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Adoption: Debunking the Myths

“God places the lonely in families.”

Psalm 68:6

 Adoption is giving up or displaying a lack of faith.

This is simply not the case. Choosing to adopt is not saying that you have given up on your desire to conceive, or that you feel God is not able to provide for you. Adoption should not a “plan B” for infertile couples. Deciding to open your home and heart to a child who does not have your genetics should never be viewed as a last resort. If you believe that God has a perfect plan for your life, then you must also believe that if He places a child with you for adoption, it is His “plan A”, His best. To say that an Adopted child is not the ideal choice for your family is to say that that child is somehow unworthy of your love and of little value as a human being. You know how God would respond to such an assertion.

Adoption is a magic cure to infertility.

It is a common myth that adoption leads to pregnancy, but the facts are that only 4% of adoptive parents go on to conceive a biological child. I can’t tell you how many times I heard “you know what will happen if you adopt… you’ll get pregnant”.  The statement didn’t bother me so much before we adopted our first daughter, but afterwards, I found it hard to swallow. It felt as though they were implying that she was nothing more than another fertility treatment… a way to get what I really wanted. I know they didn’t mean it that way, but to think of my precious little girl in such terms made my maternal heart ache. She wasn’t a means to an end, she was the end.

In the early stages of considering adoption, I became discouraged by what I heard was the typical cost. Statistics for 2014 show that the average cost of a domestic newborn adoption was estimated at around $30,000. International adoptions range from $24,000 to $53,000. Those are staggering and daunting figures for any couple already investing in the expense of infertility treatments. We wanted to adopt, but couldn’t imagine starting a family with such a debilitating debt. I was so discouraged… it seemed Children were denied me everywhere I looked. Then, one day, I noticed a billboard for a local adoption agency. I ignored it at first, thinking they would be as expensive as all the others I had looked at, but the ad kept coming to my mind until one day I finally pulled up the agency’s web site. I was filled with hope and excitement when I read that it was possible to adopt at no cost through the Department of Social Services! Two years later, we finalized our daughter’s adoption for only $30 out of our pocket… which was even refunded to us later.  We will talk more about adopting through DSS later on.

 I can’t love an adopted child like I could love a biological one.

All you have to do is ask an adoptive parent and they will tell you that this is absolutely untrue! When God places a child with you, He has taken care to prepare a special place in your heart that only that child can fill. You may not even be aware of its existence yet, but the moment you lay eyes on that child, or hold it in your arms for the first time, you will wonder how you ever wanted anything else. The first time I saw my baby girl was a moment that will be etched in my memory until I die. It was one of the most precious moments of my life. From that time on, she has never been anything but my own. I have a similar moment with my second daughter. I often tell people (and my girls) that God created them just for us… that they were always intended to be mine, God just allowed another woman to carry her for me. God can create a family through Birth or adoption, but either way He makes it His business to knit together all hearts involved.

 An adopted child will not bond with me like a

biological child.

While it is true that some children (mainly older children who have been through extreme circumstances) will have difficulty bonding with their adoptive family, most children will not. Children, like all human beings, respond to feelings of love and acceptance with attachment to those displaying them. Adopted Children don’t need or want your love any less than your biological children would. As I said above, when God chooses a child for your family, He not only creates a place for them in your heart, but He creates one for you in theirs. 

Paul understood the bonding that occurs between a child and his adopted parents. The term “Abba” as it applies to God is equal to our term “Daddy”, and is one of the most personal and endearing terms we have for our Heavenly Father. Every time Paul used this term, it was in the context of our adoption as His children, symbolizing the deep bond that is created between adoptive parents and their children.
 Adopted children have psychological issues.

While it is true that some adopted children may suffer the effects of their previous experiences in such forms as anxiety, depression, or behavioral problems, the idea that all, or even most adopted children come with serious and devastating psychological issues is simply false. This myth is largely due to a misrepresentation of adoption by television and the media. Everyone has heard some horror stories about adopted children poisoning their adoptive families, or some equally disturbing tale. I know some people tried to discourage me with such stories when we decided to adopt. Studies have shown that adopted children are no more at risk for mental health issues than biological children. It’s only that the “bad apples”, so to speak, seem more sensational when they were brought into a family by choice, probably due to a mistaken view that adopted children should consider themselves lucky to have been adopted at all. For a Christian this fear should be cast out with all others. First, because God’s will for us is always for our good, and second because we have the power of prayer. From the moment we decided to pursue adoption, we began to pray for the child we would be blessed with. I know those prayers availed much. 

Our youngest daughter does deal with anxiety and compulsive behaviors as a result of her past experiences, but it doesn't make us love her any less. If anything, she needs us more, to help erase the fear of the past and teach her what it means to live a life of love! You too, if you are considering adopting, should begin praying now for your soon-to-be child and your prayers will not fall on deaf or incapable ears.

 The birth mother can take back her child whenever she wishes.
Twenty years ago, the laws governing adoptions tended to be more favorable to birth mothers, and as a result, some heartbreaking and disquieting cases occurred in which adoptive parents lost their children to birth parents. Realizing this was not only detrimental to the child’s well-being, but also served to discourage adoption, the laws were reformed. The current laws give birth mothers ten business days after they sign a waiver of parental rights to rescind their decision. In the case of a child awaiting adoption through DSS, parental rights have already been terminated. In either case, once parental rights have been legally terminated, the birth parents no longer have any legal rights to that child and cannot reclaim him at any point. 

 I’ll always dread my child finding out she’s adopted and searching for her birth parents.

Most adoption experts today advocate open communication with your children about their adoption. A child who spends most of his early years believing he is a biological child will have to adjust when told later on that he is in fact adopted. They have found that children who understand their exceptional circumstances early on have little to no difficulty accepting it as adolescents. In our own case, we pray for our daughters' birth mothers every night, and openly discuss their adoption on a regular basis. We have also prepared a “Life Book” for our girls, detailing in photo and word their journey before they came to us from their birth mothers and previous foster parents. We are creating an environment where the fact of their adoption and past history is just a natural a part of who they are, and something to be celebrated, as it reflects our own adoption into God's family.
When it comes to an adopted child’s search for their birth parents, I imagine most adoptive parent’s fears come from the idea that they will love them more. Ask any adult adoptee who has found their birthparents, and I think it would be nearly impossible to find one who feels more bonded with them than they do with the parents who so lovingly raised and sacrificed for them. The desire to know “where we come from” is a natural one and not to be feared. Most studies find that children simply want to know who their birth parents are, what they look like, etc, and aren’t looking for a replacement for their adoptive parents. Some carry on a relationship with them and some never communicate with them again, but their “real” parents are always the ones who have invested their lives in them.

My family won’t accept an adopted child.

This isn’t an unrealistic fear, but one that usually resolves itself. We faced opposition from our own family when they discovered we wanted to adopt. Comments like “don’t you want children of your own”, “you don’t know where they’ve come from”, “so-and-so knows someone who adopted and their kid ended being a nightmare”, and just simply “why would you want to do that” took us by surprise from those we most expected to support us. Scowls and frowns accompanied them, and, though disappointed by their attitude, we were so certain adoption was God’s plan for us that we weren’t daunted. We told them, gently yet firmly, that we were going to adopt, with or without their support. Between ourselves, my husband and I were prepared to do whatever was necessary for the welfare of our child, even if it meant severing ties with them. My mother wisely kept telling me that they would change their opinion once they saw the child, and that’s exactly what happened. The moment they saw that precious little girl, and how much we loved her, their hearts melted and she is now as cherished by them as if she came from my own womb. Once our second daughter came along, she was accepted as naturally as any birth-child.

God made me infertile so I would adopt a child.

While God reveres the act of adoption, He did not inflict infertility upon you so that you would adopt. What He does do is take the effects of sin and turn them into something beautiful. Children are a gift from God, however He chooses to give them. They all belong to Him, He only allows us the great privilege to raise them. Infertility is a result of sin, just as our separation from God was a result of sin. The act of adoption turns the woman devastated by infertility into a “happy mother of children”. It is God’s goodness triumphing over the evils of the world.

This post first appeared on Fundamentally Flawed, please read the originial post: here

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Adoption: Debunking the Myths


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