SUMMARY. Infertility is a major stressor in the lives of married couples. Recent studies also indicate that adoption understanding is a life crisis for the child adoptee. The losses experienced by adoptive parents and adopted children have an impact not only on the development of these individuals, but also on the family as it meets developmental milestones. Because of the differences in the formation of the adoptive family, the family is more vulnerable to dysfunction over the life cycle than nonadoptive families. This article will explore the nature of these crises and the implications for interventions with the family.