Common Myths About Adoption: Separating Fact from Fiction

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Adoption is an emotionally charged topic that can feel incredibly overwhelming despite the fact that it is often an uplifting and positive experience. There are many misconceptions and myths about adoption around today which may discourage people from considering adoption in the first place. Many of these myths stem from people’s own prejudices or stories about adoption in films and television. 

These myths do a disservice to adoption in general and can even be harmful when they reinforce negative and false stereotypes about birth mothers, adoptive parents, and adopted children. Adoption practices today are highly regulated to ensure that the process is safe, trauma-informed, and is designed to respect the birth mother’s wishes. Let’s take a closer look at some of these misconceptions so we can separate fact from fiction.

Myth: “Adoption Is Only For The Wealthy”

A common myth about adoption is that it’s only accessible to wealthy families, and that birth mothers will only choose incredibly affluent adoptive parents. While it’s true that adoption is expensive, there are many forms of financial assistance available to families wishing to adopt, including grants, loans, and tax credits. Before you assume that adoption isn’t an option for you, make sure to do your research. 

There are plenty of families from more modest income brackets that have been able to make their adoption dreams come true. Although prospective adoptive parents must be able to prove that they are financially stable, being wealthy is not a prerequisite for adoption. In fact, prospective adoptive parents are only presented to birth mothers once they have passed a screening process – and the priority for birth mothers is choosing kind, good-hearted people that will love their children. 

Myth: “Adopted Children are More Likely to Struggle with Mental Health Issues”

Another misperception about adoption is that adopted children tend to struggle with mental health and or behavioral issues. The truth is, many adopted children were at a higher risk of developing these kinds of issues had they not been adopted. Many birth mothers choose adoption so that their children can avoid adverse childhood experiences like growing up in poverty or unsafe environments. With the proper support and resources, adopted children can and do thrive. Adoptive parents are aware of the unique challenges their adoptive children may face and understand that part of their job is to help them navigate life successfully. 

Myth: “Birth Mothers are Irresponsible or Unfit Parents”

One painful and harmful misperception about adoption is that birth mothers that choose adoption have failed in some way. People assume that birth mothers must be irresponsible or unfit,  instead of realizing that choosing adoption can be one of the most beautiful and life-affirming acts of motherhood. The truth is that birth mothers choose adoption for different reasons, but it is usually a powerful act of love done from a desire to give their children a better life. The bottom line is that birth mothers deserve compassion, respect, and support for choosing adoption. 

Myth: “Adoptive Parents Always Get to Choose the Child They Want”

Another adoption myth is that adoptive parents have complete control over the adoption process. The truth is that birth mothers have the final say in the matching process. Although both the birth mother and adoptive parents must agree to and feel comfortable with the adoption plan, it’s important for birth mothers to realize that they get to choose the adoptive family as much or even more than the adoptive family chooses them. 

Myth: “Adoption Is Always Traumatic” 

Finally, there is a common misconception that adoption is always a traumatic process. Although adoption is a complex emotional journey for everyone involved, many adoptive parents and birth mothers have shared how it was and is a positive experience that created beautiful relationships. Adoption in and of itself does not have to be traumatic, but it is important to provide the necessary support and resources to all parties to help them before, during, and after the adoption process is complete. Reputable adoption agencies and law firms offer counseling and therapy to thier clients to ensure that everyone is receiving the support and care they need. 

Choosing Adoption 

As adoption lawyers in the state of Florida, we have years of experience with the adoption process. We are proud advocates for and sensitive to the needs of birth mothers and children, and we understand that choosing to put your baby in an adoption plan is a life-changing decision, full of emotional highs and lows. We are here to support and guide you each step of the way, whether or not you decide adoption is right for you. If you would like to schedule a consultation to find out more about adoption and the services we offer, contact us today.