1) Realize that as much as your friend or family member may love your children, they did not grow-up wishing they would get to be an aunt or a free baby sitter. They grew up wishing they could be a mom. Refrain from saying, well at least you are an aunt. You can enjoy some aspects of motherhood that way. In reality, watching your niece or nephew can be thorn in the heart as they realize they really would have been a great mom or dad.
2) Realize your blessing. The next time your child has you up all night, remember there are some men and women that would give anything to carry your burden. Don't call your infertile friend and whine about how lucky they are not to have children. Also, keep your baby stories to a minimum. Your friend loves you and wants to share that very important aspect of your life but too much of the stories ends up a knife in the heart.
3) Infertility changes lives forever. Don't tell your friend to get over it and be happy with things the way they are. How long would you grieve if you lost one of your children? Or suffered the loss of a life- long opportunity that would have been life changing and fulfilled your deepest dream? No doubt you may go on living, but you would always have that tender ache in your heart.
4) Give your friend the gift of understanding. Give them to okay to not go to church on Mother's day. Ask them how they are doing with the pregnancies going on around them. Ask them if they feel they can attend your baby shower. The last thing either of you want is some breaking out in sobs at your shower. It is your day to celebrate. Let them know it is okay if they cannot come to the hospital to see your new born.
5) If this is a person's second marriage where one partner has children and the other does not, the childless partner will suffer infertility alone. Even if the other partner wants children, they can never understand the journey.
6) Men also suffer from infertility. It does not make them less of a man any more than infertility makes a woman less of a woman. There are several different things that makes us men and women the ability to procreate is just one aspect of the many.
7) Encourage them to go to counseling or join a support group.
8) Infertiity is hard on marriages. The person who does not suffer the medical condition can harbor bitter feelings towards the person who does have the medical complication. Or, they may feel helpless to re-assure their partner that they love them even if the partner cannot give them a child. The person with the medical complication may feel guilt for what they cannot give their partner and seek a divorce to free their other person from being in a marriage with them.
9) Inferility is financially draining. Realize that this is a medical condition of which the majority of the cost will not be covered by insurance. The cost for invetro fertilization runs around 12,000 for the egg transfer and the medicine cost around $5,000. Surrogacy will include the medicine and the egg transfer cost plus run around $25,000 - $75,000 for carrying the child. Depending on the state the carrier may have parental rights should they decide to not give up the baby regardless of rather the egg was the carrier’s egg or not. Adoption if done privately can be affordable depending on how it is done on a one-on-one basis and will run 1,500 - 10,000 for legal fees. The next most cost effective way is through foster care to adopt with cost running around $2,000 of which some of the expense will be refunded once the adoption is concluded. The next method of adoption is through an agency for national or international adoption with cost running from $25,000 - $50,000.
10) Adoption is not easy. The typical waiting period is 2-4 years. Most private adoptions fall through as do most national adoptions. International are more successful. If the adoption falls through you are back into a waiting period. Some adoption agency's will have a money guarantees so the will re-match you which may shorten that time period. Adoption through foster care is a process. They first select 40 potential parents, they narrow that down to 5 and then pick a parent from those 5. Then there is the parental severance journey which can and often does end up with the parental rights being restored and then your name goes back into the pool of potential parents (this varies depending on state). All adoptions are an emotionally draining experience. Infertility and childlessness intensifies the emotions of the process.