Debunking Myths in Foster Care & Adoption
I’m sure you have heard the many negative stigmas surrounding youth in foster care, the foster care system, and the foster care adoption process but what I bet you didn’t know is that most of them are utterly false! These myths about foster care are not only false but they are also harmful to the youth in foster care and greatly hurt a child’s chance of finding their forever home. FosterMore is here to set the record straight by debunking these myths and giving you the correct information on these subjects.
*A special thanks to nationaladoptionday.org for helping us debunk these myths.
There are not enough loving families available that want to adopt children from foster care.
There are large percentages of people that are interested in adoption but they don’t know enough about the process to seriously consider becoming an adoptive parent. A national survey by The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption conducted by Harris Interactive in 2012 showed that one in five Americans are interested in adoption from foster care, however that does not translate to the number of children actually adopted. It is OUR job, and other like-minded organizations, to educate and provide people with viable solutions to adopting from foster care.
There is too much red tape and bureaucracy involved in adopting from foster care.
Many steps have been taken to expedite the adoption process including The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997. With acts such as this one in place, the adoption process should no longer be associated with negative images of red tape or stacks of paperwork. Instead, possible adoptive parents should look forward to an exciting and stress free process.
Adopting a child from foster care is expensive.
Actually, the complete opposite is true! Adopting a child from foster care is virtually free. Most adoption agencies not only offer their services for free and there are federal tax credits available for foster care parents. With all of these money saving processes in place, adoption from foster care has become more of an inexpensive reality.
Adoptive parents must be a modern version of Ozzie and Harriet.
There are no strict guidelines as to who can become a foster parent. What most children in foster care need is a loving home and someone to show them that they matter. In fact, one third of adoptions from foster care are by single parents.
All children in foster care have some kind of physical, mental or emotional handicap; that is why they are classified as “special needs”.
Youth from foster care tend to get a bad reputation simply from being in “the system.” Many times they are categorized as a “special needs” child because they are in a unique situation or they require a little more attention and support. These reasons do not mean they are bad kids or that they are at fault in any way. Most of them just need stability and someone to give them a chance.
State agencies may withhold negative information about a child’s past in order to get that child placed with a family.
The state is legally required to share all previous background information with potential adoptive parents. Adoption agencies want children and parents to be happy with their situation and are not working to “trick” a potential family. Due to this, it is in the agency’s best interest to share as much information about the child as possible and to find the best fit for both parties.
Families don’t receive support after the adoption is finalized.
There are many federal and state subsidies available for foster children after adoption. These subsidies are in place to help support families after the adoption is finalized and can include cash subsidies, medical assistance and social services.
Children in foster care have too much baggage.
This statement is untrue and one of the most hurtful myths there can be! There have been many successful individuals that have grown from foster care including, Michael Oher, John Lennon, Eddie Murphy and Colin Kaepernick. They are proof that talented, successful and hardworking foster children are out there just waiting for the chance to blossom.
It’s too difficult to find information on how to adopt.
Multiple different avenues exist to help potential adoptive parents find information on foster care adoption. A great place to start is with FosterMore or our partners.
If you are gay or lesbian you can’t adopt.
Many states are supportive of gay and lesbian adoptions. To find out if the state you live in is in support, check out FosterMore’s Resource page to see the requirements in your state.