Infertility is an occurrence more common than people may realize, and this is because of the shame, desperation, and often depression that may follow the news that one or both members of a loving couple is infertile. Most people fantasize about one day getting married and starting a family with their loved one; this is not always possible, and those who are victims of this unfortunate fact may feel lonely and insecure.
But there is hope for infertile couples, through the power of scientific advances in surrogacy and a growing number of infertility treatment options, and through adoption services. But an additional source of hope needs to derive from helpful and supportive family members and friends like you. You, as the loved one of a person unable to start a family through traditional means, must be a source of hope for these couples. It may seem daunting, even wrong, to get involved; some may feel that it infringes on someone’s privacy to try to get involved in their marital concerns, but this is not the case. So read on as we share a few of the best ways that you can help a loved one deal with infertility.
First of all, know that the person who gave you this news wanted to include you in their struggle; get involved. Do not ask them what you can do to help; offer your help without them asking for it. Show implied support by doing a service for your loved one such as taking care of their garden or inviting them to dinner. Your presence may be help enough. If they ask more from you, do what you are able to do and nothing less.
Do Your Research
Secondly, do research on your own about what infertility really means for a couple. To understand their situation, you will need facts about what infertile couples can expect and how they can pursue starting a family through alternative means. This will prevent serious mistakes such as offering bad advice or being unrealistic about their expectations.
Learn How to Respond
Feel free to ask your loved one some questions, but show restraint and be tactful with your questions. Do not ask about the biological details of their health issue or issues, unless your loved one offers this information to you. Do not ask your loved one about their plans for moving forward; instead, factually state that there are options for them to start a family.
It is also not recommended that you attempt to use a “sour grapes” mentality to ease your loved one’s pain; for example, do not state that kids are a hassle and that they can save money by not having children. Do not tell the individual that families are not for everyone. This does not help the problem, and weak responses like these will only remind the individual of what they feel they cannot have.
What you can instead do for your loved one is show sympathy and ask questions about other information that has already been offered to you. For example, if your loved one shows interest in surrogacy, ask them if they have researched a potential surrogacy center and if they would like help doing so.
The most important thing you can do, though, is be a positive voice. Inform your loved one that they are not alone, weak, inferior or out of options. Inform them of just the opposite. Infertile but intended parents can succeed and be very happy. They may just need your help to get there.