By Skyler Lee
I have always felt called to adopt children; although I’m not at that point in my life yet, I have researched everything I can think of related to the topic over the years so I am prepared when I do choose to adopt. I even find myself in conversations regarding the topic frequently since I’m so passionate about it. However, as I have discussed adoption with more and more people I have come to realize there are quite a few misconceptions surrounding this topic. Therefore, I would like to debunk the most common adoption myths I have encountered.
1. “No one can love my kid as much as I can. After all they won’t share a biological connection.”
Believe it or not, you can raise someone to whom you are not related and love them unconditionally and without boundaries. This premise is the entire concept behind Godparents. Many times, parents appoint their best friends to raise their children in the event something happens to them. The parents trust their close friends will love their friends’ kids just as much as they do their own (if they have their own already). Simply because they do not share genetics does not mean they are not fully capable of being great parents. Furthermore, have you ever loved a friend so much you would die for them? Have you ever fallen in love? An adoptive parent can love your child just as much as you can. In fact, many adoptive parents cannot have children naturally and they have waited their whole lives to love your child as their own.
2. “No one will want my baby. There’s already too many kids up for adoption and not enough families waiting to adopt.”
Placing your child for adoption does not have to be a guessing game. If you are the birth parents, placing your child is free and you can work with an agency to even pick the family for your child before your baby is born. You can meet with them and talk with them to ensure you are picking the perfect family. While there are many kids in foster care awaiting forever homes, most couples waiting to adopt would prefer a baby. In fact, in the United States, there are 36 adoptive families waiting to adopt for every one baby born and placed for adoption.
3. “Adoption is too expensive.”
Using an agency can be expensive, but that is never an excuse not to adopt if you feel it is your calling. There are adoption grants available and many couples have actually had their entire adoption funded through applying for this free money and doing fun fundraisers. Most applications simply require you to tell your story. Additionally, babies are more expensive to adopt because of the demand. However, there are plenty of children who have gone through the foster system who are now legally free from their parents and ready to be adopted. The last reported statistics actually show there are over 117,000 children in foster care awaiting a forever family. Adopting out of the foster system is typically cheaper than using an agency if it costs anything at all.
4. “If I place my child for adoption I’ll never get to see them again.”
Many people falsely assume once you place your child for adoption you can never see them again. This is not true in all cases and is completely up to you. Open adoption is a type of adoption which allows the biological and adoptive parents to get to know each other before the baby is born and have a relationship thereafter. Though closed adoption relationships vary based on the preferences and standards set during the adoption process, you can request to have pictures, contact, and even visits with your child. In past years, many adoptions were closed, and neither biological nor adoptive parents had each other’s contact information. However, this practice has dramatically changed in recent years. In fact, according to a 2013 survey, 55% of adoptions are open.
Overall, I hope this article helps more people be at ease with both placing their children for adoption and even possibly expanding their family through adoption. I understand the process can be a scary or mysterious concept to many people but knowing the facts and even just discussing the topic openly whether that’s with a friend or caseworker is the first step in truly realizing adoption is the life-changing, life-saving, and loving option.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Human Defense Initiative.