Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Adoption myths debunked

I was reading an article online about an international adoption and there were a lot of really negative comments at the end. They were so upsetting that I thought I would comment on common misperceptions about international adoption

Myth #1. There are tons of kids in the United States. People should adopt those kids. The fact of the matter is that at first we looked at adopting a child in the US. As we spoke the agencies, though, we found that most children that are available for adoption from the foster care system (at least in MI) are over the age of 8. Wonder Boy was 6 at the when we started our adoption journey and he wanted to be the oldest. Adoption professionals agree that it is usually best to keep birth order. In addition, most children in foster care enter because of abuse and neglect. We weren't certain that we were equipped to parent a child with those challenges. Not every family is right for every child.

Myth #2. People are buying babies. No. No. No. Adoption is expensive, no doubt, but we have not been buying a baby. We have paid our agency for their expertise. We have paid our homestudy agency for a homestudy and associated paper work. We paid our driver and translator. We paid our in-country coordinator. We will pay court fees. We have paid notaries and appostille fees. In no way has there ever been a "If you give me $X, I'll get you a baby." Honestly, until we have custody, I will be worried about losing Little Bit. We could still lose him. There are no guarantees.

Has there been corruption? Yes, I am certain there has been, but not by most people.

Myth #3. People don't want to adopt from foster care because they only want Caucasian infants. Yup. That why they are adopting all those Chinese and Ethiopian toddlers.

Myth #4. People who adopt internationally are going overseas because it is easier to get approved. We have been examined by a social worker, physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, the county police, and the state police. We've had child abuse and neglect clearances, blood tests, and an accountant has reviewed our finances. We've had to submit letter from our mortgage company and our health insurance provider. When we go back to Russia we will have to be examined by 8 specialists in addition to all the work our doctor has done. No one is being lax.

1 comment:

  1. I'm the adoptive mother to a 7 and 5 year-old, both born in Guatemala. Appreciate your effort to balance out the negative coverage that sometimes feels so prevalent.