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Adoption doesn’t “solve” infertility.

Everyone has their reasons for becoming an adoptive parent. If you’re like many families we’ve worked with over the years, then infertility, adoption fall-through or loss of a pregnancy might be part of your story. If they are, then we encourage you to give yourself permission to grieve.

Adoption doesn’t “solve” infertility or loss of a pregnancy — it solves childlessness and makes you a parent. But it doesn’t erase the grief that comes with losing a biological child or being unable to conceive. Learning to confront and cope with grief is an indispensable part of becoming a healthy parent, adoptive or otherwise.

Grief comes with mixed emotions

There’s no right or wrong way to feel. Emotions are one of the few things that belong only to us — and no one can take them away.

You might feel several emotions at once, or you might feel one emotion very strongly. You might feel:
  • Very sad
  • Depressed
  • Angry
  • Happy to bring home your child
  • Excited to start your family
  • Relieved that you no longer have to jump through hoops
  • Guilty for not feeling a certain way

Remember: all of these feelings are normal. It’s okay to be emotional — you’ve just gone through one of the hardest things you’ve ever done.
How do I cope with those emotions?
Handling your grief

Understanding the stages of grief

It’s been said that there are five stages of grief:
  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance

Don’t think of these stages as a checklist. You’ll move back and forth between them, and your grief will grow with you through life. One day you may be sad beyond belief, and the next you may be angry. For a while you may feel okay and think you’ve reached acceptance, but the next day everything you see may make you want to cry.

Grief isn’t a journey with a clear finish line. Everything you’re feeling is valid and a natural part of the grieving process.
Handling your grief

Being honest with your emotions

Emotions change. Whether they’re good or bad, whether you’ve felt them for a long time or just a little while, they will definitely change. And as they change, it’s so important that you’re honest with yourself about how you’re feeling.

If you need to cry, cry! If you need to yell, yell! And when you need a shoulder to lean on, there’s professional help available.
Grief counseling

Infertility grief counseling

If you’ve just welcomed a baby into your home, you’re probably emotionally and physically exhausted. You’ve got your work cut out for you as a new parent, but you also have some personal work to do over the coming weeks and months as you process the grief of infertility.

We encourage you to seek therapy or counseling from a licensed professional who specializes in infertility and loss. Many of our adoptive families speak highly of The Cabin, a counseling group based in Indiana. Their professionals specialize in infertility grief, and may be able to help you process your feelings and begin the path to healing.