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From Infertility to Adoption or Surrogacy: Making the Transition

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Couple looking at negative home pregnancy test

Infertility can strike in many ways. It might be a known result of a medical issue in the past. It might not. It might be that you are going through life and everything is going well – got the degree, good job, career humming along, found the person you want to share the journey with, or maybe not but you just decide you want to be a parent on your own. But then the news strikes. Might be after many years of attempting naturally, might be after several (or many) IUI’s, IVF’s, miscarriages. And then, you are told to think about finding a surrogate.

For someone who has faced an illness he or she has had to overcome and then be told that the result is infertility, it’s a solemn victory. For someone who starts the journey to becoming a parent not understanding they will be told they are infertile, this moment can be, and often is, devastating. It’s a loss, often felt as a devastating loss. When we lose a loved one, society has developed cultural norms and formal rituals for the grieving process. These rituals help us mourn the loss, move through our grief, allow family and friends to show support and finally, there is healing. But for infertility, it can be quite different. There is no funeral, sitting in prayer, mass, cremation ceremony, shiva. There is just loss and it can be lonely. It may seem that the whole world is starting their families and you are are left behind.

This loss can leave many scars, particularly when the loss was never really worked through. During this time, it is important to realize that there are many others who face the same news, the same loss. They are out there and there are organizations, support groups, chat rooms, websites, all designed to help you work through the grief, perhaps anger and share your feelings with others who face the same loss and gradually begin to move forward.

As you gradually begin to move forward and begin to consider your options – and you do have options – the world of possibility will begin to unfold and you will start to embrace the path you are taking to becoming a parent. You realize that your path to your child begins with the love in your heart and ends with the love you hold for your baby in your arms and looking back your path just was meant to be as inexplicable as that is.

If you are just beginning the journey from infertility to surrogacy or adoption, there are resources available to help you make that transition. Resources include which is a great place to start as it offers many online and community resources. Your fertility clinic may also have support groups that you can attend. One statement that I’ve often heard from those who get involved in support groups is that they are able to talk with others who are in the same position as well as those who have moved on and have chosen another path to become parents and their excitement as they move forward on that path is a source of great comfort and healing for those who are just beginning.

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