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I Want to Adopt, But My Spouse Doesn't. Now What?

When Your Spouse Doesn't Want to AdoptFor years, Sam and I struggled with the decision of whether or not we truly wanted children. 6 years into our marriage, I brought up a topic we’d talked on many times: adoption.

From a very early age I knew I wanted to adopt. It was a huge part of my picture of a family. It seemed completely natural and normal to me. I knew I would be a mother to children not of my own flesh and blood and love them just as dearly. As a teacher and nanny, I knew I could have the same, unconditional love for a child I didn’t give birth to.

Sam went back and forth on the idea. Understandably, as he had a rough childhood with a father who adopted him. He had a lot of concerns and fears. He would agree, we’d contact an agency and get started with looking at options, and then we’d back out. This went on for years. In the meantime we had our daughter and our twins, but after their loss it was instantly clear to me what I wanted to do.

I still wanted to adopt.

As I researched on it more, I realized many couples that consider adoption have this issue: one person very much does and the other isn’t sure or very much doesn’t. I had no idea about this. I honestly thought couples who adopted were always 100% in with the whole process from the beginning on.

So why? And what can you do about this if that’s the case? Adoption is like a baby — yes or no. You can’t try it out and see first. So how does anyone get past this? How did we?

Here are a few reasons why one person might feel (valid) resistance towards the process, and ideas for exploring in it further to see if it might be a good fit for your family:

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  • Attend a Conference 1 of 7
    Attend a Conference
    No better way to understand the ins, outs, and everything in between about adoption than attending a conference. They happen all over the U.S. but ShowHope.org is one of the biggest yearly ones.
  • Listen to Each Other 2 of 7
    Listen to Each Other
    Try to find a time to sit down and listen to your partner's heart on this. Fears, concerns, ideas -- whatever. Let them spill it all to you.
    Photo Credit: Photoloni
  • Research Options 3 of 7
    Research Options
    Many times couples jump into the adoption process without really knowing what will happen along the way. Take some time to look at your options and to understand what other people who have chosen your path in adoption have gone through and experienced.
    Photo Credit: IvyField
  • Ask Questions 4 of 7
    Ask Questions
    Ask your spouse what makes them nervous or keep backing out. Do they feel like they could't love a child that wasn't their own? Are they wondering about money? Did they dream of having their own children (for those who may not be able to) and have to work through that first?
    Photo Credit: YourDon
  • Wait Patiently 5 of 7
    Wait Patiently
    Take some time to wait, talk, and think it over. Adoption shouldn't be rushed if you can't make a decision that pleases both of you. We had to wait 9 years before Sam was ready to take the plunge. It's worth it.
    Photo Credit: Mricon
  • Go on a Mission Trip 6 of 7
    Go on a Mission Trip
    If your spouse isn't sure about adoption and you're considering another country, go help out there! Plenty of organizations (religious and not) need people to go on trips and help with a variety of things. You'll get to experience a different culture, meet the families, and step outside the box a little.
    Photo Credit: Mricon
  • Save Your Money 7 of 7
    Save Your Money
    This is a huge concern for just about every family that decides to adopt: how on earth do we pay for it? Even if you go through the foster care system, you still have added another child into your household to care for. There are banks and sites that offer loans and grants, but the best thing to do is make sure you have a financial plan at least a little in place. If your partner is worried about this, it's another valid reason.
    Photo Credit: J. Ridgeway Photos

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Diana blogs on raising a toddler daughter, the loss of her twin boys, and their families’ Korean adoption in progress on the aptly named Hormonal Imbalances.

Smaller glimpses into her day are on Twitter and Facebook, and on Pinterest

MORE FROM DIANA:

Just How Much Does Adoption Really Cost?

How We Opened Up to Special Needs Adoption

Tough Questions That Need to Be Asked Before Adopting

Pondering International Adoption? 10 Tips on Choosing an Agency

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