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Adoption Blog: My Paperwork Pregnancies

Anticipation. Anger. Fear. Joy.
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Ending infertility treatments and entering the world of adoption is overwhelming for many couples who feel they’re starting over again at square one. After years of mastering infertility vocabulary and treatments, terms like “dossier” and “interstate compact” mean nothing. The learning curve is steep - with plenty of frustration and confusion right off the bat.

Despite an initial overwhelmed feeling, most couples begin the adoption process excited. They know adoption has a 100% success rate if they stick with it. No infertility doctor ever gave them those odds.

They are equally excited that both partners can have equal duties in the adoption process. With infertility, the woman bears the brunt of most treatments. With adoption, both partners can fill out paperwork, prepare for a homestudy, engage in interviews, etc. - and many couples find a subsequent reduction in stress.

No longer are couples tied down to infertility doctor appointments. Together, they control decisions about their child’s heritage, health issues, age, and other factors that would not be addressed during infertility treatments.

Most infertile couples I know say that they feel like “themselves” again after deciding on adoption. They begin viewing the world in a more positive light. The cloud of despair that can descend during infertility lifts during the adoption process because you are back in control of your own life.

Conflicting Emotions
Most hopeful couples begin the adoption process eager and anxious to create a profile for birth parents to view. At the same time, they may feel anger and resentment at being judged by someone who, they assume, easily got pregnant. They are excited to travel to a new country and embrace its people and customs, yet they’re still bitter about relinquishing the dream of giving birth—easier and cheaper—right at home.

I struggled greatly with these feelings but worried that if I told anyone they would think I didn’t really want to adopt. I now know that I shouldn’t have felt embarrassed or ashamed because these emotions are perfectly normal. Reading books, such as Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother by Jana Wolff, helped me feel less guilty about these conflicting emotions.

No matter what a couple feels during the adoption process, it always leads to one overwhelming feeling of joy once they hold that child in their arms. This is what every infertile couple longs for. That joy will overshadow all the negative emotions leading up to it. To reach this joy, I remind couples to trust in the knowledge that they WILL be parents. All of their hard work will pay off in the end.

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Meet the Author

Danielle Pennel

Danielle Pennel


I have recently adopted or am adopting from...
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Newborn

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