The Truth About Adoption

Searching for universal truths about adoption? At first glance, it might appear that there aren’t any. But here’s some truth about adoption.

It is estimated that there are somewhere around 6 million adoptees in the US alone. Adoptees have parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and more, both in their adoptive and biological families. Do the math. Adoption touches more than 50 million of us in very direct – and different – ways.

But universal truths?

For the more than 30 million Americans who make up the triad (adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents), there is an equal number of stories. No one’s experience is a carbon copy of another’s. Add to this the emotion generated by our individual and collective issues, losses, gains, joys, guilt, shame, or anger, and the cacophony is deafening.

Is all that noise our universal truth?

Generalizations Don’t Work

Many of the misconceptions that exist today seem to stem from the mass generalizations made about adoption as a practice and each segment of the adoption community as a group. Efforts to apply certain “truths” about adoption have failed miserably. For example:

There are, of course, facts about adoption that apply universally, including these:

But universal truths?

Issues abound, but we certainly don’t agree about them.

No universal truths here, and we haven’t even touched on ethics, best practices, open adoption, transracial adoption, single parent adoption, adoption by persons over 50, and many more.

We Are Uniquely Diverse

For every birth mother who was coerced or shamed into placing her child for adoption, there is more than likely another who relinquished with full consent, full understanding, and a belief that she was doing what was best for her child.

For every birth father who knew of the pregnancy, there is one or more who did not.

For every adoptive parent who, from a sense of insecurity or shame or embarrassment over the words sterility or infertility, didn’t tell an adopted child the truth, there are hundreds of thousands of adoptive parents who gave their children an understanding and awareness of their adoption from the very beginning.

And for every adoptee who feels twinges of guilt or betrayal– or even fear– at the thought of learning a birth parent’s name, thousands are waiting in line to know.

So, What Is The Truth About Adoption?

Is it our collective noise? Is it our individual losses, gains, joys, guilt, shame, or anger?

Whatever our personal truths might be, the Internet has become an enormous source of shared community for the adoption constellation.

And the Web is full of articles, opinions, and historical perspectives that help promote better understanding among members of both the non-adoption and adoption communities.

As we move out onto the Web to learn more about others in this unique family unit, perhaps we will come closer together. Perhaps the Web will be the catalyst that enables us to establish a universal truth: an appreciation of and respect for our differences.



Do you feel there is a hole in your heart that can only be filled by a child? We’ve helped complete 32,000+ adoptions. We would love to help you through your adoption journey. Visit or call 1-800-ADOPT-98. Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Do you want more choices with your adoption plan? Do you want to regain more control in your life? Visit or call 1-800-ADOPT-98. We can help you put together an adoption plan that best meets your needs.