11 Stereotypes Adoptive Parents and Families Face

Adoptive parents and families face many stereotypes.  Here are some common ones.

  1. Birth parents didn’t want to keep or didn’t love the child they placed for adoption. There are many birth parents that chose to place their children for adoption because of the unfortunate circumstances they have faced in life. Most birth parents love their children very much.
  2. Adoptive parents chose adoption because of infertility issues. Many adoptive families chose adoption because they love children and hate to see children orphaned. Many already have biological children before they begin their adoption journey.
  3. Adopted children come from other countries. While it is true that many children around the world are orphans and need loving parents, there are many children in our own country that need loving parents. You cannot tell if a child is adopted or not by just looking at them.
  4. Domestic adopted children were adopted at birth. Many children are adopted at older ages. Many children are adopted out of the foster care system, and many are adopted by their stepparents.
  5. Adoption is always expensive. Many international adoptions are very expensive and can range anywhere from $20,000-$50,000. Foster care adoptions are much cheaper than that, and the state from which you are adopting may even cover the costs of adoption. Adoption out of the foster care system usually costs $1,200 if not covered by the state.
  6. Adoptive parents are heroes. We have been called saints. Adoptive parents are not heroes or saints. We are simply people who love children and know that every child deserves a loving home. The heroes are the children who come into our homes and our hearts. 
  7. Adoption involves strangers. Adoption can involve family members. Many grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings, etc. become adoptive parents.
  8. The adoption process is long and arduous. Sometimes it is, sometimes it’s straightforward and easy. Each adoption is unique and faces its own challenges, but a long waiting period and loads of paperwork is not always the case.
  9. Adoptive parents and children will bond. The bonding process can take months or even years. You do not automatically love someone who is in your home. The bonding process takes time and should not be rushed or abated because it isn’t going as expected. Some adoptive parents face post-adoption depression, similar to postpartum depression.
  10. Adopted children have issues. Yes, many adopted children have attachment issues. Many have trauma from past abuse, however, these children are victims of circumstances they couldn’t control and just want to be loved and accepted. 
  11.  Teenagers are scary. Teenagers need love and acceptance just as much as younger children. Many have experienced more hurt and abuse than any adult will ever experience. While many may have emotional wounds and trauma to cause them to act out, many are actually normal teens who need support as they become adults.