Adoptions have been happening forever. Every adoption story is different. Each old lady in the frozen food aisle at the grocery store is an expert on all things adoption. She will tell you everything there possibly is to know about it, particularly about those ‘types of people who give up their kids’ followed by a ‘bless your heart.’
Know what I mean?
Here are 5 weird things people still believe about adoption.
1. People believe that kids available for adoption in the United States live in orphanages.
Traditional orphanages do not exist in the United States anymore. Orphanages were replaced by the foster care system. It’s not a perfect system, and there are currently group homes mostly with older children. I get asked where my kids come from all the time! I have yet to figure out the asker’s intention, but it’s either they were unborn before they joined my family, with their birth parents, in a different foster home, or in a group home setting.
2. The kids available for adoption are bad, have special needs, or it is in some way their fault that they are available for adoption.
Kids who are available for adoption have been let down by the adults in their life. They’re usually biological family members who either tried, failed, or were unable to care for them properly after years of trying. Their biological families are not able to keep them safe and cared for. The choices that the adults in their lives made is in no way a reflection of the child. They are the innocent ones.
3. Adoptive parents have rescued their children.
Adoptive parents are looking to build their family. They are open to however that may happen. They know the risks, and they are up for the challenge. They know that the reward has nothing to do with helping a child and everything to do with loving your own child.
4. Biological parents give away their children.
People make poor choices. People with kids make poor choices. Sometimes addictions, past trauma, medical, or lack of education can cause people to make choices that lead to their child being removed from their care.
In other situations, biological parents look at their life and the life they can provide for their child and choose to place their child into a different home. The choose to do what is best for their child and them.
5. Open adoption is shared custody and co-parenting.
Open adoption is being open to openness. That can mean many different things from visiting with the biological parents regularly to sending letters once a year through a third party. Even having contact with extended biological relatives would be described as open adoption. It’s a bridge between the adoptive family and the biological family to provide the adoptee with resources they otherwise would not have.
Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Not sure what to do next? First, know that you are not alone. Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to speak to one of our Options Counselors to get compassionate, nonjudgmental support. We are here to assist you in any way we can.