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.
Most adoptions from the United States foster care system are inexpensive. In addition to the low cost to adopt, you may also be eligible for post-adoption resources, such as financial benefits, counseling, and medical care. The federal government currently provides certain tax credits for these adoptions, as do some employers.
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, not because of medical circumstances. Special needs often mean that the children need a loving home to care for and provide for them. Some of the children in foster care are simply older children, and they need a loving family too.
Myth #3: You can’t adopt a child that you know.
If you know the child via being a neighbor or family member, the court may actually prefer you. They want the child to have a supportive adult that he or she may previously know. There are training and foster parent licensing requirements, but a relative placement or close kin placement is often preferred to provide stability for the child or children.
Myth #4: You have to be heterosexual, married, and be a stay-at-home parent.
In 2017, 1 in 3 adoptions were single parent/unmarried couple adoptions. In that same year, same-sex couples were over four times more likely to foster children, with many of those resulting in final adoptions.
Myth #5: The birth parent or family can take the child back.
Adoptions are final, meaning that birth parent rights are terminated forever. There are limited situations where the rights can be regained through a re-adoption, but those are extremely rare. There is a growing trend towards open adoption, where a birth parent retains some level of post-adoption contact with their birth children. This is always by mutual agreement and the level of involvement remains at the discretion of the new family.