Adopting a child is both an exciting and at times overwhelming journey. However, miscommunication and asking the wrong questions can make this life changing decision even more stressful than it needs to be! We’re busting the top 5 myths about adoption to help make the process a little easier!
- The children shown in photo listing are the only children that an agency places.
This is one of the top mistakes that families make when deciding to begin their adoption journey. Often, families feel discouraged because the children they see on these pages do not feel like a good fit for their family. The reality is, most children on waiting kids sites are there because when they became eligible for adoption, the agency did not yet have a family identified to match them with. These children are a very small percentage of the children that an agency places—many children with minor special needs never even appear in photo listings. Most of the children adoption agencies place are not considered waiting children. Many younger children, or children who have what is considered a minor special need, are often matched with families already in the adoption process.
For example, at AGCI, we first identify families committed in our China program and who have been waiting the longest. Families who are prepared and have their dossier logged in for China are given preference. It is AGCI’s goal that children are united with their family as quickly as possible and AGCI strives to reduce the time a child is in an institution. AGCI helps prepare families comprehensively and quickly so that children are able to come home as soon as possible.
- The more partnerships an agency has, the better.
In this case, the old adage of quality over quantity is true. While it may initially seem as though an agency with a larger number of orphanage partnerships will provide families with more opportunities to be matched with a child, this is rarely the case. Instead, pay attention to the quality of an adoption agency’s partnerships. Ask how often they visit the children in these homes, if they have up-to-date photos or videos, and what their relationship with orphanage staff is like. Often times, agencies with fewer partnerships will have a closer relationship with the home, will be able to gather more information on your adoptive child, and in some cases, will have personally met your adoptive child multiple times.
For example, AGCI has one-to-one partnerships with 3 orphanages in China. These close partnerships allow us to visit the children we are advocating for at least twice a year so we truly get to know these kids personally! Our close partnerships also allow us to provide trainings for caregivers, developmental toys, medical evaluations and elevate the overall care these children receive. Additionally, our close relationship with the directors allows us to acquire medical updates, updated photos and videos, and additional tests for children we are placing with families! You can learn more about AGCI’s China program here, or by reaching out to Ashley at email@example.com.
- If many families are enrolled in an adoption program, it must be fast moving.
We wish this were true! The number of families enrolled in a program can impact wait time. Always ask an agency what the most recent timelines in a particular country program have been. While these can often change due to unforeseen factors, they are the best estimate of what your family’s wait time will be. As always, your family’s openness to special needs, older children, and sibling groups can greatly expedite the adoption process.
At AGCI, our smaller program sizes allow for close, personal relationships with each team member and for us to get to better know our families and make better matches. Case workers quickly become your advocate and “family”! One of our quickest moving programs is currently our China program. 86% of our placements in our China program were made in less than 2 years and almost half were made in less than 1 year. Many families adopting through this program have completed their adoptions within one year and some have even brought their children home in less than 6 months! Additionally, our team is committed to a well supported referral process to ensure our families are very prepared and have as much information as possible when it comes time to make referral decisions. Learn more about this program here.
- Adoption support isn’t necessary. I’d rather handle everything myself.
While a can-do attitude is essential to becoming an adoptive parent, there’s no substitute for an agency and caseworker that are experienced and truly understand what you’re going through. Your adoption isn’t over once your child is home; it’s a lifelong journey with it’s own set of joys and challenges. Working with an agency that will support you through the ups and downs of the waiting process, in-country travel and the questioning teenage years on the horizon is not just helpful; it’s essential. Long past the “gotcha day”, your adoption agency can put you in touch with counselors, educational tools, and other families that have adopted from your child’s birth country to help make your child’s transition home smoother and happier.
At AGCI, we’ve been uniting children with their loving forever families for over 25 years! We are committed to providing the absolute best in adoption and post adoption support. Our team calls in process families every other week during the paperwork process to ensure their needs are met and all questions are addressed. Additionally, our in-country teams are phenomenal! During the often overwhelming travel stage of the adoption process, our in-country staff will arrange for guides, drivers, and translators. We are dedicated to ensuring our families are never alone and are very well supported with an experienced team no matter which phase of the process they happen to be in.
- There aren’t really any grants or financial resources available to adoptive families.
This is simply not true! At AGCI, we are committed to minimizing fees whenever possible and also work to be truly transparent about fees. We also structure all fees to be flexible so that families are able to pay over time. Additionally, there are so many adoption grants and financing options that can help make adoption possible for your family. In the last two years alone, $760,608 in adoption grants were awarded to AGCI families. The AGCI Adoption Grant Fund and the Brittany’s Hope Grant are adoption grants available through AGCI to help families with adoption costs. There are also dozens of other organizations that provide adoption grants and aid to adopting families, as well as tax credits and military subsidies. To learn more about available adoption assistance, please begin your journey with us by completing a pre-app.
Have more questions? Our team is happy to help! Please reach out to Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org.