I never talked about it.
For many years I was mute. Ashamed of it and what it had done to our social life and interactions with our families. I could no longer share the joy of baby announcements of those close to us. Baby showers were a primary source of cruel, emotional torment. That same it had stolen my husband’s pride and had stripped me of my right as a woman. Mostly, it had drained our nest egg and our hopes. We lived in this time, with a bold, yet silent tattoo on our foreheads that spelled out INFERTILITY.
1 in 8 couples struggle to conceive and the chances are you or some you know represent that statistic. What is more staggering is infertility is now becoming as common as diabetes in the US. If this is the case then why do only 15 US states currently have laws requiring some insurance coverage for treatment? The first problem is that most do not recognize infertility as a disease. Many childless couples sit in silence and do not reach out for support or ways to learn more about inciting change and other ways they can build their families.
Let us not forget about the Adoption Tax Credit S 1056/HR 2144. Even though Congress made the tax credit permanent, the refundable portion was in place only in 2010 and 2011. This amendment, if passed, would provide a permanent, refundable portion of the credit which would provide much needed relief to those pursuing adoption. Adoption can be expensive and most couples have to fundraise and clear out their savings to afford the costs associated. If this bill is passed it would certainly open up the door to couples who in their hearts would like to build their families through agency/parental placement adoption but otherwise were not able to financially do so.
That is why this week, April 20th – 26th, has been designated as National Infertility Awareness Week. Every year, the National Infertility Association, RESOLVE, brings light to a subject many do not talk about openly. This is the time where we all rally together and trigger the response to bring forth change. It is incredible that for a full week we all can be part of a movement towards infertility awareness. It is our time to turn off that mute button and speak boldly, share our stories and help someone else who is suffering through infertility know there are ways to be supported and that there is always hope. Remember that even though NIAW lasts only 1 week, infertility for many couples, can last a lifetime.
No matter where you lie in your family building journey, take this time to be the change. This is your chance to speak out and share your story. Educate others about the disease of infertility by directing them to communities like Adoption.NET and RESOLVE where they can learn and know they are not alone in this struggle.
Want to make a difference? Here is how:
- Let people know Infertility is a disease.
- Educate others by sharing your story.
- Paper Congress and write your congressmen today by clicking HERE.
- Share this post and others that are speaking out on #NIAW on your social media outlets and @AdoptionFeed
- Take that initial step to inspire and know your emotional bruises will help heal others.
In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”