Myths About Adoption: Correcting False Perceptions

Many people have preconceived assumptions about adoption, because of how it’s portrayed on the media. We’re led to believe that what we see in the movies and on the news is typical. Here’s the truth behind some common adoption myths:

Myth #1: “Most adoptions are closed”

A lot of people are inclined to believe that adoptees grow up not knowing who their birth parents are because of what is popularized through the media. You might be surprised to learn that most adoptions are open. In fact, 90% of birth mothers want some sort of relationship with the adoptive family, according to American Adoptions.

Open adoption allows communication to remain open between all parties so that adopted children have the privilege to get to know their birth parents.

For more common misconceptions specifically about open adoption, check out another one of our blogs!

Myth #2: “Most people don’t know they’re adopted”

Again, most adoptions are open, so most adopted children grow up getting to know their birth parents. Therefore, most children grow up already knowing that they’re adopted.

The beauty of this is the fact that they probably can’t remember the first time they were told that they were adopted because this part of their lives has always been openly talked about. There’s no dramatic reveal like you see in the movies!

Myth #3: “You should wait to tell them about their adoption until they’re older”

While there is nothing wrong with discussing adoption using age appropriate language, it’s highly recommended that you begin talking about and celebrating your child’s adoption story from day one.

They might not completely understand, but being open about adoption promotes a positive climate as opposed to something that should be buried under the rug. By being completely open and honest about their adoption, they will understand that adoption is a normal part of life and they have the right to their own thoughts and feelings about it.

Myth #4: “Birth mothers place their children for adoption because they don’t want them”

The reality is that for birth mothers, placing their child for adoption is often the hardest decision they will ever make. It’s not that they don’t want or love their children, it’s that they want more for them then they are able to give.

“Birth mothers think about their children, see their children, grieve the loss of their children, are proud of their children and, of course, want their children to feel loved, follow their dreams, and live to their fullest potential,” says Tasha Blaine, manager of special needs adoption at Spence-Chapin.

Myth #5: “Adopting a child will never be the same as having a biological child”

While it’s true that adopting a child is a very different experience than having a biological child, adoptive parents still love their children unconditionally, take care of their needs, and support their dreams! Your bonds with your child will not be grounded in biology but will be built through the love that is given and share.

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