81.5 million Americans have, at some point, thought about adopting a child. If you’re one of those people, you probably already have your own ideas about what adoption is, how it works, and what it looks like.
Adoption is unique to every family that experiences it. Are you thinking about adoption, but you’re not sure if it’s right for you because of rumors or myths you’ve heard before?
We’re here to set the record straight on adoption in Florida so that you can feel more comfortable making your choice.
Keep reading to learn some of the most common misconceptions about choosing adoption out there.
1. Birth Parents Can Take the Child Back
When a new baby is placed with an adoptive family, the birth parents have a very limited amount of time to revoke their consent.
Every state is going to have different laws, but in Florida, a birth mother has to wait 48 hours before she can give consent for an adoption. Once consent is given, there is no way for the birth mother to change her mind.
If the child is older than 6 months old, the revocation period is 3 days.
With legitimate adoptions, the legal parental rights of the birth parents are terminated as soon as the revocation period is over. This means that the birth parents won’t be able to take back the baby or child and the finalization process is permanent.
2. You Have to Be Rich to Adopt
There are different approaches that people can take when they want to finance an adoption so that it is a possibility for many families.
Organizations exist that are able to provide families with grant money if they want to adopt. There are also resources for families that want to learn about taking out loans, using their savings for adoption, or even fundraising for the adoption.
Alternatively, there are some employee benefit programs that will allow employees to receive financial reimbursement from their company upon adopting a child.
Adoption can be expensive, and there are fees that must be paid in order for the adoption to go through legitimately. For families that need extra assistance, there is an Adoption Tax Credit that can be used for paying part of these fees related to domestic or international adoption. The amount a family can qualify for depends on different unique factors, including income level.
3. You Shouldn’t Adopt Transracially
Race is a very complex social issue, and choosing a transracial adoption will create unique hurdles that you may not have when you adopt a child of the same race. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a completely acceptable thing to do for plenty of families.
In fact, multi-racial and multi-ethnic family units are becoming more widespread in the United States in general.
Physical differences that are shared between adoptive parents and adopted children will always exist. If you’re adopting a child with a different racial background, these differences will just be more obvious on the outside; however, the love for your child will still be there.
By adopting a child that is of a different race, you have the opportunity to teach and learn about different cultures and gain a better appreciation for different parents of the world. Understanding cultural and heritage differences is part of the experience with transracial adoption, and while this does make the experience more complex for many people, it does not make it worse or tarnish it in any way.
4. You Aren’t a Real Parent if You Adopt
Some people may have heard that adoption is the second-best way to create your family, but this is not true. In fact, there are individuals that choose to adopt instead of trying to have biological children.
One of the benefits of adoption is that you get to become a parent on your own terms when you’re ready for it to happen. Of course, you can do this with biological children as well, but neither way is better than the other.
The truth is that biology is not the only thing that makes up a family. Children are bonded to their parents because of love, nurture, comfort, and security. Just like biological parents, adoptive parents can provide all of these things to their children, which makes them “real parents” by default.
5. Open Adoptions Are the Same as Co-Parenting
When you choose to become an adoptive parent, you are the parent. Open adoptions don’t give the biological family any rights to parent your child.
As we said earlier, birth parents relinquish their parental rights when the finalization process of the adoption begins. However, there are two types of adoptions that allow the birth parents different levels of participation in the child’s life.
A closed adoption is when there is no contact between the adoptive family and the biological family. An open adoption is when there is a form of communication established. This usually includes letters, text messages, phone calls, or even physical contact.
There is no rulebook for an open adoption because the amount of contact that is appropriate is up to your own interpretation.
However, there is an agreement that is created that will outline the type and frequency of contact that you and your family will be comfortable with. In no way is an open adoption the same as co-parenting; it is a formal agreement that is decided upon beforehand with the child’s best interest at heart.
Don’t Believe These Misconceptions About Choosing Adoption
As you can see, these misconceptions about choosing adoption can be damaging to families that decide to adopt their children. Not only do these false beliefs paint adoption itself in a negative light, but they also may make it seem less possible for some parents to create families of their own.
Luckily, adoption is a possibility for any parent that is completely committed to the process and is able to provide a loving, safe home for a child.
If you’re interested in learning about the next steps to becoming an adoptive parent, we can help you. Check out our page designed for people like you that are hoping to adopt, and feel free to contact us at the bottom of the page with any questions you may have.