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NormalMormon

Adoption in a Not So Perfect Marriage?

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My spouse and I recently have had a rocky road this year in our relationship. REALLY rocky. Just about the worst things that can happen in a marriage, HAVE happened to us. Yet, despite all of it, we are together and working through our problems. He is 29 and I am almost 26 and have no children. We were married in the temple, yet likely won't be able to attain temple recommends for awhile. So this question isn't a "gospel" question, it's more objective.

We struggled with infertility for awhile, went through treatments, yet still didn't get pregnant about this time last year. We were going to start trying again, then something BIG happened.

I had a best friend in the church who was active with three kids, who I spent a LOT of time with this past year. She had some troubles in her marriage as well, and committed adultery. I moved away, and she informed me that she was pregnant and was going to get an abortion. I told her immediately that I would adopt it.

So she called off the abortion, and now we are thinking of adopting. But obviously we really weren't prepared and it's not like we were on a waiting list. We know there are a lot of other couples that are MORE fit, but regardless...we want to be parents. We don't assume it will fix anything because we are already working towards a better marriage and even financial situation. But SHE specifically wants US to be the parents, and we want to be the parents.

I just feel like people will judge us if we choose to adopt because we aren't as "fit" as other parents....

Anyway...advice is appreciated!

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I'm only going on logic here because I don't have kids and I'm not married. Just going on my experiences of friends and family...

So people wouldn't judge you if you birthed your own kids and weren't as "fit" as other parents? People will always judge and think they know better. If you don't feel prepared then get prepared.

People judge and always have their opinions. Do what is right for you. Unless they are going to be there at 2am feeding the kid, then their option is about as useful as the wind they just passed to utter it.

Pray about it separately and together. You'll know if it's right. Maybe some counseling to help figure out if you're ready? It sounds as if you really want to have a child, does your spouse feel the same way? If not, then it might not be a good time.

Good luck!

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I'm going to give a dissenting opinion to Ralph's. I'm not saying this because of what other people might say, but because there is no way anyone on the Internet can help you make a decision that will affect another life forever.

Is your home a happy home? I'm going to guess 'No, not at the moment'. Would someone else provide a happier home? What's best for the child?

A serious decision like that requires a whole heckuva lot of soul searching.

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You are not required to be perfect to be parents. Yes, the idea sounds lovely but it just isn't possible. As mentioned, people will always have their opinions in how they think one should and should not parent. Having said this, regardless, if a child is natural or adopted — do not bring an innocent soul into a knowingly "rocky" relationship and or environment! This is something you DO have control in. There are many, many, many people (good people) out there that will make fantastic parents for this baby. In my opinion, to make such a huge decision like this on a whim is a poor sign of judgment. Work on your marriage first, seek or continue with whatever counseling you're currently going through, and then when the time is right — reconsider your options :] There will always be children in the world that will need homes.

I'm adopted and grateful to have been brought into a sound and loving family :]

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My only advice is to continue to reject any idea that having a child (either your own, or adopted) can inject cement into your marriage's shaky foundation. We all root for that to be the case, but the reality is that children introduce as many (often times more) issues and stresses than bond-building for the marriage relationship. Children are work and sacrifice.

Can your marriage handle that additional stress? Is your husband as onboard with the idea of adopting rather than having his own as you are? No one but yourself and Heavenly Father can answer the questions you need answered, but those are some things to consider.

Kids don't need perfect parents. Kids need loving, stable, spiritual, and consistent parents. But perfection, or even “ideal” is not a requirement for choosing to bring a child to a marriage.

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Guest mormonmusic
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I was sort of in your position 4 years into my marriage. My wife and I had a lot of marital problems, one of which was inability to consummate our marriage due to a psycho-somatic disorder she had at the time. We were also miles apart in terms of our natural abiity to meet each other's needs. Our marriage was characterized by mere tolerance and we felt like brother and sister. For much of that early period I felt my wife truly did not love me. Many people close to me encouraged me to divorce when I shared my misery. However, we were full active and temple-worthy.

Then I had this "revelation" -- unasked for -- that I should adopt a child like my wife wanted. So, after a period of heart-changing on my part, we went through the whole adoption process and then was rejected by LDS Social Services at the final step because they felt "there was too much risk of infidelity on my part given our lack of physical intimacy". OUCH!!!!! A year later a new director took over and admitted us back into the adoption pool and apologized for the handling and reasons for our rejection. We didn't proceed because although I was outwardly active, but in my heart I was deeply hurt and my testimony shaken by the experience -- since I'd given up so much to keep my temple covenants and felt it counted for nothing in the adoption process by the Church's own agency originally. The apology helped but the damage remained.

A decade into our marriage, we finally consummated and we had a child naturally.

So, how do I feel about adoption now? First, the fact that I was led to go ahead and try to adopt a child in spite of all our problems tells me God knew that somehow we would make it, and therefore encouraged me to go ahead and do it. I waited a long time to apply, however, because I was concerned like you were that the marriage wasn't stable, and I think my waiting led to being rejected by the somewhat incompetent director who was newly installed at the time.

Bottom line -- you need firm revelation that this it the right thing to do. It's hard on children to be part of broken homes. And children don't make life better necessarily -- they add stress, and even more conflict if you and your spouses parenting styles don't match up properly, or if one person doesn't give the kind of care or discipline the other thinks is appropriate. Lack of family commitment from one spouse is a huge source of dissatisfaction in some marriages. You need to look at that.

So, no one can tell you what to do -- you need firm revelation that this is correct given the problems in your marriage, IMHO -- only God knows whether this is the right thing given his foreknowledge and wisdom.

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There are a lot of failed marriages out there, where one of the partners thought that having a kid would help things, and instead it made them worse.

There are also a lot of marriages out there where introducing a kid helped solidify the marriage and give new life to the right priorities.

We can't really tell you which marriage you're in. I'm not sure anyone can. If you're thinking adding a kid will fix things, I'd take a good hard second (and third and fourth) thought.

LM

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I am guessing the child was not her soon-to-be ex husband's?

Either way, as a mother of 5 myself, I wonder how easily it will be for her to actually give up this baby. I think legally she can change her mind for some time after the baby is born, even if you have taken the baby home with you. Saying it is one thing, giving birth, seeing your baby and then giving it up is another.

I like what Funky Town said, what is best for the child? If you have a high risk of eventually divorcing, that is one of the hardest things on a child. I feel for this baby already, with a mother who wanted her other children, but decided to not keep this one. Tough one.

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Frankly, I'm a little more concerned about this idea of adopting your friend's child.

It's a noble thing that you're doing, but it's fraught with pitfalls--if she isn't happy with the way you're raising her kid, is she going to come in and try to undo the adoption down the road?

If you go through with it, make sure you work with a lawyer to make sure the deal is airtight.

As for "what's best for the child" - yeah, keep that in mind. But as messed up as you and your husband are, I think the kid would rather have you as parents than be aborted.

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NormalMormon,

Before I go ahead and say what I'm about to, I want to ask you that you take it with a grain of salt. You'll see in a minute that my objectivity here may be compromised and I run the risk of offending you by going ahead with what I have to say.

First off, I want to point out that very rarely does introducing a child into a struggling marriage make the marriage better. Divorces are mostly likely to happen at times of significant change in a marriage, such as a move, a job change, changes in income, or the introduction of a child. In your case, it might be a little different. Fertility problems have been known to cause strain on marriages that can lead to their dissolution, so it might be feasible that a child would improve the situation, but it's hard to know.

I have some very close friends that struggled for years to have children unsuccessfully. It was very hard on both of them, and in particular on her. Over time, with therapy and involvement in the LDS Addiction Recovery program (yes, she attended for this issue, and she says she's never learned more about the atonement than in that program), she learned to deal with the challenge. He grew with her, and now, after a long process, they've been approved by LDS Family Services to be an adoptive couple.

A few weeks ago, I contemplated ways to expedite the process for them to receive a child. One crazy idea I had was for my wife and I to get pregnant and give the child to them as an adoptee. The thought lasted about 5 seconds as it became quickly apparent that I would have to cease my friendship with this couple so as to not be intertwined or interfering with them raising the child. I can't foresee any good coming from such an arrangement.

So, having thought about something like this myself, I would discourage you from adopting the child of a friend.

... No longer relevant....

Thanks, and I'm sorry if my words are hurtful. I wish you all the best and hope that you find yourself and your marriage ina better place.

Edited by MarginOfError

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i can't tell you what to do in your marriage and such. just want to point out that if the child is yours you have parental rights. there is no "adopting" the child. your wife would have to adopt the child but you would not have to. also need to consider the stress for your wife that she would be raising your mistresses baby. if it's not your kid and it's a true adoption you need to consider that your wife will be raising your mistresses baby (not just some baby that was "unwanted").

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Thanks everyone for your replies.

To address a few concerns:

First of all, we DO NOT hope this baby will "mend" our marriage at ALL. We know that babies does not a marriage make - and in fact will make it even MORE difficult. But we are trying to envision this as if I were pregnant - what would we do? It's not like we were SEEKING a child - but it just sort of happened. And literally - she was on her way to the abortion clinic when I said NO!

No, the baby is not her husband's. She had a one night stand with a man that wants nothing to do with her or the baby. She's a very good friend, and while she has 4 kids she doesn't feel like she can handle raising 5 kids on her own. Plus, she said that she REALLY wants to do this for me...after seeing all my infertility struggles and how good I am with her children, etc...etc...

People also expressed that they were concerned that we are "still friends" - however, we live about 2 hours away from each other and wouldn't see each other like normal friends do...so it would be more like an open adoption where she can have updates...not like a friendship per se.

I didn't take offense to anything anyone said because I know those things are in the back of my mind too!

My husband and I currently DONT have a rocky relationship really - we are more on the road to recovery. I can't say that we won't get divorced because NO married couple can say that. We won't be going through LDS family services though because it's a private adoption and she wants US to be the parents and we don't have temple reccommends anymore...

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My husband and I

this totally confused me, from the op i thought we were talking to the husband. lol had to go back and figure out why that was.

it was this paragraph. there seemed to be a lot of ambiguity of gender (no i didn't check profile, i rarely do that before responding to a post) in the post except here.

I had a best friend in the church who was active with three kids, who I spent a LOT of time with this past year. She had some troubles in her marriage as well, and committed adultery. I moved away, and she informed me that she was pregnant and was going to get an abortion. I told her immediately that I would adopt it.

i connected the joint marriage issues and spending time together and adultery as connecting the two of you. sorry for my misunderstanding and obviously my previous comments are now useless. lol :embarrassed:

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