FACT 1 --Generally, most adoptions generally cost somewhere within the range of $15,000-$25,000. While this is a significant chunk of change, the federal government has instituted an Adoption Tax Credit that offsets most of those costs. In 2010 and 2011, families can claim a credit up to $13,170 per child. When utilizing this tax credit, adoption costs are only slightly higher than the costs of a traditional pregnancy/birth.
MYTH 2 -- Domestic adoptions take a long time to complete, during which birth parents can regain custody of their child.
FACT 2 -- For the adoption of a newborn child, the general length to completion is one year after birth. During this one year time span, the child is living with the adoptive parents, and the birth mother/father are unable to take the child back. In Indiana, once a birth parent signs a consent to adopt (for birthmothers consent is received within a day or two after birth, for birthfathers consent is generally received before birth), then his/her parental rights are forever terminated. Vanderburgh County does hold a thirty (30) day hearing after the birth to allow the birthmother to claim undue influence, duress, or incompetence. However, if a lawyer does his/her job correctly the 30 day hearing is merely a formality. Despite sensationalized stories in the media it is extremely rare for a birth parent to regain custody of his/her child after signing the consent to adoption. The few cases in which it has occurred usually was the result of unsound legal practice.
MYTH 3 -- I have to pay a birth mother to "buy" her baby.
FACT 3 -- Under Indiana law, it is a Class D felony for a person to receive profits for adopting their child. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Generally, I advise adopting parents to pay for the birth mothers medical and legal fees and four (4) pre or post birth counseling sessions. Depending on the situation, adopting parents can also pay the birth mother up to $3,000 for reasonable housing costs, living expenses, paternity cloths, travel expenses, and/or lost wages.
MYTH 4 -- Single people and same sex couples can't adopt.
FACT 4 --Many single women & same sex couples build their families by adopting children. However, choices may be more restricted these individuals. Ultimately, it is up to the birth mother (and in some cases the birth father) to choose an individual/couple that they are most comfortable with.
MYTH 5 --At some point in the future, birth parents will seek out their children.
FACT 5 -- When an adoption is completed properly, with the appropriate information being disclosed to the birth mother and with the birth mother receiving the appropriate adoption counseling, then most birth mothers realize that it was God's plan that there child end up with a loving, caring family, and don't feel the need to seek out their "child" later in life. When representing birthmothers, I always encourage them to take full advantage of the pre and post-birth counseling sessions offered by the adoptive couple. These counseling sessions help the birth mother confront hidden worries and prepares them for life after the adoption. In the end, if an adoption is done properly, the birthmother is left with the positive feeling of having given the greatest gift anyone could give...the gift of life.
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