Advice Column: Response to Baby Hungry

Dear Hailey,

My husband and I are unable to have kids, due to medical issues that I have. We have looked into infant adoption, adopting from foster care, and even tried fertility treatments (I knew they wouldn’t work due to the medical issues, but my husband is so desperate for his own child that I agreed to try). I want to move forward into looking at adoption, but every time I start, my husband gets distant and doesn’t really want to be involved in the process.

I know he wants kids, but I don’t know what to do at this point. I’ve tried talking to him about it, but he always just says “we can do whatever you want”. I know he really just wants his own. We cannot afford surrogacy unless we had someone volunteer to help us. I don’t want to dump a ton of money into an adoption program if his heart isn’t in it. What should I do? I am about ready to give up altogether because he won’t work with me on this.

Baby Hungry

Dear Baby Hungry,

Balancing your own needs and emotions with those of your spouse can be excruciatingly difficult. The only way to figure this out is to be direct. Try something like “This process has been really hard for both of us. Adoption is something that we need to both be on board with for it for us to move forward, talk to me about what you are feeling about this.” 

Try to use “I” statements, such as “I feel”, “I need”, etc. This makes the conversation about your experience and emotions, and encourages him to do the same. It’s even ok to choose a time ahead of time when you are both at your best, and set ground rules for this conversation. Remember HALT-(Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired) are emotions that need to be taken care of before a serious conversation can successfully take place. 

Please don’t discount or push down your own emotions and needs in this decision. I’m sure the fertility treatments were expensive as well as hard on you emotionally and physically. If you are done trying, let your husband know. Wanting to move forward with adoption when your husband isn’t completely on board must be heart wrenching and confusing.  

Remember that adopting doesn’t completely rule out the possibility of having your own genetic children in the future by one means or another. Remind your husband of this as you decide if you will move forward with adoption. That is, if you want to keep trying or try to find a surrogate you can afford, (i.e, a family member or close friend). Communicate to him your feelings on this matter. That is absolutely essential. If you are done pursuing fertility treatments or potential surrogacy let him know.

As a counselor myself, I am a huge proponent for counseling. If you and your husband aren’t able to figure this out on your own, then seek the help of a professional marriage counselor. Struggles with fertility are painful, and the insight of an impartial professional can be helpful. 

Good luck in with this discussion, and with your future decisions regarding children.


Posted in Q&A

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.