A lot of the information people have about adoption comes from popular media sources our their own personal experience with other children who were adopted growing up. As these are the main sources of information about adoption, it’s no wonder that there are many adoption myths that are still taken as factual. Spend some time educating yourself about adoption so that you will be able to separate facts about adoption from common myths about adoption.
Common Myths About Adoption:
1. There are no healthy infants available for adoption in the United States.
2. It takes a number of years to actually complete an adoption.
3. If you are single, you cannot adopt.
4. Most birth mothers are teenagers.
5. Infants available for adoption in the United States have been exposed to drugs or alcohol.
6. Children who are adopted shouldn’t be told they were adopted until they understand what adoption means.
The Truth About Adoption:
1. Tens of thousands of healthy, newborn babies are adopted each year. Many are through open adoption in which the biological mother or birth mother chooses the family herself. Domestic adoption is an option for those looking to extend their family.
2. Adoptive Families Magazine conducted a recent poll. Results revealed that the majority of families complete their adoptions in approximately one year. Families who are considering adoption should expect the process to take one to two years.
3. In reality, there are many single individuals who have decided to start or build their families through adoption. Single adoptive parents looking to complete an adoption should find an experienced family law attorney who has experience with similar adoptive situations.
4. Most birth mothers are in their twenties and already have other children they are parenting. Most are single and struggling to support themselves and the children they already have. These women typically chose adoption thoughtfully looking to provide their unborn child with a better life. Many will welcome playing an active role in the adoption plan/process.
5. The majority of women who are considering adoption for their children are not using drugs. Most are leading generally healthy lives and are even seeking prenatal care. They aren’t choosing adoption because they don’t care about their child, but because they do care.
6. The process of sharing your adopted child’s birth story is one that may begin at birth. Some parents who wait until their child is older to share their birth and adoption story find that the child finds it unsettling and shocking. Many children who are not told until they are older will even carry their negative feelings through to other parts of the parent/child relationship wondering what else their parents haven’t told them. Others in this situation may respond with feelings of guilt or shame triggered by the fact that it was kept a secret. There are a number of helpful books that can assist parents in sharing the birth to adoption story with their child.
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