I love helping families at the beginning of their adoption journey. There are many prospective adoptive parents who have done extensive research before calling (which is wonderful!), but it is always good to know current information on international adoption. Sometimes, families have found adoption myths in their research, and I’d like to discuss some of those adoption myths for you:
MYTH #1: There are many siblings available.
–Sometimes families think sibling groups are available for adoption, especially young, healthy siblings. This can happen, but it would be an extremely long wait if you were only open to adopting young, healthy siblings. Many times, countries have siblings available that are different ages, older, or with special needs.
MYTH #2: The waiting child timeline is the same as a non-special needs (healthy) child timeline.
–If you are open to waiting children (which can mean healthy older children, siblings, or younger kiddos with special needs), families could have a shorter wait time. For example, the wait time in Bulgaria for a healthy 2 year old is currently estimated at 4-5 years once you submit your dossier. If you are open to a waiting child, depending on your adoption desires, the wait could be between 1 ½-2 years after you submit your dossier.
MYTH #3: All older children will have attachment and bonding issues.
–It is also a myth to say that all older adopted children will have attachment and bonding issues. I always suggest to families to look into different countries and programs to see the reasons why children are orphaned. Each child’s story is different, and some older children could have recently been orphaned. Institutionalization is definitely something to think about when considering an older child for adoption, but not every child will have suffered from this. You will have background information on your child at time of referral, so this may not even be an issue…but preparation for attachment and bonding is also key in your transition.
MYTH #4: All waiting children have severe special needs.
–No! Not all waiting children have severe special needs. Waiting Child programs can mean healthy, older children and sibling groups as well…sometimes even large sibling groups. Waiting child programs can also include very minor or even minor correctable special needs kiddos. I definitely suggest learning more about the waiting child program in the country you are interested in!
MYTH #5: We are too old to adopt.
–So many families think they are not eligible to adopt after the age of 50. This is not true! Some countries do set an age restriction on the age of the child you can adopt and possibly only allow you to adopt through a waiting child program, but prospective adoptive parents do have adoption options after the age of 50!