Myths and Facts


 

Myths and Facts about Adoption

 

MYTH FACT
When there is an adoption, everyone wins Everyone involved in an adoption has much lose
Natural parents are just reproduction machines Natural parents are human beings just like everyone else
Natural parents do not care about the babies they surrender to adoption Most people surrender a child to adoption because they lack the resources to do otherwise
Natural parents soon forget the child they gave Natural to and go on with their lives Natural parents care forever and have great difficulty going on with their lives
Bonding begins after birth Bonding begins before birth
The infant does not experience her separation from her mother The child experiences the separation from her mother
The infant is not affected by the loss of her original mother The pain and anger of the separation are not forgotten
The adoptive family is the only family the adoptee has ever known The adoptee had a real relationship with her Natural mother
Telling the adopted child a ‘good’ story will eliminate pain There is no story that you can tell an adopted child that will eliminate pain
The adopted child has no idea that anything ‘happened’ at the beginning of her life The discovery of her adoptive status is a conscious confirmation of what is already known to the child
The child will not understand what you are telling her  The adopted child will feel sadness and pain at the disclosure
Adopted children don’t think about their Natural mothers Adopted children think about their Natural mother all the time
Adopted children have no conflicts about being adopted Adopted children have a conflict between two mothers that starts developing, at the very latest, when they discover they’re adopted

Adopted children process their developmental milestones differently than non-adopted children

If the child looks okay (smiles etc.), the child is okay Children quickly learn how to hide their negative feelings if they are not validated and once the feelings are hidden or repressed, which is an unconscious process, they are unaware of the existence of such feelings
The child feels lovable because the parents say so often The adopted child is unlikely to really believe she is lovable
The adopted child is just like every other child Adopted children are different. Their mothers effectively ‘died’ for them at Natural and they are in pain
If the child has concerns about adoption, she will voice them Children will often not talk about something their parents are afraid of
Teenagers act like teenagers and adopted adolescents are the same as everybody else Adolescent adoptees have their own set of specific problems that are very difficult to deal with unless help and support is available
It does not matter if you don’t know your roots, your heritage If you don’t know your true heritage, it creates enormous pain and difficulty, especially during adolescence
You get your identity from your adopted parents Your identity is tied to your past and your heritage
If the adopted parents do a good job, the adoptee will not have trouble trusting others Adoptees have difficulty trusting anything in a world that separates them from their first family
The adoptive parents made up for the loss of the original family Nothing can make up for the loss of the adoptee’s first family
The adoptee should get a good sense of self from her/his adoptive family Since the adoptee believes she was unlovable, it is very difficult for hi,/her to have a good sense of self
If an adoptee looks happy and well adjusted he/she is Many people who appear happy are just (unconsciously) hiding pain
If an adoptee decides to seek the truth she/he is emotionally unbalanced It is normal and healthy for an adoptee to want to know her own truth, her own beginnings
If an adoptee searches he/she is looking to get even or get rich Adoptees search to complete their identity
Adopting a baby will remove the pain of infertility Adoption does not remove the pain of infertility
Adoptive families are just like any other family and adoptive parenting is just the same Adoptive families are indeed different and adoptive parenting is also different
Women who lose babies to adoption soon forget and go on with their lives Women who lose babies to adoption never forget and their loss is unresolvable
An adopted child doesn’t experience the loss of the first family Babies do experience the loss of their mothers, even when the separation begins at Natural
Babies don’t know one mother from another Babies are aware of the loss of their Natural mothers
Babies don’t suffer the loss of their first mother Babies suffer from the loss of their first mother
Babies are babies and all can be treated alike Babies need special attention and consideration when they have lost their mothers
If you tell a child that she/he is special or chosen she/he will feel good about herself/himself Telling a child she/he is special or chosen or lucky will not ring true and will make the child feel worse
You shouldn’t tell a child he/she is adopted Adopted children will always figure out or find out that they are adopted
If you tell your child that her/his parents died in a car crash she/he won’t think about them Telling a child that her/his parents are dead will not stop her/him from thinking about them and causes a tremendous amount of extra pain and guilt for the child
The adoptee never thinks about her/his Natural parents The adoptee is thinking about her/his Natural parents often, even if unconsciously
There is no need to acknowledge that the Natural parents ever existed The adoptive parents are also thinking about the Natural parents often, even if unconsciously

Everyone in the family must openly acknowledge the existence of Natural parents

A child of this age would not be thinking about his/her Natural family Children of all ages think about their Natural family
A child at this age should never be reunited with her Natural family In general, there is no reason why a child of this age cannot be reunited
Leave them alone and they will be fine. Don’t open up a can of worm No one can successfully deal with the pain of the loss of a mother alone, particularly a child
Adopted adolescents are no different than their non-adopted peers Adopted adolescents have their own special set of needs that must be respected
If the adoptee has problems, it is either non-adoption related or genetic Adolescence is the time of identity solidification and for the adoptee is often very painful and confusing
An adopted person, if they must have a reunion, should wait until they are an adult A reunion should preferably take place before puberty
No special knowledge is necessary to treat adoptees in therapy Some special knowledge is needed to treat adoptees successfully
Adoptees have no more need for therapy than anyone else People who suffer severe trauma commonly need therapy
If an adoptee does need therapy, it’s probably a genetic thing Adoptees suffered a severe trauma when they were separated from their mothers. Therefore, it is likely that they will need some counseling
Children don’t need to know where they come from Every person needs to know the truth of their origins
Having regular contact with the Natural family would be confusing and destructive to the adopted child and her family Regular contact with the Natural family is less confusing than no contact and will reduce many of the pains and problems that face the adopted person as she lives her life

                                                   by Joe Soll, MSW, LCSW