The process involved in adopting a child varies from state to state, and every adoption case is different. Because adoptions often differ so much from one case to the next, a lot of misinformation exists about the process and what it entails. 

If you count yourself among those considering opening up your home and heart to a child in need of an adoptive parent, it may serve you well to learn how to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the adoption process. That way, you have a better understanding of what lies ahead and the knowledge you need to proceed accordingly. 

According to the Virginia Department of Social Services, the following are some commonly held myths and misconceptions regarding adopting a child in Virginia. 

Myth 1: Adopting international children is easier and quicker 

Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessarily faster or easier to adopt a child from another country. New regulations complicate the process of adopting internationally, and there are also often more expenses involved. While many U.S. adoptions are free, or close to free, research shows that international adoptions may cost as much as $63,357. In terms of timing, most U.S. adoptions take about a year to complete, while international adoptions typically take between about 79 days and two years. 

Myth 2: You may not adopt a child you foster 

When possible, children who spend time living with foster families often return to their birth families, with a little more than half of the state’s foster children eventually returning to their original homes. In many cases, however, a return to a birth family is not reasonable or appropriate. In these situations, about 60% of Virginia foster children wind up having their foster parents adopt them. 

Many prospective adoptive parents mistakenly believe that they are not going to be eligible to adopt a child in Virginia. However, many children in Virginia also desperately need loving homes, so if you have a desire and ability to provide one, consider taking steps to do so.