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 Introduction

 Myths

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Myths about adoption

MYTH 1: ALL ADOPTIONS ARE EXPENSIVE

Costs vary by agency and may be related to how the agency is funded, where their children come from, and what services they provide to birth parents and adoptive families. Adoptions of healthy infants in the United States and of children from abroad typically cost between $5,000 and $25,000, and could possibly be higher in some circumstances. The adoption of a child waiting in foster care can be virtually without cost if the family works directly with a public social services agency. In fact, many public agencies provide adoption subsidies for children who are waiting for a family. (Subsidies are discussed later in this book.) If the family works through a private adoption agency, the costs are likely to be higher, but rarely as high as they would be for adopting an infant. Finally, some private agencies may adjust their fees based on family income or other criteria.

               
   

MYTH 2: PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE FAMILIES MUST BE "RICH"

Many people with modest incomes adopt every year. Adoption professionals who make decisions about placing children generally are more concerned about the family's financial stability and how well they manage the financial resources they do have than about the actual income.

               
   

MYTH 3: FAMILIES MUST OWN THEIR OWN HOME

Families who rent homes or live in apartments adopt children all the time.

               
   

MYTH 4: ADOPTIVE PARENTS MUST BE MARRIED AND WITHOUT CHILDREN

Single people, couples without children, and families who already have children by birth or by prior adoption can adopt. However, many private agencies and many foreign countries have specific requirements for the marital status, age, number of children, or religion of people who adopt their children.

               
 

MYTH 5: ADOPTIVE FAMILIES MUST PAY FOR EVERYTHING

There are a variety of resources for financial assistance to help families cover some of the costs of adoption. For example:

  • Many agencies charge fees on a sliding scale.
  • Adoption subsidies are available for many children adopted from foster care.
  • Increasing numbers of employers are offering adoption benefits to their employees.
  • Congress passed legislation providing tax credits for families who adopt. This legislation became effective in January 1997.
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    MYTH 6: LEGAL FEES ARE HIGH

    Legal fees usually are a small portion of the adoption costs, except for independent adoptions handled by an attorney. The legal fees may be included in the agency's fees or may be an additional cost to the adopting family.

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