He Wants to Adopt …But I Don’t – Dire’s Story

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West New York, New Jersey, USA --- Angry African American couple standing back to back --- Image by © Jose Luis Pelaez, Inc./Blend Images/Corbis

 

Adoption is a beautiful thing. It is also a very sensitive step to take for a couple, and thus, it demands that both partners are on board with the decision to adopt, otherwise, it might turn out to be a nightmare for the adopted child and also for the partner who insisted on the adoption.

That is the scenario playing out in Dire’s household, and she would truly like your insight. Temidire is a mother of two, TTC for her third child, which she hopes will be a girl.

Both times that Dire had been pregnant, it was through the help of assisted reproductive technology. Babies didn’t come so easy for them. It involved years of waiting, several failed cycles and failed FETs, before they were blessed with their two boys. The issue had always been PCOS.

However, this time around, they are now faced with dual factor infertility, as Dire’s husband has been diagnosed with low sperm count.

It was like a wicked dream that Dire wished she would wake up from. As in, they now have to deal with her husband’s swimmers, in addition to her still uncooperative body. And with them being out of frozen embies, they have to do a fresh cycle, which doesn’t exactly come cheap.

Her husband had been placed on medication, but unfortunately, he wasn’t getting any better. If anything, his sperm count was getting worse. Dire turned into a monitoring spirit, trying to get him to stop drinking alcohol, something he already does very infrequently. He was exercising more often, but nothing was budging and the man was becoming frustrated with the many sacrifices he had to make without any corresponding difference in his sperm count.

The downward slide in his sperm count was linked to his age, but really, he was just in his mid 40s? Surely, he shouldn’t be having such difficulties? However, by the time the doctor got his family history, there was a definite pointer to the reasons for his declining sperm count.

With the treatment not making much of a difference, their IVF cycle was being delayed and when they decided on IVF+ICSI, Dire’s husband actually balked. He made a U-turn, as he brought up the matter of adoption instead.

And not just any kind of adoption, he wanted them to adopt his niece, whose parents had broken up and whom was now living with his parents. Dire’s instinctive answer was capital “NO!”  She didn’t even contemplate it. She loved this little girl so much. She’s taking care of her already, as she spends quite a lot of time at their home anyways. She attends the same school as her boys, she’s been responsible for shopping for her since her parents separated and she came to live Dire’s parents-in-law.

You can scratch that, Dire’s niece by marriage actually lives in her house, and she takes care of the little girl, who is older than her boys, more than she spends time at her grandparents’ place, but to legally adopt her? That was just too much for Dire to swallow.

The main reason she actually reached out was that, she found out from her mother-in-law that they had discussed the adoption matter amongst them, started making moves to legalise the adoption with the full consent of the girl’s biological father, and Dire’s husband was just expected to tell her and get her buy-in. No one expected her to be anything but supportive of the adoption.

Given that her husband hadn’t told his parents of her resistance to the idea of adopting her niece, Dire held her peace and instead made small talk about inane things and even talked about her rescheduled cycle.

Dire is hurt that her husband would take such a major step without notifying her from the word go. They had talked about children and the number of children they would have, even before they got pregnant.  They had discussed adoption, but it was a path both of them showed a reluctance to walk. So, this development, and the full speed at which her husband was moving was disconcerting.

Dire’s attempt to talk to her husband about this major step had not turned out well, as he has made it appear as though she wanted to stop him from taking responsibility for his extended family, when that was what they had been doing since they got married. Even before they had their own children, Dire and her husband had been taking care of that little girl as though she was their own.

They had taken her to her first nursery school, Dire had picked her up every day at closing hour, she had attended Parents’ meetings when her mother-in-law couldn’t.  She had done hospital runs when this girl was ill, but she certainly didn’t feel that adopting her was the best way to expand their family. Besides, there was the complication of the fact that the child biologically belonged to her husband’s biological brother. It would make for an interesting future, as far as she was concerned.

Dire was of the opinion that they could very well parent her just as they have been doing, without adopting her.  

Dire also feared she would change towards the child once the adoption became final, and that child stopped being her niece but her own child. She feared she would always prefer her boys over her. She feared that she would resent that child for being the nail in the coffin on her dreams of having a baby girl biologically.

Although she doesn’t know if she will ever have another successful cycle, right now, she isn’t even trying, thanks to the adoption bug that her husband has got.

This is the situation in which Dire has found herself, just as the year 2017 is coming to an end. What kind of advice would you give her?

Food for thought.

 

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Photo credits:

1. https://wemagazineblog.files.wordpress.com/

2. http://www.ladiesliveandlearn.com/

 

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Not much help as I stand with Dire. What is the purpose of the adoption? The girl already bears the same family name so that won’t change, her father is alive, what happens if/when he remarries? What about her mother? What happens on her wedding day? Or have they forgotten her?? I wonder if she will accept that.
    My cousin was formally adopted by her mom’s sister (surname changed, she travelled abroad with the family etc) and on the wedding day her own mother wanted her new British husband to walk her down the aisle. Her adopted father is my uncle so i was hurt, same as the bride. She lived with me for some months when she returned to Nigeria, so we all grew up together and are quite close…She was adopted quite early at about 3-4yrs. End of the day, she decided to shelf the church wedding and had a traditional wedding and court wedding with witnesses so she won’t be hurting anyone’s feelings. So yea these things are complicated with family.

    Best thing is she can move in and live with them since they already taking care of her but for formal adoption, I say NO. If it were me, I won’t bother with any treatments again, just focus on the boys and niece especially this approach her husband is going about the whole process.

    • Bos @bosa, you just pointed out the very griefs Dire has with this niece adoption plan. They are already parenting his niece, she is family already, the only thing that will change is the fact that they now have a legal papers saying she’s theirs but it can get complicated. We are talking blood brothers here. See the story, you just shared.

      I don’t know if Dire would want to stop treatment but with an uncooperative husband, she might just have to.

  2. This is a case of damned if you do and damned if you don’t. But, If the family history of secondary infertility of the husband is a fact, what are the chances of the husband’s elder brother not having similar challenge of low sperm count in begetting children of his own in future? More importantly, what’s the position of the biological mother of the niece or she doesn’t have a say in the matter? I think whatever might be the issue BTW the biological parents, her consent/ position on the adoption must be considered cos tomorrow when the chips are down, then would we know who born the pikin! Cases abound of people who parented other relative’s children but got the shock of their lives when they least expected it. More so in this case where both biological parents are alive and mentally sound I believe. They are already parents to the girl, they should continue doing that. Meanwhile, Dire should pipe low on the matter now and point out these concerns to the husband sometime next year so as to end the year in peace. Besides her own feelings, she should clearly ask about the position/consent of the niece’s biological mother on the proposed adoption so as to avoid stories that tickle the anus in future because that could be a very good point for the biological mother to make trouble in future. She should also give trying to conceive a rest for now, these stress could be a challenge. She should rest her mind and body.

    • Karina, thank you so much for this insight. It’s so true that no one is giving much thought to what the biological mother of the niece thinks in this instance. It’s as if she doesn’t count. I agree, she could make helluva trouble in the future.
      And with secondary infertility, a recurring factor in their family, even the biological father can change his mind about the adoption later. This adoption serves no real purpose as far as I am concerned, but there seems to be some interest at stake here.
      Perhaps​, the new year will throw more light on the matter.

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