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Adoption Misconceptions Explained

Mar 23, 2008
For people who are just learning about and considering child adoption, there are a number of concerns that are commonly experienced. Regardless of your reasons for considering adoption, shedding light on the realities of the adoption process can help alleviate the common concerns and provide accurate answers to many of the misconceptions surrounding adoption.

Concern: Adopted children grow up to have psychological problems.

We can probably thank television for this misconception. Most of the research and studies performed regarding adoption shows that adopted children are no more at risk than non-adopted children in terms of their mental health or adjustment. When comparing the issues faced of biological children and their parents with the issues faced by adopted children and their parents - the fact is, both families face similar experiences and it doesn't seem to make a difference whether the children are biological or adopted, but there are a number of things that parents can do to minimize risks for mental illness.

Concern: An open adoption arrangement means the birth mother can take the child back if she wants to.

Adoption is the legal transfer of parental rights from a birth family to the adoptive family, whether it is an open adoption or not. With open adoption, the adoptive parents and birth mother decide how much contact the birth mother and child will have. Open adoption may mean the birth mother can correspond with the child via letters, email, photographs and telephone; or it may allow for face-to-face visitations at the adoption agency, a public place, or at times- in the family's home. The level of openness will depend on the adoptive families and the birth mother and what everyone feels comfortable with. Fully open adoptions (those that include visitations with the birth mother) only make up about 1% of adoptions, but there is an increasing number of semi-open adoptions which allow photographs and letters to be exchanged between the birth mother and the child.

Concern: Only very wealthy families can afford child adoption.

The adoption laws require that a home study is conducted to confirm that a prospective family is able to provide for an adopted child's emotional, physical and financial needs. The average cost for domestic adoption is between $18,000 and $25,000, but it can sometimes be done for less. There are a variety of options available to families of different income levels and lifestyles, including a federal government adoption tax credit for middle-income families. The tax credit can offer $10,000 or more to the adoptive parents. If a family adopts a child that is in the car of a state foster care program, the cost of adoption may be waived or subsidized.

Concern: If I choose to adopt, I will be on a waiting list for years before I become an adoptive parent.

The length of time a family waits for adoption can vary depend on a variety of factors- but the average wait time is between six and eighteen months. It does take time to identify a good match between a child and the adoptive family, with factors like health, race, age, and ethnicity playing a role in the decision. You can decrease your wait time by creating an adoption plan that defines your adoption goals, understanding the domestic adoption process and by hiring adoption professionals who will help you achieve your goals. Not all adoption professionals are the same, and hiring the wrong adoption professional can drastically affect how long it takes to adopt.
About the Author
Cindy Simonson is a respected adoption professional and writes about child adoption at InfantAdoptionCoach.com. For the past thirteen years she has been helping people successfully adopt the child of their dreams.
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