It is common for families thinking about adoption to have heard various statements or stories about adoption. Often these turn out to be based not on fact, but on "myth." These myths are most often untrue and do not reflect what really happens in adoption. Some of the common myths you may hear are:
Myth #1: There are almost no healthy infants in the United States to adopt.
False: By pursuing independent adoptions, adoptive families can successfully find a child to adopt. It is true that many adoption agencies have either long waiting lists or only place emotionally or physically challenged children. This is because the vast majority of birth mothers who are placing their child choose independent adoption once they know about it. For the typical family working with Adoption Minnesota, a child is in their home usually within 18-20 months. For some families the wait is much shorter. The longest any family has worked with Adoption Minnesota before receiving a child was over six years. These children all met the criteria established by the adoptive parents as to racial background and health.
Myth #2: Many birth mothers who choose independent adoption change their minds and keep the baby.
False: For birth parents working with Adoption Minnesota, the rate at which they change their minds varies between 6% and 8%. The most common time for this change to occur is in the hospital after the baby is born, not after a placement with the adoptive parents.
Myth #3: An adoption is never final, especially if the birth father comes back later to claim the child.
False: An adoption is final as soon as a Court signs an order giving the adoptive parents parental rights to the child. In Minnesota, an adoption can be finalized by a Court three months after the baby goes home with the adoptive family. In fewer than 1% of all adoptions, a birth father tries to claim a child or stop the adoption. If this is the case, we almost always know in advance that he will be causing a problem, and you can decide to not work with that situation if you do not want to deal with him. In Minnesota, we have a Putative Father Registry law, which requires a birth father to register with the State no later than 30 days after the child's birth. If he fails to register within that time, he can never take legal action to stop or overturn an adoption.
Myth #4: Adopted children have more problems than children raised by their biological parents.
False: In the past decade, a growing body of research on adoptees indicates that parents usually develop warm and secure relationships with their adopted infants, whose emotional health and self-image throughout the school years equal those of children living with biological parents. A major study by the Search Institute in Minneapolis found that teenagers adopted as infants are as well adjusted psychologically, socially and emotionally as teenagers being raised by their biological families.