People have a lot of ideas and thoughts about what adoption looks like today. They might have seen things on television or in movies or heard stories about what the adoption process entails.
Unfortunately, there are some common misconceptions about adoption. We want to unpack what some of these are and discuss the truth about the family-building option that is today’s modern adoption.
Myth #1: Adoptive parents don’t bond as closely with adopted children.
Simply sharing the same DNA does not make a family. What connects parents and their children is unconditional love.
A child placed with a nurturing and loving family will naturally be able to form a bond over time. Just like biological parents, adoptive parents feel love for their child while they help coach them through their first baseball game, after they get a good grade on a test, or when they are sick in the middle of the night.
The bond between the child and the adoptive parents is one that will hold strong for a lifetime.
Myth #2: Adoption is confusing for the child.
Open adoption helps children understand where they came from and helps them step into their identity. Because an open adoption allows birth parents and adoptive families to stay in contact through visits, letters, and pictures, the child has the benefit of learning more about their heritage and medical history. This can help the child better establish and tap into their unique personality and sense of self as they grow older.
And while your child may have questions about their birth parents along the way, consistently communicating that love is — and always was — the driving force in their adoption is vital. This gives your child the ability to better develop family relationships and navigate the different dynamics that go along with them.
Myth #3: Expectant mothers choose adoption because they don’t want their child.
Expectant mothers feel a deep love for their children and want to do what is best for them. Choosing adoption is often the hardest decision they will have to make in their lifetime, and it is not because they do not want their children. It is because they want more for their kids and have realized that they cannot give them the life or opportunities they deserve at this point in their lives.
Birth mothers can and do experience loss and grief surrounding their adoption choice. However, what brings them hope is making an adoption plan that allows choosing the adoptive parents who will raise their baby. Understanding that open adoption is not goodbye forever is also a big part of this selfless choice.
Myth #4: Adoption is too expensive.
It is true that certain types of adoptions, especially international adoptions, can get very costly. And while working with a domestic adoption agency does come with fees, it is not necessarily cost-prohibitive.
You don’t have to be a wealthy celebrity to become an adoptive parent. Adoptive parents are teachers, engineers, nurses, truck drivers, daycare workers, and so many more things. They are often middle-class employees who have simply chosen to welcome a child through adoption.
And with that choice comes a conscious decision to save and plan ahead for whatever costs come with the adoption process.
#5: Children should not know they’re adopted until they’re older.
It is true that you should share your child’s adoption story with them in an age-appropriate way. But it is definitely not true that you should wait to tell them that they were adopted. In all cases, talking to the child from day one, even in infant adoptions, helps the child understand and helps the parents get comfortable talking about it.
Children deserve to know the story about how they came into the world and how they made it to your family, even if it has complex details. They may not fully understand it, either. But that’s okay. It allows them to ask questions and talk about their feelings, which is a very healthy process to go through.
The Truth About Modern Adoption
Adoption is an incredible blessing that comes through the birth mother’s selfless decision to provide a life for her child that she cannot provide. If you are an expectant mother who is considering options for your unplanned pregnancy, we are happy to talk to you about how we can help place your baby into a loving adoptive home. Call or text Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784, or request information about adoption here.
If you are hoping to adopt and want to find out details about our process, home studies, and more, contact our experienced team of adoption coordinators at Lifetime Adoption today.
As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.