A Reluctant Spouse or Grandparents
Where to Start for
Information on Dealing with a Reluctant Spouse or
- Check out the following Creating a Family radio shows:
- Other Creating a Family Resources:
Back to Top
for a Reluctant Spouse or Grandparents
- When Friends Ask About Adoption: Question & Answer
Guide for Non-Adoptive Parents and Other Caring Adults by
Linda Bothun. A reader on Creating a Family's Facebook Support
Group writes: "It is a good book with answers to common
questions such as Do you love her 'like your own'?, How much did
you pay for him?, etc. It is a short book, so if you pass it on,
there is a good chance the other person will actually read it. It
can be used by family members, friends, teachers and other people
who come into contact with your child. It also gives them ideas on
what to answer if your child asks them something about (their)
- Adoption is a Family Affair!: What Relatives and Friends
Must Know by Patricia Irwin Johnston
- Adopting: Sound Choices, Strong Families by Patricia
- Related by Adoption: A Handbook for Grandparents and Other
Relatives by Hedi Argent (UK focused when it comes to
describing the process)
Back to Top
- When One Spouse is Reluctant to Adopt:
First of all, you should know that it is
very common for one spouse to be more reluctant to adopt a
child. In fact, most couples I talk with acknowledge that
especially at the beginning one of them was more enthusiastic about
the idea of adoption. Sometimes the wife is more
hesitant to adopt, but more commonly, it is the husband that is
worried about adoption. Easy answers don't
exist, but try these suggestions.
- Keep talking. Talk about what each of
your hopes and dreams are from parenting in general.
- If the reluctant partner feels that
this is all you talk about, agree to a set time each week to talk
about this subject.
- Really listen to your partner's
concerns rather than planning your rebuttal.
Seek to understand more than
- Try to understand why your partner is
hesitant to adopt. Don't assume you
know. He or she could be thinking any of the
- Can I love a child that is not
- Can we afford to adopt?
- Do I want to be a parent at all,
especially if it's not going to happen the old fashioned
- Am I ready to stop infertility
treatments and give up all hope of having a birth
- Will I feel like a failure if I
can't biologically have a child?
- Am I too old to become a
- Do I have the time or do I want to
devote the time to being a parent?
- How will my parents or older children
- What type of medical or emotional
problems may this child have?
- We already have birth children, why
- As strange as this may seem, share your
own fears about adopting. You know you have
them. The relationship dynamics of some couples
is to balance each other out. Your partner may
feel freer to see the positives to adoption if she/he doesn't
feel that they must keep pointing out the
- Let him or her know that you want to
start getting educated on adoption and ask permission to share the
information as you go along.
- Don't expect him to be as
enthusiastic as you.
- Join an online adoption support group
for people considering adoption.
- Attend an "in person"
support group for adoptive families or an informational meeting at
an adoption agency. There is simply nothing as
effective as seeing adoptive families to normalize the
- Take a break from infertility
treatments for a set period of time, with the agreement that you
can resume if you still want to once the break is
over. Spend time enjoying your life as a
couple. Remember why you married each other in
the first place.
- Promise that known of these steps is a
firm commitment to adopt.
- Visit a therapist to help with
communication, and if applicable, choose one that understands
infertility issues. Check out our Finding a
- As hard as it may be, give your partner
time. Each of us has a different speed and style
for processing grief and making
- If you are totally committed to him
regardless of whether you ever become parents, tell
him. If not, talk with a therapist before you
issue an ultimatum.
You should never force (or coerce or
guilt) your spouse into something as major as becoming a
parent. It likely won't be effective since
during the home study the social worker will delve into each of
your reasons for wanting to adopt. And though it
can be faked during the interview with the social worker, every
child deserves to be truly wanted by both parents.
Back to Top