Monday, November 15, 2010

10 Common Misconceptions About Adoption

Shannon, transracial adoptive mom who blogs at Peter's Cross Station, has a great post for National Adoption Awareness Month at BlogHer, 10 Common Misconceptions about Adoption.  I'm only giving her ten headings here -- go to to the article to read what she has to say debunking each one.
1. Birth mothers are all teenagers.

2. Open adoption is confusing to kids.

3. They hate girls in China.

4. Black babies are the latest trend among celebrities.

5. Adoptive parents are saintly for adopting.

6. Adopted kids are lucky.

7. Adoption costs a lot of money and only rich people can afford it.

8. There is a high level of risk that once adopted, a child will be given back to/taken back by biological family members.

9. Birth mothers are saintly for placing their children in adoption. OR Birth mothers are demons for getting pregnant unintentionally/being “unfit”/not loving their children enough to raise them.

10. Adoption is the opposite of abortion. As long as we have one, we don’t need the other.
Sometimes I feel that debunking these myths is a full-time job!  How many have you encountered?  How do you clear up the misconceptions?  If you haven't had to yet, Shannon gives you great ammunition for doing so.


Amanda said...

All of them.

This is not everyone's experience, but I grew up in a very Conservative (political) and Conservative (Biblical) Christian community. It was not uncommon for unwed teen parents to be asked to apologize to their church officials for getting pregnant or be asked to leave my Christian school when pregnant.

Being born to a teen mother who was not married, you can imagine how that made me feel.

Most often, I encountered adoption being the opposite of abortion. Or, rather, it being the same thing as abortion, just a more "loving option." The stigma of being "the same as aborted" is oppressed upon adopted people in a very unkind and unfounded way.

Amanda said...

ps. we actually have a court case in the U.S. in Tennessee where it had to be ruled by a judge that adoption is different than abortion.

That's how horrible this stigma is.

Elizabeth@Romans8:15 said...

This is a great list. I am heading over to read the entire thing right now!

DannieA said...

let's see #5,6,8,9

I've become rather rude nowadays because sometimes some people want to cling to the myths. It's that attitude that then brings out my not so "saintly" attitudes. :)

Mei Ling said...

"7. Adoption costs a lot of money and only rich people can afford it."

Not necessarily rich people, but families who are at least more privileged and economically higher-class.

DannieA said...

RE: Myth #7
well not so much. Yes I consider myself middle class...but not well off.

Most people think of adoption as Domestic infant or International which can consist of varying fees, sometimes high.

For the couples/singles that go the foster/adopt route...the cost is a bit more emotional vs. financial. I didn't go into foster care because there were less fees (I had my own reasons) but it didn't hurt that there were minimal to no fees involved.

malinda said...

Yes, #7 definitely depends on what kind of adoption you're doing. According to the 2007 National Adoption Survey, 16% of those adopting from foster care are at or below 100% of the poverty line, while there are NO international adoption families in that category. 58% of international adoptive families are at or above 400% of the poverty line, while only 25% of foster adoption families are there. Check out Table 4 of the survey for more socio-economic data:

Anonymous said...

#7 if you go international, you have to be doing pretty well... unless you're the type of family that has many church fundraisers to save another orphan (who will be most likely homeschooled in the rural south.)

On some adoption forums you will read about familys who want to adopt (again), but cannot afford the expense. No matter how many quarter you put into the crane machine, picking IA is expensive.

Wendy said...

"unless you're the type of family that has many church fundraisers to save another orphan (who will be most likely homeschooled in the rural south.)"

Nice way to stereotype anon.
Our family is middle class, not religous nor believe in any god, and homeschool. So where are we?

Anonymous said...

I know this is an old topic already, but I wanted to add that our family is by no means wealthy and would probably be considered solid middle class or even lower middle.

What #7 doesn't tell is this: that many of us don't ask for financial help and take extra jobs to earn and save for our adoptions for years before actually proceeding.

In our case we saved for 4 years to afford our IA adoption and did it all over again for number #2; except that time it took 6 years as our expenses were greater with a child at home.

We also downsized our home so our mortgage expense would be less and became a one car family.

Now we would like to adopt again, probably SN but again....are seeking extra jobs, saving and cutting back on extras for ourselves. ( which we do anyways)

And still, we consider ourselves beyond fortunate.

Bukimom said...

Regarding #10, aside from the fact that there are more options that adoption or abortion, life and death do seem like opposites to me.