National Adoption Month 2015 has come to a close, but the myths we’ve dispelled and the truths we’ve uncovered about adoption will stay relevant all year.
Here’s a recap of all the stories we featured, and all the children who we asked you to advocate for. Hopefully by next November, with your help, all the waiting children you advocated for this year will have the family they long for and deserve.
Waiting Children: Please continue to advocate for these children!
- MYTH: Adoption — Particularly International Adoption — Is Coming To An End. TRUTH: For children who are orphaned, abandoned or unable to remain or reunite with their birth families, adoption is still the best route to a permanent, loving family.
- MYTH: Special Needs are Only Physical, Medical Conditions. TRUTH: Many of the children who are waiting for families have special needs that are not physical.
- MYTH: Only Girls Need Families. TRUTH: Boys need families just as much as girls. And because they wait longer, their need is greater.
- MYTH: You Have to be Perfect to Adopt. TRUTH: Nobody’s perfect. Especially parents. Ask any kid.
- MYTH: It Takes Too Long To Adopt. TRUTH: Perspective is key. Ensuring a good match and being prepared to meet your child’s unique needs is worth the wait.
- MYTH: Adopted Children Will Instantly Be Best Friends With Their New Siblings. TRUTH: As in all things, it can take time for love to grow.
- MYTH: I Can’t Afford Adoption. TRUTH: Resources abound to help families bring home a child who needs one.
- MYTH: I will be expected to go outside my comfort zone and accept the first child referred by my agency. TRUTH: Families determine their level of comfort with age, gender and special needs.
- MYTH: You Have to be Married to Adopt. TRUTH: Holt has four country programs open to single applicants.
- MYTH: You and Your Adopted Child Will Feel Love at First Sight. TRUTH: Love may not be instant. But in time, love will grow.
- MYTH: Most children in Holt’s sponsorship program need adoptive families. TRUTH: About 85 percent of sponsored children live with their family, but need support to remain together.
- MYTH: Parenting is the Same for All Children. TRUTH: Love is the same, but parenting is different for adopted and biological children.
- MYTH: All Adoption Agencies are the Same. TRUTH: It comes down to their model of service to children, their approach to adoption and their ability to offer life-long support.
- MYTH: Birth parents aren’t important in international adoption. TRUTH: Birth parents will always be a part of an adopted child’s life.
- MYTH: Building a Bond With Older Adopted Children is Always a Struggle. TRUTH: Every child and family is unique.
- BONUS: Emily’s TOP 5 Myths About International Adoption
Other Featured Articles:
Hoping, Preparing, Waiting for Adoption: Returning from the 2015 Holt Ambassador trip to Nanning, China, Liz Larson reflects on the activities she and her team led there to educate HIV+ children about adoption before traveling home to advocate for them.
As Luck Would Have It: Steve Kalb, Holt’s director of adoptee services, discusses a common phrase many international adoptees hear, and how calling adoptees “lucky” shuts down positive discussion about identity.
Holt China Ambassadors Urgently Advocate for Bree and Bryan: Returning from the 2015 Holt Ambassador trip to Nanning, China, Katrina Wolinski and Liz Larson advocate for a sibling pair they met who are HIV+.
Checking All The Boxes: A podcast about special needs adoption.
Be The Match: Sadly, minority donors are under-represented in bone marrow registries. Caucasians have a 97 percent change of finding a donor match, while African Americans have only a 76 percent chance of finding a match. Asian Americans have an 84 percent chance at a match. For this reason, adopted children are less likely to find the donor who could save their lives. Together, we can change this.
Changes to China’s One-Child Policy: This change, while positive for children and families in China, is unlikely to affect Holt’s adoption programs or our continued search for loving adoptive families in the United States. Since the vast majority of children placed with adoptive families through Holt have minor to moderate special needs, we don’t anticipate that China’s change to the one-child policy will have any effect on the number of children who need international adoption to join a loving, permanent family.
The Heart Warriors: As Holt’s China team works to find families for a growing number of children with complex heart disease, a partnership develops with Little Hearts Medical — a groundbreaking, U.S.-based organization of cardiac surgeons, cardiologists and adoptive families who are working to ensure children receive the medical interventions they need early on, and while still in China. One Child, One Policy, One Life Forever Changed: At the end of October 2015, the Chinese government announced major changes to their one child-policy. Now, all married couples living in China will be allowed to have two children, which is great news for children and families in China. In this blog, adoptee Lillian Schmaltz reflects on these changes and what they mean for the future of children in China. You can also read more about how China’s change from a one- to a two-child policy will affect Holt’s work here.
Conventionalism Is What’s Deterring Adoption: Holt adoptive father Jason McBride shares what he believes to be the greatest adoption myth of all — that parents could never feel the same about an adopted child as they do about a biological child. In this blog, he explores the theory that the pressures of conventional ways of thinking about family planning are what deter the most people away from adoption. And that ultimately, love is what makes a family.
Lessons about race from adoptee parents: Many transracial adoptees say they faced complex challenges as children growing up in white families or predominantly white communities and encountering racism. Below, three adoptees discuss how their experiences as children have shaped how they parent their own kids.
Thank you for participating in this year’s National Adoption Month campaign! Your efforts to advocate for children who need families, dispel the myths surrounding adoption and raise awareness about the continuing need for permanent, loving families do not go unnoticed. Thanks again, and don’t forget — Adoption rocks!