Myths and Truths About Adoption

Source: Flickr, DVIDSHUB

Source: Flickr, DVIDSHUB

Whether you are a family embarking on the adoption process or a friend or family member of someone who wishes to adopt, you’ll encounter many myths that persist about the process. It’s important to confront these myths and discuss them. Doing so will help ease anxiety and fears of potential adoptive parents, educate their friends and families, and help the larger communities learn about and understand adoption, too. Below are many of the myths that families encounter during the adoption process, along with the truth of the particular matter.

Myths about Birthmothers

Myth: That a birthmother who considers adoption is not loving or has serious problems.
Truth: Birthmothers consider adoption for a wide variety of reasons, but ultimately they make the choice out of selflessness and a desire for their child to have the best life possible. It is a true sacrifice that birthmothers must make, and they often understand that adoption gives their child hope and love. It is a special gift that only a birthmother can give.

Myth: Birthmothers do not care about the child.
Truth: Birthmothers are brave women who make a completely selfless act in choosing adoption for their child. Such an act is not easily forgotten. While it’s not right for all families, some may consider an open adoption, which allows the birthmother to continue to receive information about the child. Many families find this to be a healing choice that makes the bonds stronger.

Myths about Adoptive Children

Myth: Adoption is damaging to the child.
Truth: Adoption provides children with chances for success and emotional happiness. Studies have shown that children of adoption go on to have healthy, happy relationships, success in school, and better stability into adult years.

Myth: Telling a child he or she is adopted will emotionally harm them.
Truth: Discussing adoption with your child does not have to be a harmful moment at all. Parents can begin having these conversations when children are young, laying the groundwork for questions to form as their children grow. Openness, love and honesty will go a long way to making adoption discussions positive for the child. Families can bond over the story and providing books to children on adoption is a great way to foster curiosity about the process and their own individual story.

Myths about the Adoption Process

Myth: The adoption process is a secret.
Truth: Most adoption agencies actually want to share as much information as possible with adoptive parents and families, right from the very beginning. The process can be as open or closed as adoptive parents and birthmothers wish, leaving any secrecy to be entirely up to the choice of those involved. We advocate for adoptive parents to reach out to their families and communities often, to share information, and to support each other in this process. Secrecy is unnecessary and often causes anxiety.

Myth: International adoption is easier than domestic adoption.
Truth: The adoption process is a commitment, no matter what avenue an adoptive family decides to take. There are many steps along the way, many of which are the same (home visits, paperwork, etc.), and the process can take several years depending on the individual circumstances. It’s up to the adoptive parents and their agency to decide what the best avenue is for them. There is no right or wrong choice here; it’s about finding love and happiness for everyone involved.