Adoption and Family

NACAC conference

This post is about adoption myths and realities. It is intended to kick off a weeklong series of posts about adoption inspired by the NACAC conference I just returned from in Columbus, Ohio.
I speak about adoption regularly to parents, prospective adopters and to the media. On the weekend I spoke at the NACAC conference with fellow journalist Laura Eggertson. I am an adoptive parent of two beautiful girls, adopted domestically through the Canadian foster care system and cofounder of an adoption organization called the Canadian Coalition of Adoptive Families. All this I tell you by way of indicating that I know of what I speak.
In Ontario there are right now 25,000 children in care. Of that 25,000, some will get adopted, some will grow up in loving foster homes, some in group homes, some will “age out” turning 18 released into the world without any legal connection, or emotional support. It is the saddest possible way to graduate from a system no child chooses to enter. But that’s a post for another day. Adoption is both a beautiful and a sad thing and whether you choose international or domestic adoption it should be an informed choice made with facts, not misconceptions.
Myth: Domestic adoption takes years. It’s quicker to adopt overseas.
Fact: I adopted both of my daughters domestically. My oldest child, adopted as an infant, took two years in total. One year for home study process and training and then a year to be matched. The second time we waited nine months. A friend of ours was matched nine days after they were approved. Unless your criteria are very narrow: as in I want a healthy Caucasian girl without any risk factors, the wait is often not as long as people believe.
Myth: There are no babies available.
Fact: My husband and I adopted babies myself twice in London, Ontario. There are infants, toddlers, teenagers and sibling groups all in need of homes.
Myth: They wouldn’t approve us to adopt in Canada because we are too old.
Fact: Many adoptive couples are older. Often times empty nesters choose to adopt and start family all over again.
Myth: Adopted children all have severe emotional and behavioural problems.
Fact: Many adopted children are well adjusted, happy and healthy.
Myth: Single people can’t adopt.
Fact: Single people are often approved to adopt.
Myth: Gay couples can’t adopt.
Fact: Gay couples are often approved to adopt.
Myth: With domestic adoption a birthmom can change her mind at any time and claim her child.
Fact: Adoption is a legally binding process and once it’s been decided in a court of law and finalized, birth parents cannot simply reappear and take the child back.

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.


  • Sober Mommy

    Thank you so much for posting that last fact. I have two adopted daughters and it drives me CRAZY to hear people say or imply either directly to them or in their purview that somehow their being in our family is somehow ‘up for discussion’ and changeable at any time.

    Rant done but thanks for posting that.