As with many other topics, there are several misconceptions when it comes to adoption. Below are a few of these myths and truth about why these are inaccurate.
Myth: “I can adopt from any country internationally”.
Truth: This is not true as first, the country must still be open for adoption. Each country has their own specific eligibility requirements (i.e. age of parents, age of children in the home allowed, income requirements, previous mental health history preferences, etc.) that you must meet in order to be accepted as waiting adoptive parents by that country.
Myth: “If I adopt an older child, they are not really considered a child anymore”.
Truth: They are still children. Research from Health Encyclopedia states that the teenager’s brain is not fully developed until around the age of 25.
Myth: “Older children do not want to be adopted.”
Truth: The majority of older adoptive children express the desire to be adopted. Although older children sometimes have more trust issues with adults due to their trauma history, this does not mean that they don’t wish to be adopted.
Older children that are eligible for international adoption have to consent to the adoption. Each country has their own requirements as to what the age of consent is and how that consent is either legally given or processes that have to be completed to be sure that the child wants to be adopted however, older children are to consent to being adopted and would not be placed for adoption if they did not wish to be.
Myth: “If I adopt an older child, they will not be able to experience healthy attachment.”
Truth: Healthy attachment is not connected to a child being “older”. Rather, attachment is determined at infancy. When adopting any age child internationally, prospective adoptive parents will be given as much background information that is available about the child’s early years. Your home study coordinator will provide you with education materials that will promote healthy attachment with your adopted child no matter what age they are at the point of their adoption.
Most older adoptive children are able to adapt well to their family’s culture when the family is committed to learning and incorporating their child’s culture into their home and lifestyle as well.
Myth: “Children do not need to know that they were adopted ”.
Truth: Keeping adoption a secret from your child creates the tone that adoption is shameful and negative.
Not discussing that the child has been adopted creates trust issues in the future between the parent and child as the parent(s) were not fully open and honest with them.
When a child grows up knowing that they were adopted, they have a stronger sense of identity. They have the opportunity to know all of who they are and not made to feel like they must hide it or that they have anything to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. Also, logistically, the child’s biological family could have a helpful medical history that the child should know about.
Myth: “Open adoption confuses children.”
Truth: Open adoption helps a child feel secure in their identity, gives them access to their heritage and creates a stronger sense of belonging, and allows them to navigate through the diversity of their family history.
These are just a few of the common misconception associated with international adoption and adoption in general. If you have concerns or questions regarding our adoption programs please do not hesitate to reach out with questions. Our Inquiry Specialist would be happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have about our adoption programs. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Written by Jordyn Georgi