There is no doubt whatsoever that, if you do not have a child as a married couple, you are faced with so many challenges – some of which have been highlighted in the childless couple scenario above.
The challenges that married couples of this nature face may either be external or internal in nature.
Challenge No. 1 – External Challenge: Attitude of Relations and the Society
While being childless is not such a huge problem in Europe and elsewhere in the world, it is a major source of marriage conflict in Africa.
On the one hand, as a married couple who have been childless in Africa, both your own parents and that of your spouse would not want to hear of your desire to adopt children from orphanage homes.
And to make it worse, our insensitive society (in Africa) does not encourage married couples who are childless to adopt children as a ready-made solution to the problem. Did l hear you ask, “How?”?
Well, for one, there is no government sensitization of the public in this regard. Additionally, public enlightenment campaigns and seminars on the necessity for childless married couples to adopt a child as a convenient alternative to bring them emotional relief are not organised by non-governmental organisations (NGOs), or – where they are organised – are very few. As a result of this, childless couples suffer in silence because there are no means available to address their peculiar needs. On the other hand, some childless married couples who do not wish to endure the torture of childlessness any longer resort among themselves to adopt a child secretly and present the child to people in their neighbourhood as an offspring which the woman had biologically.
And for those who defy the general attitude of their friends, colleagues, parents and even relations towards child adoption and go ahead to adopt a child (either secretly or publicly), they become a laughing-stock in the community where they reside. This is because as far as everyone in the society is concerned, child adoption is an”alien”culture and a”foreign”idea. Similarly, a married woman who fails to become pregnant after a perceived reasonable time faces a lot of vindictiveness from a very troublesome parents-in-law – in some cases, right from the very first year of marriage! And as a matter of fact, in many instances the woman is perhaps the worst hit in a childless marriage scenario. She is often blamed as being responsible for the childlessness in the marriage. At best, she is accused of being morally promiscuous before marriage. And at worst, she is accused of being a witch. In extreme cases, she is thrown out of her matrimonial home and another wife is gotten for the man. A very docile man may simply look on while all this drama goes on in his home and succumb sheepishly to the new wife gotten for him by his parents.
Challenge No. 2 – lnternal Challenge: Attitude of the Married Couple to Their Situation
The major challenge that married couples who remain childless for a long time have is not that from parents, relations, friends, colleagues and even the society. The greatest challenge that they face is the married couples themselves.