The following article, written by Katie Porter, is taken from the Focus On The Family Magazine 9/2008.
While more than one-third of Americans have considered adopting, no more than 2 percent have, often because of misconceptions and fears. Take a look at common fears surrounding adoption.
Adoption costs too much. A private infant adoption or an international adoption can range between $5,000 and $40,000. However, adoption from the U.S. foster care system has little to no costs. Families can also seek financial aid from adoption assistance organizations. Plus, the federal government offers up to a $10,000 tax credit per adopted child for qualifying families.
The birth parents might come back and take my child away. We've all heard the heart-wrenching stories of birth families who surface after a child has lived with an adoptive family for years. Those stories are the exceptions. In most cases, as long as an adoption agency or lawyer follows the correct procedures, the birth parents have no legal right to come back after the adoption has been finalized (their parental rights have been terminated by the court).
Foster care is different. Foster parents are trained to understand that the initial goal for most children is to reunite them with either birth parents or another relative. In a foster-to-adopt situation, the prospective adoptive family is made aware of the risk that the child may be removed from their home before an adoption is finalized. After adoption is finalized, the child is a legal member of the family.
I don't think I could love an adopted child like a birth child. Many adoptive families had the same fear; most of them will tell you that once they met their child, no one could deny he or she was meant to be part of their family.
The government will be in my home for life. In order to adopt, families must successfully complete a background check and a home study. The government's role is to ensure that children are placed in families who are a good, safe match for the child. Once the adoption is finalized, the government has no role whatsoever.
While adoption is a big decision, knowing the right information is the first step. Who knows - maybe the Lord will ask YOU to open your home to a child.
Katie Porter is an orphan care program manager at Focus on the Family.
For more information on Focus on the Family's Orphan ministry, visit http://www.icareaboutorphans.org/