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Myths About Domestic Adoption

by Heather K. Shew-Plummer
Building Arizona Families

Published April 2011
Edited May 2011

Myth: If you can’t get pregnant, you can “just adopt.”  It’s easy, quick, and inexpensive. 

Busted!:  Adoption is not always easy, quick or inexpensive.  Adoptive parents must complete a home study which includes home visits, interviews and extensive background checks which are required by both the state and their adoption agency.  There is also no crystal ball in adoption that can predict the amount of time the process will take.  The matching process can be lengthy, and the entire process can take up to two years.  It is important for adoptive parents to remember, however, that their profile will be selected by the birth mother that is meant to work with them.  It is also important for adoptive parents to remember that adoption should not be viewed as something they can “just” do if they can not get pregnant.  Adoption is not a substitution when pregnancy is not achievable; it is another way to build a family.   

Myth:  As soon as you adopt, you’ll get pregnant.

Busted!: This is a myth!  Adoption does not guarantee or ensure pregnancy, and it should not be used as a means to try and get pregnant.  Pregnancy is a biological process, and a couple can not determine if and when they will become pregnant.

Myth: The birthmother will take the child back.

Busted!:  In many states, the birthmother cannot relinquish her paternal rights until 72 hours after the birth of the child.  The birthmother has the right, however, to wait as long as she wishes to relinquish her parental rights following the birth of the child.  Until the Consent to Place a Child for Adoption is signed at 72 hours or after, the birthmother can change her mind to not continue with her plan of adoption.  Once consents have been signed, however, it is difficult for a birthmother to take her child back unless coercion or bribery can be proven.

Myth: People adopt to “save a child.” 

Busted!:  While this may be a benefit of adoption, it should never be the motivation or reason that someone chooses to adopt a child.  Adoption should be chosen because someone wishes to be a parent and provide a child with a family.  Parenthood is a lifetime commitment whether a child is born into a family or adopted into a family.  Children do not want saviors; they want parents who will love and nourish them as their children. 

Myth: There are many unwanted babies available for domestic adoption. 

Busted!:  There are no unwanted babies.  Birthmothers love their children and want what is best for them.  A birthmother contacts an adoption agency when she is unable to parent her child.  Adoption agencies recognize how difficult a decision this is and uses a unique hands-on case management approach for both birth parents and adoptive parents.