Myths & Facts About Adoption


Myth: It takes a long time to adopt.

Fact: The process to adopt a foster child, attending a 10-week parenting course, completing a home study and physical exams, can usually be completed within eight months. Once a child comes to live with you, you will have a trial period to make sure your family and the child are a good fit. Then you can proceed with the adoption as soon as you are ready and the child's adoption counselor agrees. Many people wait for years to adopt an infant through a private adoption agency. But, you may be able to adopt an older child, a group of siblings or a child with special emotional, physical or developmental needs much more quickly through the state's adoption program.

Myth: It is expensive to adopt a child.

Fact: While it is true that some parents pay tens of thousands of dollars to arrange a private adoption, adopting a foster child is not expensive. The main costs associated with an adoption through Children and Family Services are court costs and attorney's fees. In most cases, these costs are less than $500 and may be reimbursed by the state.

Myth: It is easier to adopt if you are a foster parent first.

Fact: It is true that 52% of our adoptive placements are with foster parents who cared for the child as a foster family first. So, foster parenting can be a good route to matching children with permanent homes. However, foster parents must never assume that a foster child will become eligible for adoption because almost half of our foster children eventually go back to live with their biological families. Most foster parents who become adoptive parents have cared for and relinquished dozens of children before they are matched with a foster child who is available for adoption.

Myth: All the children available for adoption through the department have disabilities.

Fact: Some foster children looking for permanent homes have physical or mental disabilities. But many have no health problems or disabilities. Most children with disabilities reach their best potential in loving, permanent homes.

Myth: You have to beyoung or financially well-off to adopt.

Fact: Many of our most successful adoptive parents are older or have modest incomes. Age is not an automatic disqualification, and, in fact, older parents may be a better match for an older child or teenager. Children need loving homes, not necessarily wealthy ones.

Myth: You can't adopt a child of another race.

Fact: Almost 60 percent of the children waiting for adoption are African-American. The department has a special initiative, One Church, One Child, that focuses on finding homes for these children. We recognize that what a child needs most is a permanent, loving home.

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