Patient Resources

Accepting a Life Without Children

When an individual mentions that they are childfree after infertility, it typically implies that they do not have children from before their encounter with fertility, are no longer pursuing any fertility treatments, and they are not planning to adopt. Accepting the idea of living a childfree life after infertility can immediately be seen as the “worst-case scenario” for many. However, it can be an extremely empowering resolution to a physically and emotionally exhausting journey. 

The Decision Not to Adopt

“Why don’t you just adopt?” is a phrase heard commonly amongst couples who have experienced infertility in the past. Given the expense aspect of adoption and the approval process, adoption may not be a feasible option for some. Adoption can also be just as heartbreaking as fertility treatments as potential adoptions fall through daily. Adoption is a decision of its own, no one should feel as if they have to adopt if they are unable to conceive naturally or with fertility treatments. 

When Does a Decision to Remain Childfree Occur?

The decision to remain childfree occurs at different times for everyone. Determining your “enough” point is difficult for most. However, couples facing infertility should consider them even before they begin treatment. Individuals may make the decision before they even start trying to conceive, especially if you have been diagnosed with fertility problems years before trying to start a family. 

Coping With Your Decision 

Learning to cope with the idea of living a childfree life can bring an empowering sense of resolution, but it can also bring extreme sadness and emotion. Allow yourself time to grieve, the loss that comes with being childfree after infertility is not always recognized, but you deserve time to mourn. Society has yet to become comfortable speaking out about living a childfree life, therefore it can easily feel abnormal. Reading books and blogs about childfree living can help you and your spouse feel more comfortable with this lifestyle. Most importantly, allow yourself to be happy. It is possible to enjoy your childfree life while mourning the life you had once imagined. 


The North Carolina Center for Reproductive Medicine/Talbert Fertility Institute is the premiere center for reproductive health in North Carolina and the East Coast. Our team specializes in fertility testing, diagnosis, and treatment of infertility conditions. We’re experts in IVF, Tubal Ligation Reversal, Male Infertility, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), Gestation Surrogacy, Family Balancing, and more. Contact us today.

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