption, there is often some type of contact, from sharing pictures and providing updates on the child to annual visits. What the post-adoption contact looks like is agreed upon by the birth parents and the adoptive parents. To get started with domestic adoption, you can fill out our free application online today.
 
International Adoption
International adoption involves adopting a child from a foreign country. In this case, you will want to work with an international adoption agency specializing in adoptions from the country from which you are interested in adopting. Every country has its own laws and regulations that adoptive families must follow.
 
Adoption from Foster Care
The other option is adopting from foster care, also known as “foster-to-adopt.” Foster care often involves older children or children with special needs, so this may not be the best method for couple hoping to adopt a baby.
 
Before you can adopt a child from foster care, their parents’ rights have been terminated. This allows the child to be eligible for adoption.
 

Is Moving from Infertility to Adoption Right for Us?

Each type of adoption comes with requirements, laws, and costs. Take the time to explore your options so you can choose which type of adoption you feel will be the best way to grow your family.
 
Make sure to do some research before you choose which path is right for you and your spouse. There are some great books, such as Adopting After Infertility, and speaking with a counselor can help you work through your thoughts and feelings.
 
If you have questions about domestic adoption, give us a call at 727-493-0933 and speak with a Lifetime adoption coordinator that can answer all of your questions.

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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on October 21, 2021, and has since been updated. 

Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.
Written by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.

Founder of Lifetime Adoption, adoptive mom, adoption expert, and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P).

Since 1986, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.

“Many years ago, I was also searching for a child to adopt. We didn’t know where or how to get started. Through research, determination, and a prayer, our dream of a family became reality. I started with a plan, a notebook, assistance from a caring adoption consultant and a lot of hard work; this was my family I was building. We had a few heartaches along the way, but the pain of not having children was worse!

Within weeks we had three different birth mothers choose us. We were overwhelmed and delighted. Many unsettling events would take place before our adoption would be finalized, many months later. Little did I know that God was training and aligning me for the adoption work I now do today. It is my goal to share with our families the methods and plans which succeed and do not succeed. I believe adoption should be affordable and can be a wonderful “pregnancy” for the adoptive couple.

I have also been on both sides of infertility with the loss of seven pregnancies and then conceiving by new technology, giving birth to a healthy daughter. I have experienced first-hand the emotional pain of infertility and believe my experience allows me to serve your needs better.

It is my hope that for you, the prospective parents, your desire for a child will be fulfilled soon.”

Read More About Mardie Caldwell

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