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Why does Adoption still Carry so Much Stigma?

Why is Adoption Such A Taboo subject?

By Chloe Agas

You may be a woman who may be considering giving a child up for adoption in Kansas, but share concerns with the stigmas surrounding the adoption process. Adoption has been around for centuries, however, it is still a taboo subject with the stigmas that surround it. We may ask ourselves, “Why is there a negative stigma surrounding the adoption process?” There are multiple factors that contribute to the stigma surround adoption, which could include:

  • Misconceptions and stereotypes
  • Lack of understanding
  • Media portrayals
  • Cultural and religious influence
  • Emotional and psychological impacts

In this article, we will explore the different factors contributing to the stigma surrounding adoption, why it is such a taboo subject and how we can make a change to how it is portrayed.

What are Some Factors Contributing to the Stigma Surrounding Adoption?

Adoption is seen as a taboo subject because of how it is portrayed through different outlets in society. This can go from a lack of education and understanding of the process to different media portrayals who shed a negative light on the topic. This creates a stigma that causes more birth parents hesitant to consider adoption. Here are some factors that continuously contribute to the stigma surrounding adoption.

  • Misconceptions and stereotypes.
  • A common stereotype is that when a birth mother decides to place their child up for adoption, they are giving up on them. This is simply not true, because every person has their own unique circumstances to be dealt with. Adoption is a selfless decision filled with strength and love.
  • Lack of understanding
  • The adoption process is still not understood completely by some, which may lead to negative conclusions. For example, questions may pop up such as, “What happens when the child asks about their birth parents?” However, in truth, the birth mother and adoptive family can choose how to communicate. This results in the birth mother maintaining communications with her child.
  • Media portrayals.
  • In the media, birth mothers who potentially want to place their baby for adoption are seen as unloving. Specifically in TV shows, for example, they may even portray adopted children differently from others in a negative light. This can range from their emotions to physical attributes. But, the adoption process opens an opportunity to place a child in a loving environment and the birth mother’s best interests at heart.
  • Cultural and religious influence.
  • In some cultures, adoption can signify a shortcoming. Whether that would be on values of marriage or identical development, it can be seen as a challenge to consider adoption, despite the circumstances a birth mother or birth parents may be in. This is difficult to overcome, but despite any situation, adoption can still bring a positive light for the sake of the birth parents, adoptive parents and the child’s interests at heart.
  • Emotional and psychological impacts.
  • The choice of adoption is not easy. Adoption is a process that could take a toll on mental health, and with the stereotype that it can be seen as “giving up,” one may feel the intense guilt of making the choice. These impacts can continue even after the process has occurred, and separation can lead to trauma. But, a birth mother should know that they are not alone, and are advocated for.

How Can we Make A Change and Break the Stigma?

In order to make a change on how the adoption process is viewed, we must take action upon ourselves to openly discuss it. Here are a couple of examples:

  • How can we combat misconceptions and stereotypes?
  • We can create positive shifts in societal perception by sharing experiences and stories about adoption. This can demonstrate to those around us about the benefits of adoption–such as providing an opportunity to create a loving environment for a child. The process of creating this is called an adoption plan, and the birth mother can choose based on the best interests for both her and the child.
  • What is one way we can educate others about the adoption process?
  • We can educate those around us about Open Adoption, which is communication between the birth mother and the adoptive family during and after the adoption process. This demonstrates that there will still be interactions between the child and the birth mother, depending on the choice of communication.
  • Can we advocate for a better media portrayal of adoption?
  • Yes! By spreading positive adoption awareness, for example on social media, can help push for less negative media portrayal. You can create informative posts and share resources about local adoption agencies in your area. Adoption Choices of Kansas is a local open adoption agency that provides services statewide.
  • How can we shed a positive light on adoption to different communities?
  • Through continuous research, we can inform and educate a diversity of communities about how the adoption process works. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs, but we can share experiences on how a birth mother can be supported and advocated for in her decision. We can provide assurance that each birth mother has their own unique circumstances, and can seek out support anytime.
  • Is there a way we can seek out help for birth mothers considering adoption?
  • Sharing support and assistance to birth mothers who need it. The choice to give a child up for adoption is never easy, whether it is before, during or after the process occurs. We can share about the different adoption agencies and what services they can provide. At Adoption Choices of Kansas, we provide unlimited free counseling sessions and a safe space at our adoption agencies in Kansas for you throughout the adoption process. 

Are You Considering Giving a Child Up for Adoption in Kansas and Ready for Assistance?

If you are a woman seeking adoption services in Wichita and Kansas City, we are ready to assist with our variety of services. Adoption Choices of Kansas recognizes the stigma surrounding adoption, and we are prepared to provide resources, and assist you on how to overcome it. It is never too late to seek out resources on how to give a baby up for adoption. At Adoption Choices of Kansas, we want to be able to assist you as you make a life-changing decision to give your child up for adoption. We want to reassure you as a birth mother that giving up your child for adoption is a loving and selfless decision. You are demonstrating strength and doing the best for both you and your child. We will guide you through how the adoption process works, and in personalizing your adoption plan. You are not alone during this time. From our counseling services to financial assistance, our mission is to always advocate for our clients’ wellbeing.

Adoption Choices of Kansas is an open adoption agency that can be reached for consultation through this email form or through call/text at 316-391-4904 to begin discussing your options.

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