“Ask a Priest: What Can I Do About Infertility?”

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Q: I’m in my late 30s and in a relationship with a wonderful man. I feel very blessed to have a kind, intelligent, caring and generous boyfriend. Last September I found out that I’m infertile. It breaks my heart. How do I deal with this grief? Most people in the Catholic Church don’t know what to say. And if they say anything at all, it’s very insensitive and callous like, “Why don’t you just adopt?” Adoption isn’t a panacea for infertility, and now I feel like there’s nowhere to turn, not even the Church. Please help. – S.

Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC

A: Our Lord seems to have allowed a heavy cross in your life, no doubt. It can be heartbreaking for married couples or courting couples to face the prospect of not bringing children into the world.

This doesn’t detract from the reality that God loves you dearly. You are a beloved daughter of his.

Still, when he allows difficulties in our life, he does so because he can bring something good out of them. One good thing is that it gives us the chance to make a greater act of faith in him.

Perhaps a few ideas might help you.

First, you might want to seek out a second opinion about your condition. You might consider seeing a doctor trained in NaProTechnology. It is a health science faithful to Church teaching.

Second, in whatever situation we find ourselves, we can always love. Sometimes the ways we will be called to love will not be the ways we expected.

You mention that your boyfriend is kind and caring and generous. That sounds like a special grace. More than a few women would hope to have such a grace.

For more reading, see this Aleteia post.

This would be a good moment to intensify your prayer life and sacramental life, and to cultivate your devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary through the rosary. She will intercede for you. For you are her beloved daughter, too.

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