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My Spouse Doesn't Want to Adopt

spouses hugging

I want to adopt, but my spouse doesn’t want to adopt.

I’ve had this conversation in coffee shops, on couches, and via text with so many people over the years. I’ve seen the longing and tears in a friend’s eyes when her husband doesn’t feel the same calling. Husbands who become silent about it because their wife has said no for too long.

Initially, my flesh wants to sit down with the hesitant spouse and shake them. Tell them all of the reasons why they should adopt. Maybe even throw a little guilt and manipulation into the conversation. (What could go wrong? Ha.)

Here’s the thing.

There is wisdom in waiting until you both know that God is calling you to adopt and you are both ready.

Adoption is holy, hard work. You can’t force your spouse into it. If you do, you will be left standing on a pile of guilt and trauma on the other side.

The other side of adoption, when the paperwork is processed and your child is home, is a family crisis. It is a crisis of bonding, attaching, and adjusting for the entire family and you will be eternally grateful that you and your spouse are on the same page.

Scott and I felt the call to initially adopt at the same time. It felt like we were a team the entire adoption process, and after we came home with our daughter, the teamwork continued. If there was any guilt that I felt, it was more centered on turning all of our kids’ lives upside down, but that’s for another blog post.

For our second adoption, Scott and I went from nope, to maybe, to let's do it together. We learned so much as a couple through our first adoption. If we’re not on the same page, we don’t move.

So, what if you do find yourself at odds with your spouse over adoption?

Communicate with your spouse.

Does your spouse truly understand the calling you feel? Sometimes, we assume that our spouse understands us when they don’t actually understand our sincerity. It may be hard, but be respectful of each other's viewpoints. Don’t guilt or manipulate, but make sure you talk honestly about it.

As a couple, find people to talk to who have already adopted. Adoptive families never tire of talking about adoption. I promise.

Pray with your spouse.

Above all, pray.

If you feel a call to adopt, God will change a mind. It’s either going to be your mind or your spouse’s mind. Prayer is always a win-win situation.

Do something else.

  • Sponsor a child

  • Work with your local Job and Family/Human Services

  • Make gifts for social workers (Check out one of my favorites blogs Under the Sycamore and what she did!)

  • Take an adoptive or foster family a meal

  • Sign up to be a respite for foster families

  • Give financially to a family in the adoption process (I know many. I can hook you up!)

  • Advocate for orphans

  • Pray for adoptive and foster families

We are all called to care for orphans (James 1:27). Adoption is only one way to carry out this calling.

Stay Open.

I encourage you to stay open to what God has for you in living out your desire to adopt and be involved in orphan care. Staying open to what God has for you may not be exactly what you expected or planned.

It’ll probably be better.

You'll never regret staying on the same page as your spouse. Allow the Lord to use your marriage and your desire to adopt in His time and as He sees fit.

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