Those who would like to adopt often are hindered by adoptions myths. Some of these common myths may prevent families who could provide a warm loving home from applying to adopt.
Myth #1: Adoption is Expensive
Although an adoption could cost up to $25,000 adoptions do not have to be expensive. If a family adopts a child in foster care, it can be at no cost. Many social services agencies offer subsidies to a family who adopts a foster care child. Adoption is most expensive for an infant through a private adoption agency or adoption of a foreign child due to legal and travel expenses.
Myth #2: Adoptive Parents Must be Wealthy
Middle-income families often adopt children. Those placing a child into a family do look at family finances. However, they focus on financial stability and the family’s ability to make responsible financial decisions. The decision is not based solely on the level of income.
Myth #3: Only a Childless Married Couple Can Adopt
Although more common in the past, today’s adoptive families may be couples who already have children or single persons. When applying to adopt a foreign child or using a private adoption agency there may be certain parameters that must be met such as religion, size of existing family, or marital status.
Myth #4: There Is No Financial Help for Adoptive Families
There are a few ways that adoption fees can be reduced:
- Fees may be reduced due to an agency’s sliding
- For a child adopted from foster care there may be a subsidies available to families
- Some employers offer adoption assistance as a benefit to their employees
- Tax credits may be available for adoptive families that help to reduce the overall cost.
Myth #5: The Biological Parents May Be Able to Reclaim the Child
The truth is that once the adoption is completed the biological parents’ parental rights are terminated permanently. There is no recourse for the biological parents to regain custody of the child.
Myth #6: Children in Foster Care Are Juvenile Delinquents
Children in the foster care system are there through no fault of their own. Unfortunately, they are victims of neglect, abuse, or have been abandoned by their biological parents. These children are among the easiest for families to adopt.
Myth #7: It Is Impossible to Adopt a Healthy Infant in the U.S.
Thousands of healthy infants are adopted every year. Open adoption is a popular option where the birth mother chooses the adoptive parents and her child is promised to the couple at delivery.
Myth#8: Adoption Takes Many Years
Most couples can complete an adoption in about a year. This depends on what kind of adoption is attempted. A foreign adoption or an infant adoption may take longer.
Myth #9: Most Birth Mothers Are Teenagers
Most women considering adoption for their babies are single mothers in their twenties. Many are already struggling to support other children. They usually choose adoption with the child's best interest in mind.
Myth#10: Infants Offered for Adoption May Have Been Exposed to Drugs
Most birth mothers are not drug users. You can request medical records for the child and ask questions about the birth mother’s drug use, particularly in an open adoption. Although the information can be incomplete, most babies are healthy.
If more families realized they might qualify to be adoptive parents then perhaps fewer children would still be in the foster care system. A family who is determined to adopt will find there are many resources available to them in the form of support groups, advice, and even financial assistance.