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Parenting After Infertility

4 Things You Should Know

Bringing your child home, however they come to your family, will be a day worthy of celebration. There are few joys greater than becoming a parent and you deserve to relish every second of your happiness.

But, like most things in life, the path to parenting after infertility isn’t always an easy one. Couples who have struggled with infertility work so hard toward finally becoming parents. And through alternative family-building methods, when you finally hold your baby for the first time, it will feel like the biggest triumph of your life.

There may be some ups and downs along the way. You’ll be dealing with the typical challenges any new parent faces. But, you might also find that your infertility struggles affect your parenting in unexpected ways. This guide will help prepare you for parenting after infertility.

You can get free information now about infertility support groups and more when you call 1-800-ADOPTION today and speak with an adoption specialist.

4 Must-Knows for Parenting after Infertility

Parenting after infertility and adoption can be the most rewarding experience of a lifetime, but it can also catch you off-guard if you don’t know what to expect when you bring your baby home.

In the midst of your adoption process (or another family-building journey), it can be easy to get so caught up in the logistics such as the:

  • Paperwork

  • Home studies

  • Phone calls with your adoption specialist

  • Meetings with your adoption attorney

  • And more

So, here are four tips for parenting after infertility to help you feel more prepared:

1. Expect Complicated Emotions with Parenting after Infertility

Infertility comes with many complex emotions, such as:

  • Grief

  • Sadness

  • Anger

  • Frustration

  • Disappointment

When you’ve spent months or years longing to become a parent, it’s natural to assume that all those feelings will simply disappear when you finally meet your child for the first time. But that’s not necessarily the case. Those past emotions can resurface from time to time, and take the form of post-adoption depression.

Just as some biological parents experience postpartum depression when they welcome a new baby, it’s possible for adoptive parents to face confusing feelings of sadness and anxiety in the beginning stages of parenting after infertility. It’s normal to face some stress as you adjust to your life as a new parent, and factors can contribute to the “baby blues,” such as:

  • Lack of sleep

  • Unrealistic expectations of parenthood

  • Lack of community support

  • Feelings of sadness for your child’s birth parents

If these feelings persist, or if you begin showing signs of post-adoption depression, contact your doctor or a mental health professional right away for help. 

2. Allow Time to Transition

When it’s time for the first meeting with your child, it can be easy to imagine a perfect interaction full of emotion and instantaneous connection — after all, this is what you’ve been waiting and preparing for.

But, this magical moment may not happen. While some parents do feel an immediate bond with their baby, not all do. This is true whether you become a parent biologically or through alternative family-building methods.

If you find that you’re not bonding with your baby as quickly as you anticipated, that’s okay. It doesn’t make you a bad parent, and it doesn’t mean you don’t love your child. Sometimes it just takes a little time for you both to get to know one another, and there are plenty of things you can do to build a strong, unbreakable bond with your child.

There’s no such thing as a perfect parent, and it’s not fair to hold yourself (or your child) to that standard you may have set in your mind. You’re only human. Be patient with yourself.

3. Plan for a Financial Recovery Period

When you choose parenting after infertility, it generally means you’ve been through a long, challenging journey. A process that likely involved a significant financial investment. It’s no secret that infertility treatments, surrogacy and adoption can all be expensive, and bringing your baby home doesn’t mean your finances will bounce back overnight.

As you budget for your family-building process, make sure you are also financially preparing for the costs of parenting.

In their desire to become parents, some couples dedicate every penny they have toward fertility treatments or other family-building processes. This is understandable, but you should also think about how you will pay off those expenses while providing for a new child. Babies come with many expenses, such as:

  • Diapers

  • Medical care

  • Childcare

  • Food

  • And more

Parenting after infertility can be especially expensive. Consider speaking with a financial advisor to create a plan for affording your family-building and parenting expenses.

4. Cherish Every Moment

It’s true that parenting after infertility might come with some unique challenges — but as nearly every person who has been through it will tell you, it’s well worth it. In fact, studies show that parents who have struggled with infertility may show their children:

  • Greater warmth

  • More emotional involvement

  • More interaction

  • Less stress overall 

So, when those old feelings of infertility grief reemerge or you feel like you’re falling short of being a “perfect” parent, take a step back and try to enjoy the moment. Think about how far you’ve come, and know that you are doing just fine.

***

In many ways, your experience with parenting after infertility will be no different than any other parenting experience. You’ll likely have many shared experiences with any other parent, such as:

  • The same goals

  • Hopes and desires

  • Struggles

  • Joys

  • And more

But, if you find yourself struggling with the transition from infertility to parenting, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. An infertility counselor or support group can guide you through any concerns you might be having.

To learn more about how American Adoptions can help you move from infertility to becoming parents through adoption, you can get more free information online or when you call 1-800-ADOPTION now.

Disclaimer
Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do we need to retain our own attorney?

No, American Adoptions has established relationships with some of the best adoption attorneys in the nation. Because adoption laws vary from state to state and between counties, it is important to utilize the services of an adoption attorney who specializes in the state where the adoption will finalize, which is unknown until you match with an expectant mother. You have the right to retain your own attorney, but doing so may be an additional, unnecessary expense.

Can we choose the gender of our baby?

American Adoptions does not allow gender specificity in adoption. Any family who wishes to be gender-specific in their adoption should contact us at 1-800-ADOPTION and ask about the possibility of an exception waiver before taking any other steps toward adoption with our agency. Any families who do receive an exception to be gender-specific may also incur an additional fee, which helps cover the additional advertising costs of such a request.

Please note that gender specificity will likely increase your wait time significantly.

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