Myths About Adoption
Many people have misconceptions about adoption and health care providers. Here are some of the common myths about adoption and the real facts.
MYTH: I will never see my baby again or know if he or she is okay.
FACT: You can choose to have an open adoption in which you and the adoptive family can arrange to remain in contact as the child grows. People who choose this option may exchange letters, pictures, emails, phone calls, and visits. Some families choose to have structured visits at set times, while others maintain a less structured relationship over the years. Although there is no set private adoption law that enforces these arrangements in Hawai‘i, if one party is not satisfied, it is possible to take legal action.
MYTH: People will think I didn’t care about my baby.
FACT: Just the opposite is true. It takes a tremendous amount of love to make arrangements for your child to have the best possible opportunities in life.
MYTH: An adoption plan means making up my mind to give my baby up.
FACT: An adoption plan starts well before you make a final decision about adoption (whether you place your baby in adoption or choose to parent). An adoption plan means working with a reputable agency to receive unbiased counseling about the best choice for you, selecting an adoptive family, and taking care of yourself while you are pregnant.
MYTH: I can’t change my mind about adoption.
FACT: You have the right to change your mind before the baby is born and after the baby is born. Once the baby is born, you should take the time you need to be certain of your plan before you sign surrender documents. Before you sign documents, you have the right to see the baby in the hospital and fill out the birth certificate form to name the baby, even if you verbally indicated that you are thinking of choosing adoption. Although laws vary from state to state, Hawai‘i allows a 30 to 45-day grace period in which you can request to revoke the Surrender (that is, request the return of the baby). However, this depends on the type of Surrender you sign and may require going to court, so make sure to ask ahead of time.
MYTH: I can put the baby in foster care until I am ready to parent.
FACT: Becoming involved in the foster care system may compromise your right to parent your children. If you have other children, you will be placed under the scrutiny of the State Child Welfare system. Should you choose adoption through the public system, you may not be able to choose the adoptive family or have post-placement contact. If your child is in foster care, he or she may have several placements before a permanent plan is made, affecting the baby’s ability to feel secure in his or her permanent family.
MYTH: My child could go to a family I don’t approve of.
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FACT: If you use a reputable adoption agency, you should be allowed to select an adoptive family that you feel comfortable with. A good agency will allow you to see pictures and descriptions of prospective families and meet with the ones that you think may be a good fit.