Guest Author - Karen Ledbetter
Unfortunately, many people still hold inaccurate perceptions of the adoption process and members of the triad. Some of these myths are negative and hurtful to adoptive families, while others are plain ridiculous assumptions.
Myth: There are no babies available for adoption in the United States. Wrong! My baby is Southern born and bred, and I belong to e-mail lists where babies are welcomed into adoptive families on a regular basis!
Myth: Adoptees will grow up to be just like their birth parents. Not completely true. Just because a birth parent is chemically dependent does not mean a child will be. However, a child may inherit specific talents and interests from one or both birth parents. My own child inherited her beautiful singing voice and love of horses from her birth parents.
Myth: Closed adoption is better than open adoption, or vice-versa. Adoption should not be a one-size-fits all arrangement. Some families do great with open adoption, while closed adoption is better for others. Each family should choose what type of adoption is best for them, and we should all respect one anotherís choices. Remember, living in this great country of ours gives us the freedom to make choices.
Myth: The wait and cost for international adoption is less than for domestic infant adoption. Not necessarily. According to statistics, both the wait and cost for international adoption can be considerably more than for domestic adoption.
Myth: Families adopting internationally or from our countryís foster care system are rescuing children in need. Itís true that these children do need families. However, babies where birth parents are making adoption plans also need families. Adoptive parents should not be viewed as superheroes. Instead, we are all humans simply wanting to parent and, for various unique reasons, choose the adoption route. One word: respect.
Myth: Families hoping to adopt American infants of their own race are selfish. Absolutely not! There is absolutely nothing wrong with a familyís desire to raise a baby of their own race and nationality. Again, we should respect one anotherís choices in adoption without questioning these choices.
Myth: Adopt, and you will become pregnant. This is ridiculous! While this does occasionally occur, this mentality suggests to me that families adopt as a reason to cure fertility. Adoption does not cure fertility, and such a suggestion is insulting to all members of the adoption triad.
Myth: Birth parents can reclaim their children at any time. Wrong! Some states do have revocation periods where a birth parent can change his/her mind about placement, but adoptive families who enter these types of adoptions, called legal risk, are fully aware and do so willingly. Most, if not all, of the contested adoptions that hit the media have problems from day one with the handling of legal documents.
Myth: Open adoption may cause a child to want to live with his birth family. The opposite actually occurred in our family. At one time, my child thought life would be so much more wonderful with his birth family until he learned that their household rules and consequences for breaking the rules are the same as in our house and the same behavior would be expected regardless of which household he resided in.
Myth: Adopted children are emotionally unstable and/or grow up to be criminals. Again, another ridiculous assumption. We do not make these assumptions based on a personís hair or eye color.
I have just scratched the surface on adoption myths. I have thought of and found so many that this topic will cover a t least one more article. Check back next week for more adoption myths. Also, if you know of any that I have not yet mentioned, please feel free to e-mail me.