MYTH: You can’t love an adopted child as much as a biological child.

FACT: Regardless of how a child joins your family, when you become a parent you can love your child with the deep love of a parent. It may take some time to adjust to your new addition and fully bond, but biology does not determine your capacity to love a child.


MYTH: Adoption is only for those who cannot have biological children


FACT: Adoption does not have to be “Plan B.” Some people choose to adopt children instead of or in addition to having biological children. People choose adoption for many reasons. Some may not be able to have biological children, but others want to provide a home for a child who needs one or feel that it is part of their religious calling. Some people who are adopted or who have personal experience with adoption choose to adopt because of their experiences.


MYTH: Only young, married couples can adopt.


FACT: You can become an adoptive parent regardless of your age or marital status. We do home studies for singles and married couples, same-sex couples and heterosexual couples, young people and older people. What is most important is your ability to provide a loving home for a child who needs one.


MYTH: Birth mothers are all teenagers and/or drug addicts.


FACT: Children who need adopted come from many backgrounds. Many birth mothers are stable, intelligent people who have decided to make an adoption plan because they believe that is the best thing for their child. Some children are actual orphans or have birth families who are unable to take care of them. Some mothers are teenagers and some may struggle with substance abuse, but that is certainly not the case for all birth mothers.


MYTH: All children who need adopted have special needs.


FACT: Whether you are pursuing international or domestic adoption, there are all types of children need adoption. Some may have special needs or medical conditions and some do not. In the foster care system, children have experienced some form of abuse or neglect, but these experiences do not always have lasting negative effects on the child once they become part of a loving, healthy family and the issues that led to their adoption are addressed. Many families actually choose to adopt children with special needs because they have the ability to provide a loving home where the child can have all their needs addressed.


MYTH: There is no real need for adoption, it is always unethical and amounts to child stealing.


FACT: There is a great need for adoption. While there are sadly some children who have become available for adoption because of coercion or fraud, that is certainly not the case for all or even most children who are adopted. There are now laws in place in the US to make sure that birth mothers are not coerced into choosing adoption for their child. Some international adoption agencies have acted in an unethical way, but many organizations have high ethical standards and the children they place for adoption are truly in need of a family. There are also things you can do to ensure your international adoption will be ethical. In foster care, the first goal is reunification with the child’s birth family, except in extreme cases. When children become available for adoption through foster care, it is because they are unable to be safely reunited with their birth families and need a loving, permanent family. There are currently over 100,000 children who the courts have determined are unable to reunite with their birth families and are legally free for adoption. About 20,000 children age out of the foster care system each year without being adopted into a forever family.


MYTH: Birth families can take their child back even after an adoption is finalized.


FACT: While there may be a period of time before and adoption is finalized when a birth mother can decide to parent their own child, once the birth parents’ rights are terminated and the adoption is finalized it is permanent and irrevocable. There are very limited exceptions during a short window of time if the consent to adoption is determined to be a result of fraud or coercion. Even during the waiting period, very few birth mothers change their mind about choosing adoption for her child, especially once the child is placed with the adoptive family.


Heather Pincelli