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Children are gift: Infertility to Adoption

“God does not make us deficient so not being able to have babies does not mean that you are less than.”

Carl and Sharon Mangroo shared deeply about their journey from infertility to adoption. Married for over 47 years, they have always desired children. Unfortunately, they experienced five miscarriages. Losing their babies was very traumatic and negatively impacted their relationship.

Sharon disclosed that she felt inferior, especially when other couples got married and bore children. Carl also said that he felt like something inside of him was missing. He “longed to have little babies running around”.

Sharon revealed that they did not know how to talk to each other about what they were feeling. Carl admitted that it would have significantly helped if they had received formal counselling to deal with the impact of their miscarriages. He said that it took a lot of years to heal and to be open to adoption.

They tried hormone treatments, which caused mood and behavioural changes, and negatively impacted their relationship. In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) was also recommended but the late Archbishop Anthony Pantin informed them that IVF contradicted the Church’s teachings.

Sharon said that she was shocked when they found out that they would never have children because she loved and trusted God and believed that God would fix their fertility challenges and give them a child.

For those who have experienced the trauma of losing a child, the Mangroos advise to share thoughts and feelings with persons who will understand because they have experienced infertility to an extent. “Your priest may be able to identify a couple willing to journey with you.”

Sharon explained that her faith in God helped her to cope. Her faith also grew because she learnt to surrender to God’s will.

Marriage was not instituted solely for the procreation of children (178, Amoris Laetitia). “Our marriage and love for each other is valid and important even in the absence of children that we create together.”

Sharon added that they believe that their babies (who they named) are in Heaven. “We still have them and we have been given the extra grace of additional children” through adoption.

As Church, we are experiencing many graces during this Amoris Laetitia Year of the Family, which coincides with the Year of Saint Joseph and the Easter Season!

The third segment of the Children Are Gift (CAG) programme is entitled ‘Infertility and Adoption’. In previous sessions, we learnt that children are gifts that bring life to relationships and teach families how to love. Additionally, discipline, which is directed towards the undesirable behaviour, works best within a supportive relationship.

Look out for part two of Carl and Sharon’s  journey of ‘Infertility to Adoption’ in a subsequent article or you can view this segment on the Archdiocesan Family Life Commission’s Instagram and Facebook pages.

Persons are invited to check out the AFLC on Instagram, Facebook and AFLC’s  website, aflcrc.org. Email familylife@catholictt.org or call/WhatsApp 299-1047 to register for the Children Are Gift online programme.

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