“Wow, I thought adoption was super-expensive, how did you afford it?”
“Aren’t you worried that her birth mother will come to take her back?”
“Don’t you want a baby of your own?”
Upon telling your family and friends you’re adopting, you may have gotten asked questions like these, followed by looks of concern. Even though they just want what’s best for you, ignorant questions like these prove that they don’t fully understand how modern adoption works.
In movies and TV shows, we often see an inaccurate picture of adoption, one that’s full of drama. As a result, many are led to believe the adoption stories they watch in the media are typical of real-life adoptions.
Lifetime encourages you to educate family and friends with the truth to these 4 commonly-believed adoption myths:
1. “You have to be rich if you want to adopt.”
While adoption can be expensive, it doesn’t mean that wealthy celebrities are the most common adoptive parents. Most adoptive families are ordinary, middle-class people.
Adoption costs vary, with international adoption being the most expensive. So, there’s a type of adoption to meet every budget. For those who pursue domestic adoption, the adoption tax credit can compensate for most of your expenses. Every hopeful adoptive parent’s situation is different, so it’s a matter of determining the type of adoption that works best for you. Many adoptive couples budget, fundraise, and save in order to afford adoption, and there’s also the adoption tax credit, which helps defray adoption costs.
2. “The birth parents can just come by and reclaim their child!”
In reality, after the adoption is final, birth parents aren’t able to reclaim their child. Up to the point that they sign papers relinquishing their parental rights, which can be 24 hours or longer depending on their state laws, they can change their minds.
But this is no longer the case once the adoption is final. At that point the adoption becomes final, you are the child’s legal parents. You may have heard adoptive families called “forever families,” and that’s because adoption truly is forever.
3. “Most birth mothers are irresponsible teenagers.”
The truth is that birth mothers are a variety of ages within range of childbearing years. We have helped birth mothers anywhere from their teens up to their forties, but most birth mothers we support are in their twenties and thirties. Rather than focus on birth mothers’ age and situation, we encourage you to share that birth mothers are women who make a decision so their baby can have opportunities they are unable to provide.
4. “It’s hard to develop a relationship with a child you’re not biologically related to.”
Adoptive parents, like biological parents, develop a deep and lasting bond with their child. If you ask any adoptive parent, they’ll tell you that there’s no difference in the love they have for a biological or an adopted child. The child they adopted is their “own,” despite the fact they didn’t give birth. Love, not biology, is what creates a family!