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Myths & Realities

Nearly 81.5 million Americans have considered adopting a child.


If just one in 500 of these adults adopted, every waiting child in foster care would have a permanent family.


But adoption from foster care is often misunderstood, preventing children from finding forever families.



Discover some of the most common misconceptions, and read about the reality behind each.



Adoption from foster care may cost less than private infant or international adoption, but it’s still expensive.

Adoption from foster care normally costs little or nothing. 

A biological parent can come to take an adopted child back.

This is a fear for nearly half of the people considering adoption. However, biological parents have no way to gain back custody of the child or children once their parental rights are terminated.

Children enter foster care because they committed a crime.

This belief is held by 50 percent of Americans, but actually, children enter U.S. foster care through no fault of their own. Usually, they are victims of neglect, abandonment, or abuse.

A single parent can’t provide a healthy environment for an adopted child.

A single parent can provide a loving, stable home. In fact, as the number of two-parent families declines, an increasing number of children live in single-parent homes. In 2012, this number was 28%.

No person over 55 can provide a healthy and loving environment for an adopted child.

This belief is held, erroneously, by 61 percent of Americans. In truth, almost one in four adopted children lives happily with an adoptive parent 55 years or older.

*All statistics are from the National Foster Care Adoption Attitudes Survey, commissioned by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and conducted by Harris Interactive, June 2013.


A home for every child.