Discussing Adoption

Home Echo Discussions Module 2 Discussion Discussing Adoption

  • This topic has 4 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated by BryanneCollini.
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    I was appreciative of the fact that the social worker brought up adoption as an option for fertility. Our NP often does the fertility talk and is sure to offer this to patients as well. However, many patients have been initially put off by this suggestion as it feels as if the real issue is being glossed over for them (i.e. there is a loss of their own biological children) and they can find it difficult to approach that in the moment. For partners the same issue can apply. What have been other’s experience around this, regardless of gender?


    As someone who has experienced infertility, due to a chronic blood disorder, the bringing up of adoption can tend to be a sting.  Of course people know that adoption could be an option.  But if you were just learning that you might be infertile or deal with infertility, you are already processing that. Adoption is also an option that MAY not be an option for everyone, it costs money, and health things get considered heavily.  And if you are in a relationship with a girlfriend or boyfriend, it can just seem like something you can’t even consider.  I just don’t think, in this first conversation, where this patient doesn’t even know what his risk of infertility status is, that it’s the right time to bring up multiple options.  In the video, it seemed like he was processing things, and didn’t even really know where to begin.


    My experience with several patients, mostly female, is that the idea of adoption is very upsetting. Patients have relayed to me that friends and family reassure them with, “Well, you can always adopt!” which feels invalidating to their loss or potential loss of fertility. Patients have also expressed the idea that they “should” be okay with adoption and that they feel a sense of guilt for desiring a biological child, as if they are being selfish. I’m not sure what the best approach is, because adoption is an important option, but it seems important to be aware that may feel invalidating or especially distressing for a patient. Starting by gathering more information about the patients’ concerns, what they already know about options, etc. may help with how best to approach.


    I really like the thoughts expressed on this post. I think adoption should always be considered as an option and I had no issue with how she brought up all the options together. However, I think that people are spot on in saying there wasn’t enough time spent on the grief and loss of fertility.


    I also am someone who has dealt with infertility, and I agree with those above that bringing up adoption isn’t always the best idea at the start.  Most people, innately, want to have their own biological children.  I think it is one of the reasons infertility is so difficult, because our very nature wants this.  This patient is so young, and really needs time to sort through how this makes him feel, how it affects his self esteem, and even discuss further the anger he may have that no one told him.  It almost feels like that was quickly listened to, and then solutions were offered, but he needed more time to process this for himself.

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