While we haven't been at this "officially" for long and I haven't posted on this board much, I've been lurking for quite some time.
I think all of us have probably heard lots of different things about adoption many of which were huge misconceptions, misunderstandings, misinformation or myths. Along the way we learn and find out that things are often not what the average person might think.
I know that I personally have learned a great deal in reading the different threads on this board. But I can say that in the beginning I think I may have gotten a bit of a skewed view in reading some of the threads too.
Anyway...I thought it might be interesting to list the different things that we have heard along the way. Maybe add in things that have surprised you to find out.
Well, we've heard many a comment from family more than friends. My husband and I are choosing to become foster parents before we have biological children. We have always wanted to adopt, but felt the calling this spring to start sooner. We took our classes and are now awaiting our licensing. I've had people asking if we can't have "our own" and I tell them we don't know, we will add to our family as God desires. My mother once asked me if we were doing foster care for the money...I was appalled to say the least. She was more accepting of us doing international adoption than foster everytime she hears a "horror" story she has to tell me about it. I said so b/c the kids have screwed up parents they don't deserve a home and a family? That makes her stop and think a minute.
One misconception I've realized on here is how often adoptive parents lie about keeping open communication with the birthfamily. I know most states don't legally enforce open adoptions. Yet through the forums and chats I've met several bparents who were lied to about getting letters, pictures, etc. It seems the focus is always on the bparents/bmoms changing their mind once they have the baby and how "horrible" she is for doing so. Yes it must be extremely heartbreaking, but if she is able to parent, that should be a good thing!
Those are just my random thoughts this Monday afternoon.
There are so many misconceptions out there. I think one of the biggest myths and the thiing I am SICK and TIRED of hearing is now that you adopted you are going to get pregnant! UGHHHH.
I so understand how you feel about this comment. And it DID happen to me. I've had so many people say, "See, I knew you;d get pregnant once you adopted." It really hurts. Why? Because it's like they think I only adopted my son so I could get pregnant with my daughter. :grr: And to see their faces when we talk about adopting again. "But you don't need to?" :eek:
Yes, I do know several women who have found themselves pregnant after adoption. But in the majority of adoptive families I know, that isn't the case. I just wish people would realize that it truly is a rare occurance. Because when they say stuff like that, it's degrading to us and to our families. I love ALL my children. They just joined my family in different ways.
I think the general public still thinks that if you want to adopt you get on list and wait your turn and that it takes 5 years to get picked for a domestic infant adoption or you adopt internationally.
The reality is that I have never heard of anyone who has waited this long for a domestic adoption. I think people think that international adoption results in a baby quicker. I think this is generally also not true.
Ok I was just chatting with someone and mentioned this site. She said she won't come here because when she was first looking into adoption she came here and felt like:
- all birthmoms are angry and filled with regrets of their placements
- most birthmoms are very resentful of the adoptive parents
- all birthmoms want almost a "co-parenting" situation with visitation and very open situations
- there is lots of talk about adoptive parents that don't follow through with photos/letters (whatever their arrangements are) and it makes it seem like "most" aparents do this.
- all padoptive parents go through failed adoptions/scams, etc Often several too.
I told her I started this thread and it might be a perfect place for her to state those things...she didn't want to but said I was welcome to. Oh and btw I gave her links to stories that I've read from birthmothers that would definitely NOT fit into what she was saying.
ok and then I just heard - oh you are open to transracial adoption! So then you won't have ANY wait in matching at all. There will be lots of babies waiting for you.... Why haven't you been matched YET?
and one I forgot to list before - you just aren't able to adopt a healthy baby domestically.
I definitely felt the way your friend is feeling when I first came to this site. I don't know why I kept coming back, but I guess just out of hope that someone would tell me I'm not crazy for having such a hopeful view of adoption. I'm sure it's slightly easier for paparents to feel more positive than bparents and pbparents, but it's definitely scary coming here hearing all the anger sometimes. There was a very kind member (no names) who took the time to PM me and explain that some of the heated debates I was involved in were with people who had been very hurt by adoption. Then I felt like a moron! But a grateful moron to the kind member who took the time to explain. Once I realized that, it was easier for me to relax a little bit. Though, often, I still feel like many of the bparents on here are judging me. At the same time, some of the most outspoken people that have been hurt have also become supporters in my own journey. Very ironic and humbling.
All in all, I think the people on this site are very caring, good people. Sometimes caring people end up also being more empathetic people, so we tend to feel other people's pains I think. At least I think that's the case for me. Then that leads to the feelings like you said your friend had.
Anyway, I better get to work!!! You're friend is not alone in her feelings. Hopefully she'll read this thread.
one big misconception I've encountered was if I could love my adaughter as much as my biodaughter, a sure sign of small minded people
Recently someone said to me that she didn't understand why I was tired caring for a newborn since I didnt push him out. I asked her what she meant, and her response was that moms who give birth are worn out and recuperating and that I (as an adoptive mom) had no reason to be tired.
She offered to let me rest while she cared for the baby and by 330am she was saying "I can't do this anymore Im tired I got to go to work tomorrow" and she didn't push my baby out either. :)
Another misconception I have encountered is that the birth mom is failing at life. You should see the look I get when I say that my pbmom has excellent grades and won first place on her debate team and is learning French.
This has been an enlightening thread! I thought I'd add some from my own experiences.
- I was one of those people who thought that domestic adoption was impossible, there were no babies, etc.
- EVERYONE has asked me if the birthmom can come back and take the baby. My aunt and uncles who are lawyers asked me this. People at the salon I go to asked this.
- My uncle told me that we should become foster parents first, to see if we could love a child who wasn't "ours".
So, that's my addition.
You know, the one that seems to come up the most with paparents in chat is how awful it would be for a mother to choose to parent once she has given birth. I have made more than a few chatters angry by suggesting that, if the mother is able to parent, preserving the relationship of the original family could be a positive thing. Granted it is heartbreaking to the people that intend to adopt, but imagine the loss for the mother that had reservations, but felt she had no other choice because she felt obligated to "stick with their agreement".
Also, as someone mentioned earlier, the paparents that back out of a match. I have a couple in my family that had a match since mid-way through the pregnancy. Three weeks before delivery, they decided that they didn't want to be parents after all. I have often wondered if the pbmom felt anxious and panicked trying to match with another family in such a short time--or if she maybe even decided to parent after all. Whatever the case in that situation, it is true that matched disrupt on adoptive family's end as well.
Two misconceptions that my mother-in-law had were:
1) There are tons of babies available for adoption, so it should be easy for us to find one. She once said, "Can't you just go to Texas and get one?"
2) After we found out a pbmom was a scam she said, "Doesn't that just make you want to get pregnant?" (Even though both of my pregnancies were nightmares (miscarried twice) AND I have a condition that causes me to miscarry, which she knows all about!) :grr:
My sister-in-law mistakenly believes that we will never be able to adopt domestically because ALL birth moms choose to parent when they find out how much money they can get on welfare. She claims they get more than she makes at her job. Yeah, right!
I try to educate, but there is only so much I can do! :)
Just yesterday someone assumed that Gavi's birthmom was a teenager (made me think of this thread). They were shocked when I told them she was 25. By the way, my husband's cousins adopted their daughter 5 years ago and her birthmom was 40.
Another misconception I got was the notion that because I was adopting that I would adopt anyone's baby. People were surprised that we had a criteria for what we would and would not be able to handle in health issues in raising a child.
One misconception I had was that it is a very speedy process for adopting AA children since there is a demand for families and parents for AA children.
[QUOTE=jfenner]I so understand how you feel about this comment. And it DID happen to me. I've had so many people say, "See, I knew you;d get pregnant once you adopted." It really hurts. Why? Because it's like they think I only adopted my son so I could get pregnant with my daughter. :grr: And to see their faces when we talk about adopting again. "But you don't need to?" :eek:
You know it really makes me AFRAID to get pregnant. I dont want people to look at Gavin differently. Right now I feel he has been welcomed and is loved and I am afraid if I were to get pregnant people may begin to make differences. That really scares me.
i know how you feel. after an 8 year battle with infertility. DD is the biggest blessing and I have decided to go on birth control just in case. I really feel stupid asking the same dr. who worked all this time on our infertility for birth control but I did it. All of this because of a silly myth.
My favorite is: "So is your child going to look like you?"
Ummmm, I don't even look like either of my parents, so who knows? Seriously, if I cared about that, I would ask someone to carry our baby, you know? You just want to say: "Well, when they come out, they have these holes in their head, well, like Mr. Potato Head and you choose the nose, eye color and hair right then."
I also like it when people ask if you go and "pick" your child. Hey friend, it's not like going to the grocery store!
People tend to act like adopting isn't as beautiful or spiritual event as giving birth. I have family members who are "so sad" for me that I don't get to carry my baby, and won't I miss it? Umm, never carried a baby, how could I possibly miss it? Will I miss not being pregnant and "miserable" (which is a consistant word in every pregnant woman's vocabulary that I've met) for 9 months and then going through the "agony" that is giving birth...umm, in a word, no. I guess God has blessed me so that I don't care that the baby won't come from my body.
Is it just me, or are people waaaaaay ignorant of the facts?