When it comes to adoption, there are several myths that the average person might mistakenly believe. Although this list is not exhaustive, here are some myths surrounding adoption and the truth to clarify them all:
1. Adoption takes years and years to complete. While there are several factors that play into the timeline of each adoption process, the truth is, 70% of U.S. adoptions are finalized within 1-12 months. In fact, most adoptive parents will finish the process within two years of starting it.
2. Adoption is way too expensive. There is not only one method of adoption. If you choose to work with a domestic adoption agency, you can undoubtedly expect higher prices. However, if you adopt a child through foster care, it is significantly cheaper, and in many cases, free!
3. Biological parents can take their children back. This is a real fear that many adoptive parents may face; they finally have the opportunity to raise a child, only to be asked by the biological parent to return the child. Birthmothers often have a month to reconsider relinquishing a baby for adoption, and adoptive couples know that. When the birthmother places her child for adoption, she is relinquishing parental rights. In the case of a child in foster care, the court will determine who ultimately has legal responsibility for a child. But once the adoption process has been finalized, the child is your child.
4. Only married couples are allowed to adopt. There are appropriate qualifications one needs to meet in order to become an adoptive parent. However, being married is not one of them. Do not worry about your marital status standing in the way of adopting a child.
5. Placing a baby for adoption is expensive for birthmothers. It is commonly thought that pregnant mothers have to pay a great amount of money in order to place their babies for adoption. In actuality, birthmothers can go through the adoption process for free! As a matter of fact, there are many adoption centers willing to cover her living expenses, including medical needs.
5. Foster kids are wild and undisciplined. This statement is probably the most sad and regretful one of all adoption myths. Yes, adopted children may come from broken homes. Yes, adopted children may have trauma and not know how to process it. But no, the fact that the child is up for adoption does not testify to her or his character. Rowdy, “out-of-control” children can be anywhere, regardless of if they’re adopted or not. No matter if they are passive and withdrawn — or quite vocal and active — loving foster parents can make a big impact, and you will know more about your ability to parent them through fostering.
Let no myth overshadow this truth: Every child is unique and priceless.
By Abigail Choe