Common Myths in Adoption: What You Should Know to Fight Fears with Facts
Even today with the thousands of adoptions that happen every year, there are still many myths and misconceptions about adoption. As with anything, it is always best to counter your fears with learning the facts and educating yourself on the subject. Seek information from experts, search and read about adoption and arm yourself with the truth. Once you know the facts, parents seeking to adopt can put aside unnecessary worries and focus on moving forward with the tasks involved in the adoption process.
Some common myths in adoption:
Myth #1: Birthparents can change their minds and sue to terminate the adoption.
Parents seeking to adopt through a private domestic adoption should understand the risks that may be involved with adoption. Prospective birth parents retain all of their legal parental rights until they choose to sign relinquishments or terminate their rights. There are some states that provide for a waiting period or revocation period where birth parents can change their mind and request that the termination or consent not be valid. However, once the adoption is finalized by way of a proclamation given by a judge, the family who adopted are the parents in every way and hold the rights and responsibilities of parents. Birth parents can work to overturn the adoption, but would need to prove in court that they signed the relinquishment papers due to fraud or duress. Working with a reputable adoption agency or adoption professional can help to ensure that all legal requirements are met and your risk is as minimal as possible.
Myth #2: It is very hard to get a placement for a healthy infant.
On the contrary, with a careful screening process and good prenatal care, you can maximize the possibility of being matched with a healthy infant. Parents who are matched with a potential birth parent are provided with as much information on the status of the pregnancy, as well as the available birth parents’ medical and social history. If there is also the possibility that the baby was exposed to harmful substances during the pregnancy, good medical care can help for the baby to receive the best possible care before and after birth. Again, working with reliable adoption professionals can help ensure that your birth mother is receiving regular prenatal check-ups.
Myth #3: You have to be wealthy in order to adopt.
Being wealthy is not a requirement to adopt. Showing you have the financial means to provide for the needs of the child will help the social worker to determine, if you are prepared to adopt financially. This includes ensuring that the child has ample space in the house (a bedroom of his own or shared with a sibling of the same gender) and that you have the financial capability to meet the child’s needs (i.e. food, clothing, education). During the home study process, the social worker will review your financial records and situation – your current income and level of expenses as well as existing debts to make a recommendation on your approval for adoption.