Adoption Myths vs. Adoption Reality
Myth: Adoption from foster care is expensive
Reality: Adopting a child from foster care is just about “cost free”. There are agencies in every region of Virginia providing adoption services at no cost to the prospective family. An adopting family may have to spend minimal amounts for background checks. You will have to pay your usual amount for a medical exam in the early part of the process. Once a child is placed with you, as the time for finalization approaches, the family may pay for an attorney to do the work to file the adoption petition. These fees may be offset by adoption assistance or by a federal tax credit.
Myth: Agencies are looking for the “perfect” family
Reality: Agencies are not looking for “perfect” parents. Families don’t have to be rich, own a home on five acres and be a particular age or race. A college or professional degree is not a requirement. What is needed is a willingness to commit to a child forever, a sense of humor, patience, flexibility, and above all else love.
Myth: The process is cumbersome and too much to go through
Reality: The process does require completion of a lot of paperwork. It requires that adopting parents complete training and an assessment process. The social worker will conduct multiple interviews with the prospective family and develop a written homestudy report on the family. Although it can feel overwhelming, this multi-step process is required so that the best possible match and placement decision can be made. Just take the process in stride. Consider it an adventure! Finally, know that Virginia One Church, One Child is here to help and support you as you proceed.
Myth: Teens are Unadoptable
Reality: Many people seem to think that you cannot parent older children, specifically teens! How untrue! Teens can be a challenge for any parent—biological or adopted--but love, concern, consistency, family stability, empathy, and flexibility make a difference. Teens need to know you are there for them, that you take interest in things that interest them, and that you will be there unconditionally. They also need and want a family that will help them move into young adulthood. All children, regardless of their age, need a forever family and teens especially are waiting!
Myth: Financial Support is Not Available after Foster Care
Reality: Most of the children adopted from foster care are eligible for federal or state supported adoption assistance that will help the family with short and long-term costs. These benefits, called adoption assistance in Virginia, must be negotiated jurisdiction by jurisdiction and case by case. Be sure to ask your social worker about adoption assistance as you proceed.
Myth: Agencies withhold information about a child’s past in order to get the child adopted
Reality: This is simply not true. Agencies are legally required to provide full, factual information about a child to any family that is seriously being considered for placement. Agencies want placements to last and for adoptions to be successful. They want families and children to succeed. Full disclosure is one of the ways that this is assured.