Making the decision to expand your family is the beginning of an exciting adventure. There will be ups and downs and you may not be quite sure what will happen next. However, your life will never be the same again. In most cases, your life will be filled beyond measure and it will be the most rewarding experience you have ever had.
For many, adoption is the chosen method for bringing a child into a home. If you have never adopted before, you may find yourself researching the topic. Moreover, with so much information on the Internet, it can be difficult to assess what is fact and what is fiction. However, we can help decipher the information for you.
Myth #1: You have to have a lot of money and own a home to adopt from foster care.
You do not need to own a home, be a stay-at-home parent, or have exorbitant disposable income in order to adopt. Most adoptions from the United States foster care system are absolutely free. If there are minimal costs, then those costs are reimbursable in most cases. In addition to the low cost to adopt, you may also be eligible for post adoption resources, such as financial benefits and medical care.
Myth #2: All children in foster care are special needs and require special education.
Many of the children in foster care are removed because of abuse or neglect. When “special needs” is used, it is referring to children that qualify for assistance due to specific adoption factors such as:
- Being an older child,
- Having a particular racial or ethnic background,
- Being a part of a sibling group, or
- Medical conditions.
Myth #3: You can not adopt a child that you know.
If you know the child via being a neighbor or family member, the court actually prefers you. They want the child to have a supportive adult that he or she may previously know. Foster care may actually seek you out during a “case-mining” phase.
Myth #4: You have to be married and be a stay-at-home parent.
In 2011, 32 percent of children adopted were to single parents or unmarried couples. This also includes individuals and couples who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT). You do not need to be wealthy, own a home, be a stay-at-home parent, or already have children. In most cases, you are eligible to adopt regardless of age, gender, income, marital status, disability, or sexual orientation.
Myth #5: The birth parent or family can take the child back.
Adoptions are legally binding agreements and cannot be completed until the parents' rights are permanently terminated. As far as the family is concerned, it is extremely rare that a birth family contests an adoption. About 98 percent of adoptions remain intact.
Finding the logic behind all of the myths can be tedious and confusing. In the adoption process, it is always a good idea to have knowledgeable and experienced legal counsel—someone who has years of experience making adoption dreams come true. If you are just starting out in your adoption adventure, or are towards the end, we can assist in answering your questions. If you are looking for a reliable, compassionate Naperville, IL family law attorney, call Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C. at 630-665-7676.