Much of what people know of adoption comes from the media or their experience with adopted friends or family members while growing up. Thus, is it any wonder that so many adoption myths are still believed as fact?
Adoption Choices of Kansas is here to help you separate fact from fiction! We know that adoption can be confusing to those not directly affected by it. With the abundance of information available from various sources, it’s hard to know what’s what. Below, we debunk the top 10 common myths about adoption.
- Myth – Single people can’t adopt.
Single parent adoptions are being encouraged as they become more widely accepted. With so many children living in single parent families, adoption agencies have been more willing to consider unmarried men and women as prospective adopters. Being single will not prevent the adoption of a child.
- Myth – Children from abroad are broken.
International children are not all disabled or emotionally disturbed. While it’s becoming increasingly rare to adopt a healthy infant or toddler from another country, many of the children eligible for international adoption have minor, correctable health issues.
- Myth – It takes years to complete an adoption.
Sure, some adoptions can take years. But many happen in a matter of months, from the first filing of paperwork to the day a child is brought home. Most families are able to complete their adoption in about a year.
- Myth – Telling a child that he or she is adopted should be postponed until he or she understands what adoption is.
Teaching children about the special way they came into a family is a process that’s best when started at birth. Waiting until they’re older can be shocking and unsettling for them. They may wonder what else their parents aren’t telling them, which causes unnecessary guilt or shame.
- Myth – Adoption is the “second best” way to make a family
The statement that adoption is not the same as having a child of your own is remarkably wrong. Adoptive parents’ lives are complete with their children, adopted or not. The way they became parents may not be preferred for some, but they wouldn’t trade it for the world. Their children aren’t second best. Adoption wasn’t second best. For them, it was the best.
- Myth – If you’re gay, you can’t adopt.
There are a number of adoption agencies within the United States who work with same-gender couples to place infants! Gay couples in any state can petition for joint adoption, though some may have to prove they are in a legally recognized relationship. Some states explicitly allow same-sex couples to petition for adoption.
- Myth – All birth moms are teens.
Sure, there are younger girls who give birth and put their babies up for adoption. But birth mothers’ ages range from teens to women in their 30s. Most birth mothers are women in their twenties making a well-thought-out choice to give their child a life that they themselves cannot provide.
- Myth – Adoption ends in sadness.
If you believe movies to be factual, you most likely believe that all adoptions end in tears and heartbreak. On the contrary, adoption is all about helping families grow, and the vast majority end in happiness. Not to mention, adoption isn’t the end! For many, it’s the beginning and especially when choosing an open adoption.
- Myth – All adoptees are troubled.
Though some adoptees have indeed suffered trauma, children who are adopted are not necessarily destined to become troubled toddlers and teens with attachment disorders. Adoptees are people. Sometimes they wake up grumpy. Sometimes they melt down when they’re tired. Every tear of an adoptee isn’t evidence of trauma.
- Myth – Open adoption is confusing.
Another myth that comes up again and again is that open adoption is confusing for children. It’s not though! A healthy relationship between birth parents and adoptive parents poses several benefits.
While these 10 misconceptions and myths about adoption are most common, there are many, many more! We hope that by shedding light on a few of them, though, your eyes will be more open to the reality of adoption. To learn more about adoption or to start your adoption journey, contact Adoption Choices of Kansas and Missouri by calling us at 1-877-903-4488 or email us! You can also text us at 316-209-2071.