Adoption Myth #9 – Love is enough to be an adoptive parent

National Adoption Awareness Week aims to demystify the issues around adoption, raise awareness and acknowledge all parties in adoption. Part of that aim is to dispel the “Myths of Adoption.

Adoptive parents in Australia identified the top ten myths they have to deal with when talking with family, friends and passers-by in the shopping centre that can’t resist asking “Whose child is that?

MYTH #9 – Love is enough in parenting an adopted child.
FACTS – Love, empathy, understanding of losses these children have experienced and ongoing education is a better starting point for adoptive parenting.

The naïvety of The Beatles, “All You is Love” is recognised in most contexts. In adoption there are ‘variables’ that require prospective parents and families to be forewarned and educated about. Adoption is as much about loss as it is about gaining a family. Dysfunctionality will play a role in the emotional stability and security of a biological child, it also contributes to an adopted child’s sense of self and their place in the world. Issues of origin, relinquishment and formation of an independent identity are engaged by adoptees and adopters with greater frequency and intensity than biological families. Unconditional love is essential – but it must be strategically informed. Adoption is not for the light-hearted.

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