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Adoption Myths: Busted

adoptive parents with babyThose who work in adoption spend a lot of time dispelling misconceptions about the process. These myths may be about the time needed, the costs, or even the children themselves. In order to help alleviate any worries you might have about adoption, we’re going to bust a few of the most common myths about the process.

Unattainable Costs

One of the biggest myths surrounding adoption has to do with the costs involved with the process. Don’t take this to mean that adoptions are cheap; they aren’t, and most families will need to save up for a bit to make it happen, but it is within reach of most families. The average adoption costs about as much as a new car.

That said, some adoptions turn out to be very quick and inexpensive. Even if it isn’t, there are grants and other forms of assistance that can make adoption costs more attainable. Many adoptive families are able to take advantage of private grants, government assistance, or crowdfunding to help them achieve the full amount needed.

Perfection Required

Another common misconception about adoption revolves around the type of person who can be approved for adoption. All too often, the image of the adoptive family is a traditional one, headed by a married man and woman with a nice home and professional day jobs, leaving anyone who doesn’t fit that mold feeling like they may not be able to adopt.

In reality, a wide spectrum of people are able and encouraged to adopt. Whether you are single, divorced, low-income, LGBT, disabled, or just about anything else — it’s pretty likely that you can find an adoption agency or adoption facilitator to work with you. If you want to explore the possibility of adoption, don’t let this perception of the traditionally perfect family stop you from building your own perfect family.

Ongoing Troubles

Many people think that adopted children are much more likely to have ongoing mental or emotional trouble, giving potential adoptive parents pause as they consider what their future family might be like. In fact, recent studies have shown that adopted children experience these problems, as both children and adults, at about the same rate as children who grow up with their biological family.

This perception of ongoing trouble also extends to trauma that might arise when the child finds out they are adopted, or when they decide to go looking for their birth family. However, most modern adoptions are what we call “open adoptions“. In an open adoption, the adoptive family and the birthmother maintain a level of contact that is agreed to before the adoption. In some cases, this means a yearly email; in others, it might be a monthly phone call. In any case, the adoptive family, and in many cases the adopted child, are well aware of who the birthmother is, stopping any potential trauma or drama in its tracks. This level of open communication has been found to be healthier for all involved.