August 30th is National Grief Awareness Day. After countless clinic appointments, testing, and fertility treatments, being told you’re unlikely to have a genetic child can be heartbreaking. Many families facing infertility do not realize the importance of grieving the genetic child you can never have before pursuing adoption or other forms of family building.
Infertility and grief counselors strong urge that as families go through the stages of grief, it’s important to symbolically “let the genetic child go.” This allows families to accept their infertility diagnosis or miscarriages in a healthier way.
Here are some examples others have used to let their genetic child go:
- Donate to a charity in the genetic child’s name
- Write a poem
- A symbolic balloon release
- Flowers at a grave site of a relative
- Burying their own baby pictures
- Donate a baby outfit or clothing on behalf of the genetic child
- Make a necklace or piece of jewelry to memorialize the child
While infertility seems like a lonely road, you’re not alone—6.1 million couples in the United States face infertility. There are countless support groups and counselors available to help your family through the process of grief. Once families have grieved their infertility, they are able to accept an adopted child more easily into their home. And provide them the love and support they need as if they were genetically their own.