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Adoption 101: Types of Adoption

There are many myths and misconceptions about adoption. If your life has been touched by adoption, you've probably heard some pretty ridiculous statements and beliefs from people who don't understand adoption or its laws and processes.

Myth: There are no healthy infants available for adoption.
Reality: In Canada, there are fewer infants available for adoption for a variety of reasons but there are hundreds of families that adopt newborns and young infants every year. Most infant adoptions are through private agencies but there are babies available for adoption through the public and international adoption systems.

Myth: Most birth mothers who place their babies for adoption are teenagers.
Reality: While there are some teenagers who place their babies for adoption, the majority of birth mothers are in their twenties.

Myth: Birth parents who place their children for adoption are taking the easy way out.
Reality: Making the decision to place one's child for adoption is not easy. On the contrary, it's probably one of the hardest decisions a woman faced with an unplanned pregnancy must make. Those who choose adoption for their child carefully consider all of their options and what is in the best interests of the child. If an expectant mother chooses adoption, it doesn't mean that she's careless or doesn't love her child. Adoption is a courageous, loving choice that shows that the birth mother takes parenting very seriously.

Myth: After the birth parents place their child for adoption, they can change their mind and get the child back whenever they want.
Reality: Birth parents can change their minds and reclaim their child after consenting to the adoption BUT they can only withdraw their consent within a certain period of time. Each province and territory has its own set period of time - in Ontario, birth parents can revoke their consent within 21 days after signing the consent forms. After this period of time expires, birth parents cannot reclaim the child.

Myth: Birth parents cannot have any contact with their child after an adoption.
Reality: Today, most birth parents that consent to an adoption have some degree of openness with the adoptive family and child. How much and what type of contact (i.e. photos, letters and/or visits) depends on what was agreed upon by the birth parents and adoptive parents.

Myth: Adoptive parents cannot love their adopted child as much as a biological child.
Reality: Love is not based on biology. Loving relationships, like that of a husband and wife are not based on biological connection (hopefully!), so why can't a parent love a child who is not biologically related? Love isn't about having the same eyes or nose as your child. Love comes from acting like a parent, from taking care of your child, from spending time together and committing to your child. Families formed by adoption love each other just as much as those who are biologically related.

Myth: With adopted children, you just never know how they're going to turn out.
Reality: The fact is, the same thing can be said about biological children. No one knows how any child, biological or adopted, will 'turn out' and if she/he will have problems or not.

Myth: All children in foster care have lots of problems.
Reality: Children in foster care are there for a variety of reasons. Some have been abused and/or neglected while others have disabilities or behavioural problems. But, it's not true or fair, to say that all children in the 'system' have major problems.


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