Whether you’re considering adoption domestically, internationally or with the help of foster care programes, there are a lot of misconceptions about adoption.

Whether you are going to adopt for yourself or would like to dispel some common adoption myths for your family members or friends, this abstract will be usefull for you.  Adoption can be a dispiriting topic, especially as things have changed with how adoptions work for last few years.  Built on fear and lack of knowledge and corresponding information, myths and misconceptions are forming fleeter than the wind.  Horror stories told through the grapevine become distorted versions of the truth, and that is all people cling to.  So let’s set the record straight on some of the most common myths in the adoption world.  Open your mind and put your fears to rest. We won’t sugarcoat the truth, but rather inform you so you can make the best decision for your family and educate your friends and extended family.

Stability or wealth: you have to be rich to adopt.

2334.jpgWhile being financially stable may be a requirement, it doesn’t mean you have to be wealthy to adopt. You may be required to show your debt ratio, incoming vs. outgoing funds or even a be subjected to a credit report, but this is more for demonstrating your fiscal responsibility and ability to have positive cash flow while adding to your family. You don’t want to be living beyond your means and then find out that affording another mouth to feed, body to clothe, and mind to educate is beyond your capabilities.

 

Is kinship the only way to be loved: you can not love adopted children the same as if they were biological.

43222.jpgWhen starting the adoption process you may fear that you may not bond with or love the child the same way you would if he or she were born to you. We find love in many ways. Our spouses aren’t related to us; sometimes we love friends more than family. Many parents of biological children actually experience similar fears about bonding and attachment. For some adoptive parents the love is immediate, but sometimes it takes time to develop. That’s very often, you can hear from a parent of both a biological child and a child through adoption “I adore them both. My love didn’t divide, it multiplied. They are both my children through and through.”

 

Adoption is expensive: it costs too much to adopt a child.

7555.jpgThis myth is unfortunately half true. The answer is not so simple as true or false. It depends on the type of adoption you are pursing. Adoption can range from free to a formidable sum of money. While foster care adoption is free or has minimal costs, there can be hidden costs if the children need therapy or additional care. With private adoption you have many routes to take and depending on the state or agency you work with, the fees can vary greatly. International adoption tends to be about the same price as domestic adoption, but travel costs can add up. There are many ways to pursue adoption and doing plenty of research to find the route that best fits your family and pocket book will pay off.

Intercountry adoption: you can’t/shouldn’t parent outside your race.

2222222.jpgIt is an individual decision that only you can make. When weighing your ability, you will need to account for your knowledge, your willingness to incorporate culture and history, your family’s influence, your friends, your neighborhood, church, school, and potential future obstacles. If you are considering parenting outside your race, it can be done. You will find an abundance of support and resources in the adoption community. Your child will grow up with an amazing amount of knowledge about two cultures if you provide that. Parenting outside your race will not be without challenges, but it will be worth it.

It is impossible to adopt an infant: you can only adopt teens through foster care.

21.jpg400,540 children are in the U.S. foster care system. Most children are placed temporarily in foster care due to parental abuse or neglect. The median age of a child in foster care is 9 years old; however, the highest percentage of children in foster care is between the ages of 1-5 years old. As children age, they become increasingly more difficult to be adopted. An abundance of teens are still waiting for their forever homes.

 

Adoptees are all troubled: children from foster care all have special needs and are violent.

222.jpgWhile many children in foster care do indeed have some special needs that need addressing, it doesn’t mean they are troubled or violent. These children have suffered a terrible loss and sometimes a traumatic early life. They are strong and capable of healing. They may test boundaries, push buttons, need time, extra love and support, or even medical, therapeutic or educational assistance, but it is not something that should keep you from considering public adoption. Education is your best defense and preventative measure in succeeding in this type of adoption.

 

Paternity exam: you have to be a foster parent before adopting through foster care.

37896.jpgMany people who adopt from foster care do not foster the children or other children prior to adoption. While many people do foster before adopting, it’s not a requirement. There is a high demand for foster parents who are willing to work toward reunification of the birth parents and their children if parental rights are not terminated. Those people are very valuable to the foster program. The need to have foster families available for those situations is key to run the program, but there are many children that are past the point of ever being reunited with their birth family and are looking for their forever family. That’s where people who would like to adopt come in.

“Who are my parents”: open adoption is too confusing for child.

378.jpgThis seems to be a huge misconception about adoption. While open adoption can be confusing and emotional for young children who are trying to understand their place in a family, it is not always confusing and typically the good outweighs the bad. Many studies have been done on how the adopted child is more confident, has a more solid self-identity, and copes better with their adoption when there is openness. Adult adoptees from closed adoptions have been asked about their experience and most begin their search for their birth family as soon as they are able to. Open adoption does not mean co-parenting and does not diminish the role the adoptive parents play in everyday life. But it does provide children with roots and a foundation to understanding who they are and how much they are loved.

The time is running: adoption takes years of waiting before placement.

900.jpgThe fact is every adoption is different. When we first started talking about adoption to our family members, we heard a lot of “It will take 5 years or more!” from people. Horror stories are something you hear more than the good stories. It largely depends on many different factors. What route are you pursuing in adoption? What are your set preferences on what you are looking for in your adoption? What is your budget? What are the placement rates of the professional you are working with?  I know people who have waited less than a week for their placement after going active with an agency, some just a few months and others for more than a year or two. Doing research prior to signing with an adoption professional will help you in your journey.

Bad heredity: birth mothers are all troubled, poverty stricken or addicts.

2345.jpgBirth mothers (and fathers) don’t wear horns. They are usually not bad people. They have come to a decision to make an adoption plan for many reasons. Often fear, love, future, lifestyle, or other circumstances play a role. It doesn’t make them bad people; it also doesn’t make them saints. They are human. The average birth mother is in her early twenties and often parenting another child or has other hopes for her future but is not in a place to parent this child.

 

87.jpgPossibility of the reunion: birth parents can come back at any time and take the child back.

In most cases, adoptions are not contested. When the Termination of Parental Rights is signed, most states either have a set period for revocation or they are irrevocable upon signing. Depending on how the adoption is procured, the finalization will take place and that makes it a done deal. Birth parents in private adoption usually make the adoption plan on their own accord for reasons that are important to them. They may at times feel a great loss, but they placed their child with you for a reason. Short of coercion, fraud, or other illegal activities, once an adoption is final, there is no “coming back for their child." In today’s adoption climate, open adoption is becoming the norm and allows birth parents to have a connection to the child that they previously may not have had. It is not something to fear.

 

3434.jpgInternational adoption costs more than domestic adoption.

International adoption and domestic adoption fees vary greatly depending on many factors. Some international countries are more expensive to adopt from based on the legal fees, orphanage fees, and travel costs. But some agencies that facilitate domestic adoptions also have very large fees that can compare or even be more than some international adoptions. Researching what an agency's fees are for and understanding the breakdown in costs will help you decide what you are comfortable with and how much you can afford.

To prevent this meeting: you won’t have to “deal” with the birth parents if you adopt internationaly.

675.jpgThe birth family will always be a part of your child’s life whether you have a direct relationship or not. The connection will always be there. Your child may struggle more with the unknown and desperately need to find a way to relate to their culture, society, country and family ties. Understanding that out of sight does not mean out of mind is an important part of educating yourself about international adoption because there is no way to change your child’s past. It is possible in some situations to have an open adoption with international adoptions.

International adoption is easier than domestic adoption.

878.jpgEase of adoption is something that is a personal viewpoint. What you look for in an adoption and what you find easy is dependent on your own situation. There are different laws, guidelines, and training for international adoption. Adoption in general is not for the faint of heart. You will learn new strengths you never knew you had when pursing any adoption route.

 

International adoption is more self-sacrificing than domestic adoption.

67777.jpgAdoption shouldn’t be about YOU. There has been a recent movement to “save orphans.” It is very rewarding to parent a child and that is what adoption is about—parenting. It is not about praise from your community, friends, or church congregation. It is about connection, youth, providing, loving, and being a family. If your adopted child is a prize or badge of honor, you may be doing this for the wrong reason.