Adoption Myths and Truths

5 Myths about Adoption

MYTH #1 : Adoption means abandoning your child.
TRUTH: Adoption is the complete opposite of abandonment. It is a loving, mature, and responsible parenting decision. Adoption means planning for the child’s future and making sure his or her child’s long-term needs are met. Adoption is by no means taking the easy way out. It is a difficult decision where the birthmother places her child’s needs above her own wants.

MYTH #2: Adopted children are more likely to be troubled than birth children.
TRUTH: Research shows that adoptees are as well-adjusted as their non-adopted peers. There is virtually no difference in psychological functioning between them. Numerous studies have been done on adopted children and found that they saw themselves as strong as their peers in personal identity and self-esteem. Support from family and friends and availability of counseling services, such as the ones offered by St. Elizabeth / Coleman, are helpful to adoptees when questions about the adoption arise.

MYTH #3: Parents can’t love an adopted child as much as they would a biological child.
TRUTH: Love and attachment are not the result of nor guaranteed by biology. The intensity of bonding and depth of emotion are the same, regardless of how the child joined the family.

MYTH #4: Open adoption causes problems for children.
TRUTH: Adoptees are not confused by contact with their birthparents. In reality, adoptees benefit from the increased understanding that their birthparents gave them life but their forever families take care of and nurture them.

MYTH #5: You should wait to tell your child that he or she is adopted until he or she is old enough to understand.
TRUTH: Sharing the adoption story and telling a child about the special way they came into your family is a process that is best when started at birth. Waiting until they are older can be shocking and unsettling to a child. They may wonder what “other secrets” you are not telling them. We suggest taking advantage of the many resources (books, movies, etc) to talk about your adoption story often. Also, reaching out to your adoption agency counselors for help is a great idea.