One of the toughest tests of a marriage is the revelation that one is infertile and cannot bear children. One of the main reasons for marriage is procreation and once one is rendered to be infertile, some feel its no point continuing with the relationship. These are discussions that we often don’t discuss while we are going out. What if we cannot bear children how will it affect our relationship?
Once a couple has tried to conceive and have failed it is almost always assumed it is the women who is infertile. The man may only question his fertility if the next wife he has also doesn’t conceive. Then he may probably grudgingly go to get tested. I have a friend who was sent back to her parents home after she couldn’t conceive. For some reason it was her fault that she was infertile.
Couples are also put under pressure by society. Newly married couples are given a few months then they start looking for signs. After a year no children then the pressure starts. Sometimes a subtle joke, seemingly harmless enquiries about when the baby is coming. Mostly without ill intention but it can affect couples. Grandmothers yearning for vazukuru to play with. I have learnt to be sensitive after realising that sometimes its not because a couple don’t want to have children. But they can’t. Its also the secrecy of such conditions that also keep people checking up on you to see ‘where its at’.
I personally don’t think there is a problem in letting people know you are infertile. I am sure they will sympathise with you and realise how insensitive it is to keep badgering you about kids. But I understand the general feeling to keep it secret. To a certain extent I see ladies who are in their late 30s into their 40s face the same type of pressure as those who are infertile.
We once had a discussion about surrogacy on a bible study group. This is another way of getting children. Where by another woman carries the child in her womb which is artificially fertilised by the husbands sperm. When the child is born they hand over the baby to the infertile mother.
One of the questions I have always had is what if the surrogate mother becomes attached to the baby growing inside her? But strict contracts are entered into between the couple and the surrogate mother. I was quite surprised by the number of women who said they would be willing to be a surrogate for their sisters if they were infertile.
Infertility can lead women especially to desperate measures just to get children. Some will pretend to be pregnant. Then eventually steal a child and come back to their communities with a child rating no suspicions. Some don’t even pretend they just go out and steal a baby from hospitals.
Another option for adoption infertile couples to get children is through adoption. Once again couples go to great lengths to adopt. In Some countries they have to go through rigorous vetting before one is able to adopt and the process is expensive.
Although the biblical position is that children are a gift from God, so if we get into marriage with this knowledge we may be able to accept and be content in having children or in not having children. Not all married couples will have children and its fine.