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Reluctant Family

Husband wants to adopt, I don't think I do

I’ll keep this as short as possible: 34 yr old, husband and I have been married for 4.5 years, we have a 2 year old son.  We’ve been ttc for a year, recently found out he has low sperm count and motility.  We are in the middle of IUI treatments to conceive.  I have my heart set on having another child.  I’ve never considered adoption an option, and before he and I got married, we agreed that adoption wasn’t going to be an option for us both.  Now he’s changed his mind.  He has tried to push for me to consider it, but I’m super reluctant.  I worked with foster children for 2 years, and know a couple of different people and families that fostered and adopted.  We talked about private adoption, but it is expensive.  What I don’t understand is that I had to convince my husband to do fertility treatments because they were expensive, but he’s wanting to adopt?  I know it’s being negative, but I keep coming up with all of these scenarios with negative outcomes.  I think I’m being realistic, he thinks I’m only thinking negatively.  I asked him why he’s changed his mind and now wants to adopt, he says it’s because he’s gotten older, he loves our son, and is ready to love another child.  MY problem is, I don’t THINK I could love a child as much, if they weren’t biologically mine.  I’d favor my son over the other child, and it would cause problems in the future for a multitude of reasons.  I want to be open to this for my husbands sake, but I just can’t get behind it emotionally.  Any suggestions at all?  Help?


Based on what you have written, if you were honest, you would not be approved to adopt.  Focus on your bio son and tell your husband you want only bio children.  If your son is an only, that is perfectly fine.  Good luck.

Posted by mamallama on Dec 27, 2015 at 2:50am

Don’t do it just to please your husband. Adoption is a long and difficult process even for people who want to do it, if your hearts not in it it’s probably not going to happen, and would be disastrous for the child if it did. There are a lot of happy endings in adoption, maybe you will hear stories that will truly change how you feel.  But if you don’t, that’s ok, just don’t try to force it.

Posted by rn4kidz on Dec 27, 2015 at 4:07am

Also, have you considered using donor sperm?

Posted by rn4kidz on Dec 27, 2015 at 4:09am

Donor sperm wasn’t considered, because, - and again, I’m being completely honest here - it weirds me out to raise a child that yes, is biologically half of me, but half someone else’s, not my husband’s.  I’d rather spend the money on IVF because it’s less expensive than adoption, but I could barely get my husband to agree to a couple thousand dollars of IUI treatments.  I’ve always been of the mindset (even before my son was considered and then conceived)  that if something is meant to be, with a little perseverance and hard work, it will happen.  We agreed to only attempt a few cycles of fertility treatments before we’d call it quits.  I’d be happy with just my son if we weren’t to fall pregnant again.  I would love nothing more than to grow our family, but as you guys see and have commented, I’d be forcing it and that’s bad all around for all parties involved.

Posted by sgc1981 on Dec 27, 2015 at 4:29am

Hopefully the iuis with your dh work!  If not, enjoy your son.  It is wonderful to grow up with siblings, but sometimes it is not in the cards.

Posted by mamallama on Dec 27, 2015 at 4:35am

Con’t worry about adoption. With your current mindset, you will not be approved. To get through the adoption process it has to be something that you really want.

Posted by Annab on Dec 27, 2015 at 2:41pm

I’d agree with all the other posters, feeling as you do that it is not right for your family (or a child) now.  You both are actually quite young and have many more years ahead of you that you could adopt if your heart changes.

Though you said you had 2 years experience with foster children,you might look into becoming involved with local programs Child and Family Services offer in a non- working relationship, or Big Brothers Big Sisters, or one of the visiting programs like Kid Save for older children (needing families) being hosted from other countries. This way you can be involved, meet and help with events with the children with no commitment or pressure to adopt. Just be very clear from day one with any org that you are not interested in adopting, but would like to be involved in some way. If you change your mind and decide you do want to adopt, it’s no problem, and if not…you still will be providing a loving experience for children.

Also a few other thoughts…think of how much you love your best childhood friend, or your college roommate, or your husband…and yet none are related to you by birth. This is not to try and convince you at all, because it is not the easy road of having children, but just another way to think about it. Also sometimes with any child adopted or biological, there is a close bond, and sometimes not - so no guarantees your second child will be as close even if biological.

Have you ever had someone introduce you to a person they thought would be perfect for you, and though they are nice, there is no connection there? When it comes down to it, it is about following your heart.

Posted by Happy Camper on Dec 27, 2015 at 5:36pm

Happy Camper,
I believe you are trying to be positive and helpful. I really dn’t think this woman really wants to have anything to do with any of this.

Posted by Annab on Dec 28, 2015 at 12:23am


quite possibly true.  Coming to this site is a help to clarify feelings - even if they are that one does NOT want something!

Posted by Happy Camper on Dec 28, 2015 at 12:31am

Happy Camper,
I sincerely believe that adoption is no for everyone.

Posted by Annab on Dec 28, 2015 at 12:29pm

I believe that it would be a dangerous to adopt when both husband and wife are not desiring to adopt. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not wanting to adopt or foster children. As someone else has already commented, adoption isn’t for everyone - and that’s okay! There are plenty of ways that people can support foster/adoptive families without actually taking a child into your home.

Knowing what I know now, I think that my wife would resent me every time our family had to deal with a behavior caused by trauma when she didn’t want to adopt in the first place.

Posted by darren_fink on Dec 28, 2015 at 4:33pm

The first thing that comes to my mind is the child. Let’s say that you push yourself to adopt for the sake of your husband, that little one would grow up feeling unwanted. Abandonment emotions from biological parents are hard enough for kids to deal with and then to add not feeling equally loved with his or her siblings would be an enormous amount of pain.

My husband and I have two daughters that we adopted privately at birth and are in the middle of our third. Our girls have painful and confusing feelings concerning their adoptions (ages 8 and 9) and they know that they are 100% wanted, cherished and loved. All this said, I wouldn’t move forward with an adoption unless you have a change of heart. I wish you the best as you and your husband sort through this. Blessings!

Posted by Pacificnwartist on Dec 29, 2015 at 7:37am

I agree with all above, that it would not be good to adopt with your current mindset. But, I did want to point out that being resistant to adoption can be a temporary state. Personally, I ttc forever, iui’s, ivf etc.. During those years if people mentioned adoption to me it would make me upset. I wanted to put my energy into ttc, I wasn’t ready to consider adoption. In hindsight, as none of my ttc methods worked, I realize I wasted a lot of time and money on ttc, and wish I’d looked into adoption sooner. However, at the time I simply wasn’t ready.

If you truly do step away from your iuis and other ttc metods, you may find yourself more open to adoption. Also, as you do some research into it, you may become optimistic about.

I went from someone who cringed every time adoption was suggested to someone who thinks adoption is a beautiful thing. The love I feel for my (adopted and only) child is unlike any love I’ve ever experienced. The fact that I didn’t make her, makes her presence in my life that much more miraculous. We really shouldn’t be together, but we are. It’s amazing. 

Now, you have a child already. And doubt you could love an sdopted child as much. I think you will read (if you choose to research adoption) that adoptive parents who also have biological children end up loving them equally. Maybe those people are lying (I doubt it.) I can tell you for a fact that my good friend who had a baby after adopting (after years of infertility) does not love her bio kid more than her adopted one. In general, I think parents always wonder if they can love the second as much as the first (whether bio or not) and they usually find enough love for all their children.

Good luck, whatever you decide. smile

Posted by wannabe on Dec 29, 2015 at 9:12am

I wanted to chime in a bit because I do fall into the category of having a biological child and an adopted child.  My biological son is 7 and our daughter is 8 months.  I can tell you that, at least for me, there is no difference in how I love them.  I don’t look at her as our “adopted daughter” or an outsider in our family - she is part of us. I actually have to remind myself sometimes to talk to her about her adoption. She is just as much a part of our family as is our son.

That being said, both my husband and I very much wanted to adopt.  I never really even had a question about whether I could love an adopted child - in my mind, it didn’t matter whether we shared a bloodline or not.  If that truly does matter to you and you do not want to adopt, you shouldn’t.  Doing it just because your husband wants you to is asking for a miserable life for all of you (especially the child) and could lead to marital problems in the future.  It isn’t good for anyone for you to adopt because someone else wants you to and not because you truly want to yourself.

Good luck, though.  As wannabe mentioned, it is completely possible that you may change your mind, and if so, THEN would be the time to pursue it.  But you shouldn’t until you are sure that’s what both of you want.

Posted by bamabelle1982 on Dec 29, 2015 at 4:29pm

By sharing your feelings and seeking advice from others on this site, I see that you are a thoughtful person who seeks to make good, healthy choices.

I totally agree that you should not be pressured into adoption if it is not something you want to do. Your feelings may change, or they may not. It is very similar to personal feelings about having children at all. For over 30 years, I did not want children and did not plan on having any, and I always resented those who told me I would change my mind. My life journey is uniquely my own, as is yours. Only you will know when or if adoption is the right choice for you, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer to what you should do or how you “should” feel. Clearly, while you are reluctant to consider adoption, it would not be good for you or the child or your marriage to do it anyway. Equally clearly, you have the God-given right to continue growing and reconsidering your options in the future, which may or may not mean “changing your mind.”

For me, adoption has been a beautiful choice, surprisingly for someone who once never wanted children. I have three beautiful daughters, now ranging in age from 10 to 18. But that is just me. It isn’t for everyone, any more than my career choice, hobbies, or marital decision would be right for someone else. We are all unique.

Good luck to you, and God bless you.

Posted by Francie on Jan 04, 2016 at 5:08pm

Francie, I love your answer!

To the OP, my advice is to have a calm, heartfelt, honest and open talk with your husband so that you can understand why he wants you to consider adoption.  I am not saying that because I think you should adopt, I am saying that because you and your husband are at a crossroads:  the way things stand now, you cannot both have what you want.  When you have a decision like that in your marriage, you owe it to the other person to understand his perspective, just as he owes it to you to understand yours.  Maybe you will both feel the same after that, but at least you will come to your decision from a place of understanding.

Posted by jszmom on Jan 05, 2016 at 7:15pm

Francie and jsz, i think that you both are spot on!

I remember my friend’s husband was totally unwilling to think about adoption.  Then he met our dd, saw us with her and had a heart to heart with my dh.  Now they have two beautiful kids they adopted.  You really never know where your heart will lead you over time.  But it is totally better NOT to adopt if you are not wanting to than to do so to appease someone else.

Posted by mamallama on Jan 05, 2016 at 9:22pm

If your heart is not into it don’t. Adopting children come with a lot of tears. At least mine has, from what my now two boys had to go through before coming to us but what we as a family go through now that the boys are 6 and 8. We have had them for almost 4 years now. as far as not loving them the same, you do grow to love them as your bio-children. There are time when someone will make a comment on how tall or whatever and I will totally forget they are not bio-related to me and answer as if they were. We don’t tend to bring up the adoption anymore because our boys want nothing to do with it. Therefore they are ours just like if they were born to us. Go with your heart, maybe when your son is a little older you will want a change, feel the need to give some other child a good home. Good luck.

Posted by Tanja on Jan 13, 2016 at 6:15pm

My situation is quite the opposite to yours: I want to adopt a baby whereas my husband doesn’t. Not exactly he is 100% against adopting, but he is VERY hesitant about it. The difference is that we do not have our biological children and have been facing infertility problem for already more than 5 years. I think it’s everyone’s personal decision. Ok, like others mentioned: if you don’t think this is the best choice for you, just say NO. This is a very delicate decision that has to be MUTUAL. Similarly, I do not press on my dh making him give his consent to an adoption. This has to be his OWN decision. Perhaps, he needs more time to figure out. As for you, I think you have to try assisted reproductive technology first. There are also pros and cons as to this, but … you know, time will show. Best luck to everyone who wants to have a child.

Posted by Helga18 on Jan 21, 2016 at 11:21am

Hi everyone, a very interesting thread. I would also like to add a few comments. Unfortunately, spouse doesn’t always come to a mutual decision as to adoption. This is quite an intimate thing to figure out for each partner. No one has to be forced to agree for adoption. As for me, I think that only in case a child is really wanted in the family, parents should apply for adoption. If there is certain hesitation even of one of you, just put it off. Think of it later. Take a time out.

Posted by DavidF on Jan 21, 2016 at 12:07pm

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