A couple weeks ago a brilliant video went viral about adoption. In the video, an adoptive dad and pastor (yes, pastors can be funny too…well…some pastors) addresses insensitive comments his family has received about his adopted children.
My oldest son is adopted and my family is patiently (and sometimes impatiently) awaiting the adoption of our third child. For whatever reason, adoption and infertility seem to invite the most intrusive questions. We too have been subjected to some insensitive, albeit it sometimes well-intentioned, comments and questions.
With that in mind, let me encourage you to watch this video, “If You Wouldn’t Say It About a Boob Job…”
We’ve been asked questions like, “will the birthmom come and take her kid back?” and “will you love Parker (our adopted son) as much as you love Jonathan (our biological son)?”. People love to ask intimate details about our dealings with infertility or about our birthmom. Often, these questions or comments are well-intentioned, so we do our best to season our response with grace (
when what I sometimes want to do is respond with intimate questions in turn…).
What fuels many of the insensitive comments is a complete lack of knowledge or understanding about adoption. Therefore, I offer this resource from Adoptive Families Magazine, “8 Myths and Realities About Adoption” that was very helpful to Janet and me when we were investigating adoption about 6 years ago:
“MYTH: There are very few babies being placed for adoption.
REALITY: 20,000 or more U.S.-born infants are placed for adoption each year – as many or more than the number of international adoptions yearly.
MYTH: Adoption is outrageously expensive, out of reach for most families.
REALITY: Adoption is often no more expensive than giving birth. Costs to adopt domestically average $15,000, before the $10,000 Adoption Tax Credit and benefits that many employers offer.
MYTH: It takes years to complete an adoption.
REALITY: The average time span of adoption is one to two years.
MYTH: Birthparents can show up at any time to claim their child.
REALITY: Once an adoption is finalized, the adoptive family is recognized as the child’s family by law. Despite the publicity surrounding a few high-profile cases, post adoption revocations are extremely rare.
MYTH: Birthparents are all troubled teens.
REALITY: Most birthparents today are over 18, but lack the resources to care for a child. It is generally with courage and love for their child that they terminate their parental rights.
MYTH: Adopted children are more likely to be troubled than birth children.
REALITY: Research shows that adoptees are as well-adjusted as their non-adopted peers. There is virtually no difference in psychological functioning between them.
MYTH: Open adoption causes problems for children.
REALITY: Adoptees are not confused by contact with their birthparents. They benefit from the increased understanding that their birthparents gave them life but their forever families take care of and nurture them.
MYTH: Parents can’t love an adopted child as much as they would a biological child.
REALITY: Love and attachment are not the result of nor guaranteed by biology. The intensity of bonding and depth of emotion are the same, regardless of how the child joined the family.”