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6 common adoption myths dispelled

Curious about adoption? Is the most you know of the topic related to Angelina Jolie?  Mardie Caldwell,  author of  "Adoption: Your Step-by-Step Guide," separates fact from fiction.
/ Source: TODAY

Much of what people know of adoption comes from the media or our experience with adopted kids growing up.  So is it any wonder that so many adoption myths still are believed as fact?  Becoming educated about adoption will help you be equipped to separate adoption facts from fiction.

Myth:  There are no healthy infants available for adoption in the U.S.The Truth:  There are tens of thousands of families each year that adopt healthy, newborn babies through adoption.  Many of them are through open adoption, where the biological mother, often called the birth mother, may have chosen the family herself.  Domestic adoption is a very viable option for families who need help building their families.

Myth:  It takes years to complete an adoption.
The Truth: A recent poll in Adoptive Families Magazine revealed that most families are able to complete their adoption in about a year.  Families should expect to be working on their adoption for one to two years.Myth:  Single people can’t adopt.
The Truth: Many singles are building a family through adoption.  Choices may be a bit restricted, especially with international adoption’s rules established by each individual country.  Singles need to be sure they find an adoption professional who has experience and success with cases such as theirs.

Myth:  Birth mothers are typically teens.
The Truth:  Birthmothers are actually usually in their twenties, already parenting other children.  They are typically single and struggling.  They are choosing adoption thoughtfully and because they want a better life for their child.  They often will want to play an active role in their adoption plan.

Myth:  Infants available for adoption in the U.S. are all drug-exposed.
The Truth:  Most women considering adoption for their children are not using drugs.  Some may, but the majority of them are leading relatively healthy lives and even seeking ongoing prenatal care.  They are choosing adoption because they care about their child.

Myth:  Telling a child they are adopted should wait till they can understand what adoption is.
The Truth:  Teaching a child about the special way they came into your family is a process that is best when started at birth.  Waiting until they are older can be shocking and unsettling to a child.  They may wonder what else you are not telling them and may cause them to feel unnecessary guilt or shame.  There are many beautiful, age-appropriate books that can aid families in teaching about this from day one.

Mardie Caldwell, COAP, is a recognized adoption expert and award-winning author.  Through , which she founded in 1986, she has helped thousands of families build their families through adoption.  To learn more about adoption success, read Caldwell’s book, .