An unplanned pregnancy is a stressful time. Unfortunately, many girls and women only rely on what the people around them say about abortion and choosing adoption. These girls and women end up misinformed. Adoption has been a secretive thing in the past, but is now becoming much more understood and common with the advancement of open adoption relationships. Here are five common myths you may have heard about placing a child for adoption.
- Choosing adoption means you will never see the child again. Unless you and the adoptive parents agree on a completely closed adoption, this is not the case. 95% of adoptions today are open, varying in the level of contact you have. Some adoptive families see the birth parents very often. Others only see them a few times a year. Some just communicate through letters and pictures. The great thing is you can choose what kind of relationship you want to have.
- Your child will hate you. As long as the adoptive parents explain the adoption properly, it’s not a given that your child will automatically hate you. Your child will know from childhood that they have a birth mom and dad and that for whatever reason (age, income, lifestyle choices) they could not be parents at the time he/she was born. The adoptive parents should explain that the child was placed in a new home as a loving decision. Sure, any child will form good or bad opinions about their parents, whether adoptive or biological, but the point is that growing up, if they hear positive things about their biological mom and dad, they will not fear them. If children grow up having a relationship with the birth parents, they will know who they are; they will know their heart and their intentions.
- The adoptive parents don’t really care about you and just want a baby. Not true. Today, most adoptions are open and the adoptive parents not only expect contact, but want it as well. As a birth mom to the child, you are incredibly special to the adoptive couple. They also know it’s good for the child to know who you are.
- Birth mothers give their babies away to make their own lives easier. First, you didn’t give your baby away, you placed them in a situation that you couldn’t provide for them at that moment. Adoption is not the easy way out. It is a selfless thing to give birth to a child and then place your child in another home because you know it’s for the best. You will never forget your child or the pregnancy. In an open adoption, you will have contact with the adoptive family and child for the rest of your lives. It’s a new, unique relationship that can be beautiful, but can also be challenging. It may be hard for you to see your child and then say goodbye again each time you see them. You may miss your child. Certainly, these things don’t make life “easy” for you. Most birth mothers, however, say that getting a picture of their child can mean a world of difference. To know your child is well puts you at ease.
- You can’t place a child that has been exposed to drugs or alcohol for adoption. There are all types of adoptive families. Some couples are open to adopting a child with health issues. In an agency adoption, adoptive couples are asked what specific things are okay and not okay with them, so then only the couples that match up with you and your child based on those criteria will have the chance to meet you. This is why it’s important to be honest with your agency because it will ensure you are matched with the right family.
Though there will always be exceptions to the things stated above, they are myths because people believe them to be common fact. This is not the case. Trust your gut, do your research, and you will know if adoption is right for you and your baby.