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Adoption Blog: My Paperwork Pregnancies

The Five Stages of Adoption Emotion
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Most couples who experience infertility will consider adoption somewhere along their journey. They may view it as a realistic option, or they may not want to accept it was their only option someday, or they may rule it out all together.

If a couple moves from infertility to choosing adoption—no matter how joyfully—they may still face some unpleasant feelings. These emotions are a normal step in the adoption process. In my experience, the emotional progression for a couple grappling with infertility often begins with anger, then failure, then grief, and finally hopelessness—then comes faith, and the decision adopt a child.

Acceptance of Feelings
Anger may stem from the lost time and money invested in infertility treatments. Some couples spend a good portion of their savings on treatment and, unfortunately, adoption can be expensive.

Feelings of failure may accompany the realization that you’re unable to create a biological child. This leads some couples to feel they’ve disappointed their relatives because the family blood line will not continue. Many do not realize that relatives are usually happy for them to begin pursuing adoption and put an end to emotionally painful infertility treatments.

Grief sometimes accompanies the move from infertility to adoption, particularly for the woman who yearns to experience a physical pregnancy. For a woman who’s been wishing to feel a life grow within her, it’s not always easy to accept the end of that dream. An expanding belly is an outward sign to the world that you are pregnant. People talk to you about your symptoms, plan baby showers, and discuss options for your delivery. The positive attention a pregnant woman receives is something that the woman ending infertility treatment may never experience.

Due to misconceptions about adoption, a couple deciding to adopt may feel that all hope is lost. They may fear the adoption process because they haven’t yet learned the facts. News stories about adoptive parents losing their children or overly dramatic Lifetime movies an paint a bleak picture of the adoption process.

Get Off My Shoulders!
There is one very large, overpowering, positive feeling that most all infertile couples experience once they decide to adopt. It will overshadow the negative feelings described above. Once infertility treatments stop, most couples feel a HUGE weight has lifted off of their shoulders. For the first time, in possibly years, they are free from the stress associated with the infertility world.

In my personal experience, this was the first time in a long time that I started to feel like myself again. No longer was I tied to doctor’s appointments and a medication routine. I began to allow myself to enjoy life, my marriage and myself. I knew at this point that I definitely was going to become a Mom, and adoption was a sure way to do it.

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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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