Dos and Don’ts of Infertility Etiquette

Infertility.jpgOne in eight couples experiences infertility in the United States. While infertility awareness is growing, people facing infertility may encounter insensitive and hurtful comments (though not always intentional). A brief refresher on infertility etiquette is a helpful way to minimize these uncomfortable experiences. Read on for some Dos and Don’ts when talking to friends and loved ones experiencing infertility.

Do

Listen. Show them that you care by listening to them if they choose to open up about their infertility struggle. Lend an ear and remain attentive as they share their experience with you.

Don’t
Offer unsolicited advice. Infertility is a personal journey, and you may not know what methods and treatments they have pursued.They may be aware of the advice you wish to offer, or they may have already explored that option.

Do
Ask questions about their life. Talk about work, family, friends, and current events. Just because they are experiencing infertility does not meant that you need to avoid talking about your children. The best approach is to ensure your conversations span a variety of topics, and that they don’t solely center around children.

Don’t

Ask questions about pregnancy, children, or other family-building options. This may seem obvious, as common sense dictates that questions such as “Are you pregnant yet?” are insensitive. However, even questions such as “Why don’t you just adopt?” or “Aren’t two children enough?” may come across as hurtful.

Do
Understand that declining to attend social functions is not a reflection of how they feel about you. Although everyone deals with infertility differently, they may want space and time to process the pain. They may also want to minimize the chance of being asked uncomfortable questions.

Don’t
Complain about your children or your pregnancy. People experiencing infertility yearn for the sleepless nights, messy house, swollen feet, and other pregnancy and child-rearing effects that you may perceive as a hassle.

Do
Know that just because you have not experienced infertility does not mean that you cannot help them. Your support, friendship, and willingness to listen will be indispensable during this difficult time.

The attorneys of Harden Jackson Law are devoted to servicing clients in all areas of family law, including divorce, custody, child support, property division, paternity, post-divorce modifications, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, simple wills, adoption, surrogacy, and other areas of reproductive law. For more information, please contact us at 317.569.0770 or www.hardenjacksonlaw.com.

Remember, these blog posts are not meant to be legal advice. You should consult an attorney to discuss the specifics of your situation.
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