adoption and infertility

Infertility and Adoption: Sometimes Bonding is Hard

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I desperately want to be parents. But after years of trying and tens of thousands spent on fertility treatments, our doctor is telling us that we should either consider using donor sperm or eggs or adopt. We’re considering those options, but I’m finding this whole thing rather emasculating and I’m worried about whether I’ll be able to connect with a baby who’s not biologically related to me. Will I?
A: Plenty of adoptive dads in your situation feel the same way. They often believe that the process of bonding and forming an attachment with a baby comes more naturally to birth parents than to them. That’s just plain wrong. Similarly, many men who became fathers through donor sperm (sometimes called donor insemination, or DI) feel inadequate or less than completely masculine, and worry that the lack of a biological connection will make it impossible for them to bond with their baby or that the baby will never see them as the “real” father. They may also feel some resentment of their partner because she has that coveted biological connection.

Studies of adoptive parents have shown that a majority feel some kind of love for their children right from the very first contact; it doesn’t matter whether it’s when they went to pick up the baby, when they first looked at a picture that had arrived months before, or right at the birth, if they’re lucky enough to be there. At the same time, “most infants, if adopted before the age of nine months will take to their new parents as if they were born to them, developing an attachment to them as they would have done to their birth parents,” according to adoption psychotherapists Judith Schaffer and Christina Lindstrom.

Read the rest of this article here.

Armin Brott

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Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.
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