If you’re thinking of adopting a child, you may be torn due to the negative things you’ve heard from others around you. When you voice your excitement, there will inevitably be someone there to remind you that adoption is “outrageously expensive” or that you may not love this child like you would with a biological child.
While these people may mean well, they likely are only repeating what they’ve heard from others. There are several types of adoption cases, and all come with different experiences. Domestic newborn adoption is quite common in the United States, and it’s important to get to the root of these adoption myths and figure out the truth before deciding to give a child a loving home.
Myth #1: Birth Parents Can Take Your Baby Back
One of the most repeated – and most terrifying – myths perpetuated about newborn adoption is that their birth parents can come back at any time and take them away. This is simply not true. It’s exceedingly rare that birth parents contest an adoption in court. Typically, the only times that birth parents change their minds are between consenting to release the child and finalization of the adoption. This makes up less than 1% of cases in the U.S.
Myth #2: Newborn Adoption is Outrageously Expensive
It’s true that adopting a child comes at a cost. However, the fees that you pay vary, and everything you pay for is regulated by laws and reviewed closely by judges. You aren’t paying for a baby, but rather everything needed to be sure that the baby is safe. This includes medical fees for the birth mother, home studies, and legal fees. Domestic newborn adoption is much less expensive than international adoption. The myth that adoption is extremely expensive can be exaggerated based on the cost of travel that comes with choosing to adopt a baby from another country.
Myth #3: Adoptees Become Troubled Adults
One myth in particular that drives potential adoptive parents away is that adopted babies grow up to become emotionally-compromised or mentally-stunted adults. You’ve probably seen horror movies and TV shows depicting adopted children as troubled teens who hate their adoptive parents. This fear is based on the concept that the child didn’t come from your body, so they may be strange or even bad. It’s the fear of the unknown that stops some parents from adopting. This rhetoric is harmful and not even true. Adoptees are just as likely as their peers to become well-adjusted, happy adults! In fact, many are likely to be more accepting of people coming from different walks of life than their own.
Myth #4: Birth Parents are Cruel/Uncaring
It’s unfathomable to some that any parent could ever “give away” their baby. Because they could not personally do so, they think that birth parents don’t care about the child. While in very few cases this may be true, most birth parents just wanted to do right by the baby by placing it in the care of those who could provide in ways the birth parents couldn’t.
Myth #5: Open Adoption is Dangerous
When you picture a child being adopted, you may not often think about the birth parents still being in the picture. Many people are uncomfortable with the notion because of myth #1. They feel that the birth parents could exert control over the child and manipulate them to “pick a side.” In reality, it can be beneficial for a child to know both sets of parents and understand that they can be loved and be involved with all parties without having to pick one or the other.
Adoptees who grow up knowing where they came from are less likely to act out due to low self-esteem and curiosity. Open adoption can be a beautiful thing depending on your situation. Newborn adoption can be a complicated process due to the uncertainties involved, but understanding that some myths aren’t based in truth, you can get some peace of mind and give a child a loving home and family.