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Google “adoption” and you are faced with a ton of information. Almost 300,000,000 results! Some is good, some is bad, some is new, some is old. You will find fact, fiction, and opinion. And you’ll notice quickly, there is a stigma surrounding adoption. You will also find that you’ll work through your own adoption stigmas. Adoption Choices of Texas is committed to relieving adoption stigma’s and advocating for our adoption community!

1. Stigma: ‘Real’ ‘real parents’ ‘real siblings’ ‘real family’ Real = Biological.

Reality: The moment you start your adoption journey, you will, I promise, get a crash course in adoption language. You will experience first-hand how uninformed people are in the words they use. Every family that is created by any means other than biology will encounter the “real effect.”

2. Stigma: Women give away their children.

Reality: Women and couples who make adoption plans for their children do NOT give them up. They are taking on the hardest role a parent can take. Not being the parent. Choosing to place a child in the arms of another to love and care for forever is a parenting choice. Choosing to be a birth parent is not an easy road. Birth parents break their own hearts to give their children something they cannot.

3. Stigma: Open adoption is bad for the child.

Reality: Open adoption is a type of adoption in which birth and adoptive families have some form of initial and/or ongoing contact. After placement, birth mothers and/or fathers and members of their extended families may interact in various ways with the adoptive parents, as well as with the child. Interacting is not co-parenting. It’s not trying to be the parent.

4. Stigma: Adoption is easy. All you have to do is just adopt.

Reality: People who conceive easily have a notion that when a couple cannot conceive, they should just adopt. Just adopting doesn’t exist. First of all, if you cannot conceive, you can still have children. Adoption is always an option but not necessarily an alternative.

5. Stigma: Adoption is expensive.

Reality: Adoption can be expensive. The key word is can. Adopting from the foster care system is not expensive. It is, in fact, not costly at all. Building your family through adoption will cost some money. Fertility treatments also cost money. And so does being pregnant.

6. Stigma: Adoption is second best.

Reality: The stigma that only infertile couples adopt is false. The stigma that no one really wants to build their family through adoption is also false. Just like anything else in life, we go about building our families in what seems to us as the easiest, most effective way possible. For most, that means biological children. It takes time to gain information about your fertility. Infertility is a surprise to most people so when couples have all the information, they can then make the choice to build their family through adoption or not.

7. Stigma: Women experiencing unplanned pregnancy do not love the child they are carrying, therefore they are not keeping up with prenatal care.

Reality: Everyone wants a healthy baby. Everyone. A mother considering an adoption plan, will be doing all she can to give birth to a healthy baby. If she doesn’t, and she decides to parent, then it will be her who is caring for the baby. Making an adoption plan is an example of caring for her unborn baby. Sometimes, in an unplanned pregnancy, the woman may not know she is pregnant. After she knows she is pregnant we think it’s a safe assumption that she is doing all she can to care for her child. And true, some pregnant women battle addiction and use or abuse alcohol and drugs while pregnant but that doesn’t mean they don’t care.

8. Stigma: Only rich, white, straight, married couples adopt.

Reality: You do not need to be rich to build your family through adoption. Nor white. Nor straight. Nor married. Especially with Adoption Choices of Texas, we do not discriminate based on race, religion, sexual orientation or anything else!

So how do we relieve these stigma’s? Articles like this; sharing them! Talking about adoption and advocating for it. We share stories and experiences, highs, lows, good and bad. Being open and honest about any subject helps it to be recognized and accepted in society. For more information or to start your adoption journey, contact us at 855-304-4673 (HOPE)

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