Advocates for Children and Families

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About Adoption

Adoption creates a new legal parent-child relationship in the adoptive family with all of the rights and responsibilities of a biological parent-child relationship.

Myths and Facts About Adoption

Myth 1: An adopted child will feel "different" from other children.

Fact: The statistics reveal that one in ten children is adopted. In fact, many children feel "special" because their birth and adoptive families made a plan in his/her best interest.

Myth 2: Adopted children will never know about their birth family or their background.

Fact: Adoption professionals are required to get as much background information as possible, from biological parents placing their children for adoption. This information includes: How the parents grew up, if they have sisters and brothers, if they have other children, their education, their interests and talents and a medical history about the parents and their families.

Myth 3: Adopted parents should not tell their children that they are adopted.

Fact: Professionals agree that adopted children should be aware at an early age that they were adopted so that they have a clearer understanding of who they are, whom they look like, and what their ethnic/cultural heritage is -- the things that other children know about themselves and their families. To keep this information from an adopted child can create future lack of trust issues between adoptive parents and an adopted child.

Myth 4: Birth parents who place their children for adoption just don't care what happens to them.

Fact: Placing a child for adoption is a painful, loving decision made by birth parents who want the best for their children. Birth parents often place their children for adoption when their present situation and circumstances do not allow them to properly provide and care for them. They are putting their child’s best interests before their own.

Myth 5: Parents who place a child for adoption will never know what the child's life is like as he/she grows up with the adoptive family.

Fact: It is quite common for birth and adoptive parents to meet personally and to exchange photos and letters about how and what the adopted child is doing as he/she grows from baby to young adult.

Myth 6: You have to be wealthy to adopt a child.

Fact: There are many adoption options open to families of different lifestyles and incomes. While the law requires a home study to confirm that a family is suitable to care and provide properly for an adopted child, emotionally, physically as well as financially, the cost of a particular adoption depends on the type of situation appropriate for your family. The federal government offers an adoption tax credit to assist middle-income families with as much as $10,000 or more back. Additionally, the adoption of children in the care of state foster care programs may be subsidized, with most adoption costs waived.

Myth 7: The adoption process takes many years.

Fact: The length of wait depends on many factors and can be short. The usual range is 6-18 months. Factors such as age, health, race, ethnicity and needs of the child play a role in the length of time before a child is identified as appropriate for an adoptive family. Remember, however, that prospective adoptive parents must take the first step by completing an application with an adoption agency, adoption attorney or state adoption agency. Diligence and perseverance are both important. A child cannot find a family if the family is not right there in his or her path.

Different Types of Adoption

Private Domestic Adoption: Sometimes children are adopted directly from their birth families using the services of adoption attorneys or adoption agencies to make sure that the legal requirements are met. Usually, the child’s biological family chooses the adoptive family, and decides how much future contact the original family will continue to have with the newly created family.

Intercountry or International Adoption: Orphans from other countries can be adopted by American parents or vice versa with the approval of the governments of both countries

Relative Adoption: Children are sometimes adopted by their stepmothers, stepfathers, aunts, uncles or grandparents, if one or both of their parents cannot take care of them. These adoptions also need the assistance of licensed adoption professionals to make sure legal requirements are met.

Domestic Adoption from state foster care: Many children in the community need new families because they are growing up in state-sponsored foster care in temporary situations that can change at any moment. These children are all ages and races, some with health problems and some with none. Having suffered losses, these children need new parents who are committed to helping them make the transition to a permanent adoptive home and the optimism and hope that a permanent family can offer.

Adoption Tax Credit : Most adoptions are free to birth parents, but adoptive parents must consider various costs for professional services and assistance to birth parents. The federal government offers a tax credit up to $10,000 of adoption costs to be returned to the adoptive family in the year the adoption is finalized. For more information see the instructions - IRS Website.

Some employers offer adoption assistance as part of employee benefit plans.

All states subsidize the adoption of children from the foster care system by providing most adoption services free.

ADOPTION LINKS - Books, Videos, Grants, Loans, Tax Credit, Support Groups

Adoption Poem

ADOPTION

Once there were two women
Who never knew each other
One you do not remember
The other you call you mother.
Two different lives
Shaped to make you one.
One became your guiding star
The other became your sun.
The first gave you life and the
Second taught you to live it.
The first gave you a need for love
The second was there to give it.
One gave you a nationality,
The other gave you a name.
One gave you a talent
The other gave you an aim.
One gave you emotions,
The other calmed your fears.
One saw your sweet first smile,
The other dried your tears.
One sought for you a home
That she could not provide.
The other prayed for a child
And her hope was not denied.
And now you ask me trough the years,
Heredity or environment?
Which are you the product of?
Neither my darling, neither.
Just two kinds of love
--Unknown Author

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