Today marks the beginning of National Infertility Awareness Week, a national movement designed to raise awareness about the disease of infertility and to encourage the public to understand their reproductive health. Many of our adoptive families have endured long struggles with infertility before turning to adoption, so the topic of infertility is one that is near and dear to our hearts.
More than 7 million people of childbearing age in the U.S. experience infertility. Infertility is a very painful struggle. One that is wrapped up in grief and longing. A couple may struggle for years with infertility, and while it is easy for friends and family to advise them to stop treatments or find an alternative way to parent, most couples aren’t willing to let go of their dreams. What these couples need most during this process is your emotional support. We would like to use this opportunity to support all of our families who have struggled or are struggling with infertility, as well as to educate those who have not experienced infertility.
Resolve, the National Infertility Association, has published an Infertility Etiquette Guide for anyone needing advice on how best to support your loved ones. Here is a brief overview of their advice:
- Don’t Tell Them to Relax
- Don’t Minimize the Problem
- Don’t Say There Are Worse Things that Could Happen
- Don’t Say They Aren’t Meant to be Parents
- Don’t Ask Why They Aren’t Trying IVF
- Don’t be Crude
- Don’t Complain About Your Pregnancy
- Don’t Treat Them Like They Are Ignorant
- Don’t Gossip About Your Friend’s Condition
- Don’t Push Adoption (Yet)
- Let Them Know That You Care
- Remember Them on Mother’s Day
- Support Their Decision to Stop Treatments
For those of you looking for ways to raise awareness, Resolve also published a list of 25 ways you can increase public understanding and participate in the movement. For more information on National Infertility Awareness Week, please visit www.resolve.org.