US Adoption Myths and Facts

Discover how adoption agencies clear up common myths and misconceptions about adoption while providing accurate information and support for everyone involved in the process.

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No two adoptions are alike for potential adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoptees. Like anything the adoption process comes with its ups and downs but can be very rewarding. Many myths and misconceptions about adoption can lead to confusion and reinforce stereotypes. Adoption Network and adoption agencies play a key role in clearing up these myths, offering accurate information, and supporting everyone involved in the adoption process. In this article, we will tackle some common adoption myths and misconceptions and highlight the importance of adoption professionals in helping successful adoptions.

Myth 1: Adoption is a second-choice option for families who can’t have biological children.

Reality: Adoption is not a second choice; the idea that adopting a child is only a backup plan or something to be considered only when you cannot have biological children is a stigma that has to end. Adoption is a unique and fulfilling way to create a family, regardless of whether a family can have biological children. Adoptive parents come from various backgrounds and have different reasons for choosing adoption, for many families’ adoption has always been their first choice. Adoption Network works hard to ensure each adoption is successful and meets everyone’s needs, stressing that adoption is not a “second choice” but a valid and meaningful option for building a family. Learn more about the benefits of adoption from the Child Welfare Information Gateway.

Fact 1: Adoption can be expensive

There is an adoption for everyone’s budget with each adoption having its own individual costs. The costs for adoption through foster care are generally covered by the taxes paid to a community and state. The prospective adoptive parents apply to the foster care agency, receive all services through that local agency, locate a child either through that agency or another agency across the United States and receive post-adoption services through their local foster care agency. If adopting from another state, the prospective adoptive family will pay for the travel costs to visit the child. They may also be asked to pay for the attorney and court costs associated with the finalization of the adoption.

In a private U.S. adoption, the prospective adoptive parents pay all costs which include attorney and/or adoption agency fees, home study and post placement services, travel expenses, court fees, allowable adoption expenses and costs associated with the finalization of the adoption. There are adoption grants, loans and many fundraising options for individuals and couples looking to adopt. There is also an adoption tax credit available – check with your qualified tax accountant for details.

Myth 2: Birth parents who place their children for adoption don’t love them.

Reality: Hollywood has created one of the most hurtful myths in adoption, over the years these false beliefs have developed into stereotypical views of birth parents. Thinking a birth mother doesn’t love her baby is so far from the truth. The decision to place a child for adoption is deeply personal and emotional. Many birth parents choose adoption out of love for their child, believing it is in their child’s best interest for their future. Adoption Network has created a safe space with educational guides on unplanned pregnancy help and offers crucial support as well as counseling services to birth parents throughout the process, helping them navigate their emotions and make informed decisions about their child’s future. This article in Adoptive Families provides insights from birth parents about their experiences.

Myth 3: Adopted children have more emotional and behavioral problems.

Reality: While some adopted children may face unique challenges related to their adoption, there is no evidence to suggest they are more prone to emotional and behavioral problems than non-adopted peers. Adoption agencies provide resources, support, and education for adoptive families, which can help address potential issues and promote the well-being of adopted children.

Myth 4: Open adoption is confusing for children.

Reality: Open adoption has been proven to be an incredible way to raise an adoptee despite what you may have heard. Ongoing contact between the adoptive family, birth family and adopted child can benefit everyone involved. Open adoption can give adopted children a sense of identity and connection, it is also incredibly beneficial for the birth parents and their grieving process. Adoption professionals can facilitate open adoptions by offering guidance, support, and mediation services, ensuring that relationships remain healthy and beneficial for everyone involved. Here is more information from Adoption Network on the advantages of open adoption.

Myth 5: International adoptions are easier and faster than domestic adoptions.

Reality: International adoption processes can be just as complicated, if not more so, than domestic adoption. Each country has its own regulations, requirements, and procedures, which can create additional challenges and delays. Adoption agencies are knowledgeable in navigating these complexities and can provide valuable guidance and support for families pursuing international adoption. The U.S. Department of State offers information on international adoption procedures.

Fact 2: It Can Take Years to Adopt

Every adoption is a unique experience and takes a different amount of time. The time frame for an international adoption is easier to predict, as the children have already been born and the time involved is in the paperwork. You must apply to a US adoption agency with the program in the foreign country, complete the home study, receive approval from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and submit the adoption dossier overseas. After that, the adoption agency will provide you with an estimated timeline for the adoption, which can vary depending on that country’s laws and regulations.

The timeline for U.S. adoption is harder to predict as it includes being approved for your home study along with the time it takes to locate a prospective birth mother, how far along she is in her pregnancy, awaiting interstate approval to bring a child back into your home state, the post placement paperwork and the finalization of the adoption. The biggest unknown here is how long it will take to locate a birth parent and how far along in the pregnancy she will be.

Adoption agencies and professionals are essential in debunking common myths and misconceptions about adoption. By providing accurate information, resources, and support, they help ensure that everyone involved in the adoption process is well-informed and prepared for the challenges and rewards that adoption can bring. Placing or adopting a baby requires guidance from an experienced adoption professional. Adoption Network is here to provide quality, professional adoption services to birth parents and adoptive parents nationwide.

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