How to approach adotion with your partner
I would probably start with talking about children in general and what his fantasies were regarding his own children. Most men have a picture of themselves as fathers with a son or daughter that they see themselves interacting with – teaching a son to catch a baseball, etc. These images may invoke grief and loss, but also much needed discussion about hopes, dreams, and personal meanings and purposes for the future.
Instead of trying to convince him of adoption, try hearing him out regarding his own personal emotional journey with infertility. It will take you farther than trying to talk only about "solutions". Having your husband talk with other men who have adopted or going to a presentation on adoption may facilitate greater discussion in your own relationship regarding adoption.
Counselling gets to the real issues
Counselling can be very helpful in facilitating greater discussion and getting to what the real issues may be. As much as we have looked at your husband, the other part to consider is yourself. What is happening for you?
Are you ready?
Could it be that you are trying to "push" adoption in order have a solution to your own infertility? As much as adoption is a wonderful way to have a family, the children of adoption can never take the place of the biological children you could not have. It simply is not fair to the child or to the parents. Only you can know for sure that the reason you are trying to convince him of adoption is not out of the hopelessness of not having your own biological children.
Don't rush it
Some things cannot be rushed and different people have different speeds of processing and working through issues. You do not want to go too fast and build resentment in your relationship because it was not a joint decision. Proceed, but with care and caution. Focus on feelings and meanings not solutions.
Russell Webb is a Marriage and Family Therapist who works for the Tumbler Ridge Assessment and Resource Service. He and his wife Tina, have 2 children through open adoptions. You can reach them through email at [email protected]
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