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Don't fall for the following myths about adoption

There are many misconceptions about adoption that potential adoptive parents in Virginia may believe are true, when they are actually false. Virginia residents may want to take note of the following myths about adoption, so they can better understand who can be an adoptive parent in the United States.

One myth about adoption is that the potential parents must be wealthy, must already be parents and must be homeowners. Actually, a person can adopt even if they are not yet parents, do not own a home or are not wealthy. The fees associated with adopting through the foster care system aren't onerous, and many times a person can be reimbursed for them.

Another myth is that potential parents are only allowed to adopt a child that has the same racial and ethnic background as they do. In fact, per federal law, the adoptive placement of a child cannot be held up or denied based on the child's or potential parent's race or ethnicity. There is one exception, however, and that is for the adoption of a Native American child.

Also, some believe all children in the foster care system have special needs. However, many of the children who are adopted from the foster care system were simply the victims of abuse or neglect. The use of the phrase "special needs" can include children who are not handicapped, but are simply older, of a specific race or ethnicity or are part of a sibling unit.

People may also be understanding that those who know the child personally or who are relatives of the foster child cannot adopt them. Actually, caseworkers will actively seek out adults who provide support to the child, including relatives, to see if they'd be a good fit for the child. In fact, this is a best practice, and often it is preferred to have a relative adopt the child.

In addition, military families, empty-nesters and unmarried persons can all be adoptive parents. Moreover, a potential parent of any sexual orientation may be eligible to adopt a child. Also, foster parents can pursue the adoption of their foster child, and in fact in Virginia this type of adoption accounts for more than 60 percent of all adoptions of children in foster care.

As this shows, while there may be many misconceptions about adoption out there, potential adoptive parents in Virginia should understand that these misconceptions are false. Armed with the right knowledge, potential parents can pursue adoption, giving a child in need the chance to have the family they deserve.

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Sevila, Saunders, Huddleston & White
30 North King Street
Leesburg, VA 20176

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