As a Houston marriage counselor, I’ve seen couples make the decision to adopt for a number of reasons, although one of the most common is infertility. If this is the case for you and your spouse, the relationship advice I offer is to go through any feelings you may have about giving up on the idea of having a baby by birth. This can be felt as a loss to one or both partners, and that is a natural part of the process for many people. It doesn’t mean you will have trouble being an adoptive parent or that it’s not the right path for you. But it’s important to go through this grieving process before you start the journey towards adoption.

Another hurdle that many couples face is that one partner is on board and the other isn’t. Maybe one spouse never considered adoption as an alternative or has fears about what becoming a parent will mean. If you have a partner who is struggling with the idea of adoption, give them a little time to come around. Often it is a matter of letting them come to terms with the idea. Ask that he or she keep an open mind and think on it.

If you find that your partner still isn’t ready to adopt, sit down and have a conversation about it. Acknowledge your partner’s fears and concerns, and find ways to explore these issues. You can talk to parents who have already successful adopted, join a support group for couples that are going through a similar process, or talk it out with a Houston marriage counselor.

Also, be prepared for how family members and friends will react when you announce your plans. They may also have fears and concerns about adoption, especially if they are not familiar with the process themselves. You know all that time you’ve spent researching and weighing your options? They haven’t had the opportunity to do that, so remember that they only have your best interests at heart and give them time to come around as well. Offer to share some of the articles or books that helped you to come to this decision.

Get Help with the Process from a Houston Marriage Counselor

The process of adopting a child can be stressful. There will be many ups and downs until you get to bring your child home, so be prepared. Take care of yourself by eating right, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. If you are struggling with relationship issues, consider talking to a Houston marriage counselor.