When it comes to a big, complicated topic like adoption, it’s not altogether surprising that so much inaccurate information exists. Perhaps some of the biggest myths are related to foster care adoption. The News & Observer recently published an article, “Myths Keep Potential Parents from Adopting Children in Foster Care,” that tackles some of the most commonly held misconceptions regarding foster care adoption.
Although there have been recent positive changes in North Carolina legislature regarding increased support and benefits for foster care children and their foster families, there are still thousands of unadopted foster kids in our state—and dispelling some of these myths is the first step to destigmatizing foster care adoption.
How many of these myths do you believe? Read on to find out.
MYTH: FOSTER KIDS ARE “BAD” KIDS
According to the article, almost half of Americans think only juvenile delinquents end up in foster care. In reality, the majority of children in foster care are there due to circumstances they have no control over, such as parental abuse, neglect, or even lack of a legal guardian after a parent has passed away.
MYTH: FOSTER KIDS ARE MORE TROUBLE THAN THEY’RE WORTH
Between the belief that a birth parent can reclaim custody after adoption to the incorrect assumption that foster care adoption is highly expensive, there are many myths that make the process sound like much more trouble than other adoption scenarios. But this isn’t always the case. Adoptive parents have the same rights as biological parents once the adoption is final, and this holds true for foster care adoption—once a parent’s rights are terminated, they cannot “reclaim” custody. Additionally, many foster parents who adopt are eligible for financial support, employer adoption benefits, and subsidies.
MYTH: YOU DON’T NEED AN ATTORNEY FOR FOSTER CARE ADOPTION
Some believe that working with a foster care agency means you do not require legal aid from an experienced adoption attorney. However, an adoption attorney provides several vital services:
- Helps you understand the adoption process and answers any questions you may have
- Assists in creating and negotiating adoption terms, particularly in open adoption cases
- Facilitates the final adoption hearing
- Advocates on behalf of the family and the child throughout the process and in court
Having an educated, experienced, and expert member on your adoption team is invaluable—and your attorney is an integral factor for a successful adoption.