Many prospective adoptive parents reach out to Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. (FFTA) thinking they will not be able to adopt. Therefore, we have put pen to paper and hope you find this reassuring as you move ahead with your family building.
Myth #1: Domestic Adoption is a Difficult and Time-Consuming Process.
For many individuals and couples who find themselves considering adoption, this misconception is a particularly discouraging one, yet another daunting hurdle in the quest to create or expand their family. However, the truth is that more than 20,000 American families successfully adopt babies born in the U.S. each year, according to the National Council on Adoption, and most of them successfully adopt within two years of beginning the adoption process.
Myth #2: Domestic Adoption is too Expensive
This misconception has led many to believe that domestic adoption is simply too expensive an option for their family, when in reality domestic adoptions can cost considerably less than international placements. For those seeking financial assistance, there are loans and grants specifically designed to help families afford the adoption process. The IRS also allows eligible taxpayers a tax credit to offset the expense.
Myth #3: Domestic Adoption is a Risky Process
While the fear that domestic adoptions are risky remains widespread, it had been said that less than 1% of domestic adoptions today are legally contested after the relinquishments of parental rights, and revocations are extremely rare. Additionally, domestic adoption has become more transparent in recent years. According to the Donaldson Institute, as of 2012, 95% of adoptions are open or semi-open adoptions. Increased openness in the adoption process between adoptive parents, birth parents, and adoption professionals has numerous benefits. Although not required, adoptive parents and birth parents, with the assistance of adoption professionals, often decide together the nature and frequency of the contact that will take place after the adoption. Information about the medical and social background of the child is often also shared. Openness provides birth parents the necessary reassurance that their child will be loved and provided for by his/her adoptive parents, thus significantly limiting any issues that may arise after the adoption takes place, and helps provide the adoptive child with additional contact and information as they mature.
Myth #4: Being Single or a Same-Sex Couple will Prohibit Me from Successfully Adopting
Many individuals and same sex couples successfully adopt in the U.S. each year. National trends continue to show an increase in acceptance toward the non-traditional family unit. In fact, some say that same sex couple adoptions have nearly tripled in the past decade. According to the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law, 65,000 adopted children currently live in same sex households. Birth parents are increasingly involved in selecting the adoptive parents for their child and while some birth parents will express a preference to place their child within a traditional (two parent heterosexual) family, others will not.
Myth #5: Age will Prohibit Me/Us from Successfully Adopting
Statistics on the ages of adoptive parents are unavailable as there is not a federal agency or organization that maintains such information. However, what we do know is that over the past two decades age barriers that once prevented prospective parents from domestic adoptions have fallen steadily. The definition of what constitutes a suitable adoptive family is expanding as adoption professionals and birth parents are recognizing the benefit that comes with mature parents. The U.S. does not have a specific age maximum, and at Forever Families Through Adoption we have found birthparents open to 40 and 50 year olds with little hesitation.
We hope the myths and realities discussed above help alleviate some of your concerns and help you proceed with optimism.
*For more information on adoption contact Courtney Souza at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 914-939-1180
FFTA will be hosting a free Information Session on Monday, April 20, 2015 at the Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library from 6:30-8:00pm.