Friday, October 5, 2012

{31 Days} Adoption Myths

According to a study sponsored by the Dave Thomas Foundation, nearly 40% of American Adults, 81.5 million people have considered adopting a child. If just one in 500 of these adults adopted, every waiting child in foster care would have a permanent family! WOW.  (
While many have considered it, foster care adoption is often misunderstood, preventing children from finding forever families.

Myth: A biological parent can take an adopted child back.
Fact: Biological parents have no way to gain back custody of their child or children once parental rights have been terminated.

Myth: I can only adopt a child of my own ethnicity.
Federal law prohibits the delay or denial of an adoptive placement based on the race or ethnicity of a child in U.S. foster care and the prospective parent or parents who are seeking to adopt them. The only exception to this law is the adoption of Native American children where special considerations apply.

Myth: All adoptions are expensive.
Fact: Adopting children from foster care can cost very little or even be free! Many agencies do not charge for their services when adopting a child from foster care. In addition, more and more companies and government agencies offer adoption assistance as part of their employee benefit packages, including time off for maternity/paternity leave, financial incentives, and other benefits.
Congress has also made federal tax credits available for adoptions to help offset required fees, court costs, legal and travel expenses. Benefits such as these are enabling more families to adopt children from foster care into their homes.

Myth: If I adopt out of foster care, I risk getting attached to a child and then having to give them back.
Fact: There are two different ways to adopt out of foster care:
1. There are over 400,000 children in our Nation’s foster care system, you can opt to foster before they are “legally free.” This means that the child comes into your home as they enter the system, the courts will first work with the parents toward reunification while they look for possible relative placements. Relative placements are “usually” found early on. If/when the court determines that it is not possible for the child to return to their biological family and no relative placement is found, you will be given first opportunity for adoption. Statistics from 2007 show only 23% of eligible children were adopted by relative. ( That leaves 77% that need a loving, forever family.

I will be the first to admit fostering (whether you intend to adopt or not) is emotionally hard. It’s true, you will get attached, and it will be painful if children have to leave. I have to trust that God’s got them, He had them before they were in my home and He’s got them now. I comfort myself in the thought that whether I have a child for a short period of time or forever, I am laying a foundation in their life, giving them refuge, love, and hope. My prayer is that they will be strengthened by that foundation and soar to their greatest potential.
  Others that choose to foster take on a similar mantra - search within your heart, talk to your family, pray. Because these kids are worth it and they desperately need a refuge, a safe loving family.

2. If fostering to adopt is too much risk for you (which is ok, you are definitely not alone) there are over 100,000 children waiting who are already "legally free" and available for adoption today!!

Okay!  That's the last of the most common myths. If there are others that you feel I need to address please let me know in the comments. :) Thanks for sticking with me! I know this topic is heavy, but imagine the difference we can make together! :D Keep coming back. In the upcoming days, I'll be talking a little more about the reality of foster care, about steps to foster or adopt, as well as ways that anyone as well as our community as a whole can support the children and families involved in the foster care system.


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