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International Adoption Myths

Adoption Process Pre-Adoption

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  Written by Julie Roesch on 20 Jan 2016

"There are times when the adoption process is exhausting and painful and makes you want to scream. But I am told so does childbirth." –Scott Simon

International Adoption, it can be a loaded term connected with negative connotation stemming from myths. Myths are built on fear and lack of knowledge. Stories told through the grapevine become distorted versions of the truth, and that can be what people cling to. So let's set the record straight on some of the most common myths in the adoption world. Open your mind and put your fears to rest. This will be information to guide you so you can make the best decision for your family and educate your friends and extended family along your journey.

You can't/shouldn't parent a child of a different race/ethnicity.
Yes, parenting a child from a different culture will bring challenges and it is an individual decision that only you can make. When weighing your ability, you will need to account for your knowledge, your willingness to incorporate culture and history, your family's influence, your friends, your neighborhood, church, school, and potential future obstacles. However, it can be done and with good outcomes! There is an abundance of support and resources in the adoption community. Adoptees can grow up with an amazing amount of knowledge about two cultures if you provide that. Parenting outside your race will not be without challenges, but being a parent is challenging and it is worth it!

Adopted children will have special needs, are violent and troubled.
While many children do indeed have some special needs that need addressing, it doesn't mean they are troubled or violent. These children have suffered from loss, often a traumatic early life, and lived within institutions. They are strong and capable of healing, but need the opportunity and space to do so. They may test boundaries, push buttons, need time, extra love and support, or even medical, therapeutic or educational assistance, but it is not something that should keep you from considering adopting.

Birth mothers are all troubled, poverty stricken, or addicts.
Birth mothers (and fathers) don't wear horns. They are usually not bad people. They have come to a decision to place their child in a position to be adopted for various reasons. Often fear, love, future, lifestyle, resources, and other circumstances play a role. It doesn't make them bad people; they are human.

You won't have to "deal" with the birth parents if you adopt internationally.
The birth family will always be a part of your child's life whether you have a direct relationship or not. Each child has a history, and it makes them into a unique person, just like anyone else. Your child may struggle more with the unknown and desperately need to find a way to relate to their culture, society, and country. Everyone has an unshakable part of who they are. It is healthy to create a connection and instill a sense of pride. Understanding that out of sight does not mean out of mind is an important part of educating yourself about international adoption.I

I cannot love an adopted child the way I could love a biological child. The truth that is testified to over and over again after adopting, is that you can and do love an adopted child just as much as a biological child. Attachment and bonding happen in all different ways for every family. The love for your children is not a matter of blood; it is a matter of connection.

When asking parents who previously adopted a child internationally about the emotions they experienced upon meeting their child and becoming parents responses included:
"It may sound cliché, but I was instantly in love." - Donna Preziotti
"I saw my child and knew he belonged to us."- Raghu and Vijayshree Santhanam
"The bond that we have formed as a family is one that is truly special. It does not matter that they were adopted internationally; they are still our children!" -Stacey Townsend



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