9 Adoption Myths Debunked
9 Adoption Myths Debunked
We all have our own thoughts about what adoption is and isn’t. Some come from what we have seen and heard through the life experiences of someone that is adopted or has adopted. Others are just simply “ideas” that people plant into our minds based almost entirely on hearsay and fallacy. These myths are everywhere and there are tons of them out there.
There are nine myths that I will expose about adoption:
1. People only want to adopt babies of their own race.
While some couples do prefer to adopt a child that would “blend” into their family with similar features or cultural background, there are plenty of families that simply do not. Some make a conscious effort to adopt a child from another culture or race.
2. Only rich people can afford adoption.
There are fees associated with adopting and adoption can run the gamut from very low-cost to tens of thousands of dollars. However, every adoption journey is different. There are many ways for people who are not are not rich to get funding for an adoption. So, it should not be considered a wealthy people’s privilege.
3. Women who choose to place their babies just don’t have maternal instincts.
Many times, the circumstance of the pregnancy is a greater factor than a person’s “maternal instinct.” It is best not to make judgment when it comes to things like instincts.
4. Babies placed for adoption usually have some type of bad background.
Every child that is placed for adoption is not from an abusive, drug, or “bad” environment. Most are simply a result of an unplanned pregnancy, and their mothers range from the very young and inexperienced to the very mature and affluent.
5. Everyone will always know that’s not your biological child.
For some people this will be obviously true, but to put it in perspective, adoption is not about deceit. It’s about a couple sharing their life and love with a child. So, it doesn’t matter what others think. Just like people can’t choose who we love, they also should not be allowed to define our families.
6. People who adopt are just desperate to keep up with their friends who are having babies.
Responsible adoptive parents have a great desire to have a child to be a part of their lives. That’s their ultimate goal, not to compete with their friends.
7. Adoption agencies take advantage of unwed mothers.
Women who are in need of prenatal counseling are at a greater advantage when they come to an adoption agency when they are in a desperate situation. Often, they will believe that their only option is to terminate their pregnancy or be forced to raise a child that they did not necessarily plan for. Adoption is another option.
8. Birth parents will want their babies back once they get their lives together.
Many birth parents make the decision to never allow contact with the child that they placed for adoption. That is not to say that there won’t be some that have a change of mind or heart, but the birth parent is the one who will decide what is best for their child early on. This will include whether or not they should have access to their information.
9. Adoption is for everyone.
This is by far the biggest myth of all. Adoption is NOT for everyone. It is a very important decision that affects many people. People who choose to adopt are making a lifelong commitment to love, care, and cherish a child. They are not shopping for babies or just taking someone because nobody else wants the child. Adoption is about people. It’s about love. Not everyone is prepared to give an adopted child everything that he or she will need to have the best possible life.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. is a Certified Open Adoption Practitioner, an award winning author of 2 adoption books Adopting Online and Adoption: Your Step-by-Step Guide. Mardie is also the talk show host of Let’s Talk Adoption.com with Mardie Caldwell and the founder of Lifetime Adoption in 1986. She travels and speaks nationwide on adoption topics, family topics, infertility and writing. She has been quoted in and consulted for Parenting and Adoption magazines and has appeared on CNN, CBS, ABC, BBC, NBC, and Fox. Featured in Parade Magazine, Caldwell is an adoptive mother living in Northern California.