Adoption Myths & Truths

Family photo with seven adopted from China

We understand that taking that first step to adoption is a big one for most families. Yet, China, India, and Haiti have an overwhelming number of children who need forever families right now. Many families stop short of adopting because of the overall misconceptions in international adoption, so we wanted to share some facts that might dispel the myths keeping you from taking that first step to adopt.

1. MYTH: International Adoption is Prohibitively Expensive

TRUTH: Most international adoptions cost about the same as an average new car. However, there are many adoption grants available to families and the Federal Adoption Tax Credit provides $14,300 (for adoptions completed in 2020) per adoption for most families. There are also many ways to fundraise for adoption. In fact, many America World families are covering much of the total cost of their adoption through grants, the tax credit and fundraisers. Be sure to compare "apples to apples" when looking at agency adoption costs. America World's costs include the total cost of adoption--home study, travel, in-country lodging, everything. You can expect total transparency about adoption costs from America World Adoption. For more information, click here.

2. MYTH: Children Adopted Internationally are All Disabled

TRUTH: While it is increasingly difficult to adopt a "healthy" infant or toddler, most of the children who are available to be adopted have minor or correctable needs. Typically, needs include cleft lip/palate, heart defects, hearing or vision problems, hand/foot/limb deformities, missing limbs, hepatitis B, spine deformity, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, HIV+, neural conditions, and developmental delays. Many children have already had corrective surgery prior to their adoption. There are also healthy older children available in most cases too. America World's application allows families to choose which needs they believe are best fits for their circumstances--you are not matched with a child that does not meet your choices of special needs.

3. MYTH: International Adoption is Corrupt

TRUTH: While it is true that there are incidents of corruption in adoption (not just international), this is where it is critical to choose an adoption agency that is ethical. There are plenty of agencies who keep the interest of the child as their priority. There can also be safeguards in place to prevent misconduct from an agency level to a government level. Experience, integrity, accreditation and feedback from families who have used an agency are all very important aspects in choosing the right international adoption agency to walk by your side through the entire process.  We know that for every terrible, heartbreaking story of an adoption gone wrong there are thousands of beautiful stories of children being placed into loving Christian homes where they are thriving. America World Adoption is also Hague-accredited, which provides acccountability on the U.S.-side of adoption. Learn more here.

4. MYTH: International Adoption Takes Many Years to Complete

TRUTH: Most America World families are now completing their adoptions within 24 months from the time they apply. Some of the wait time includes how quickly the families complete their paperwork (dossier). Right now, many China and India adoptions can be completed within 18 months of application. Timeframes vary among countries, however, now is a great time to begin the adoption process as many children are now waiting for their forever families.

5. MYTH: The Birthmother Can Take Your Child Back

TRUTH: It is important to understand that once an adoption is final, your child is legally your child. While this situation can happen with domestic adoption on rare occasions, with international adoptions an adopted child is no different than a birth child once the adoption is finalized in court.

6. MYTH: International Adoption is Not in the Best Interest of the Child

TRUTH: At America World, we believe that keeping a family together (#1) is the best for everyone and we try to make that happen, whenever possible, through child sponsorships and other means. There is no question that this is the best situation for all families, but some circumstances do not allow this (e.g. - death of one or both parents; no known relatives).

When reunification cannot happen, we believe the next best (#2) for the child is to be adopted through a domestic adoption--keeping the child in their culture and community.

Finally, we believe that when these options are not possible, for whatever reason, international adoption is the next best option (#3). For many children, they get stuck between #2 and #3 and languish in an institution where they receive minimal care at best, simply because of the child-to-caretaker ratio. Every child deserves a loving family, not institutional living. International adoption becomes a very viable option when using a reputable adoption agency with a high degree of integrity.

America World Adoption began in 1994 as a Christian international adoption agency with the sole purpose of assisting families who were called to adopt an orphan who needed a family. Today, we have seen over 4,600 orphans placed into Christ-centered homes where they will grow in the knowledge of Jesus. America World is Hague-accredited and is respected within the adoption community as a reputable agency with a high degree of integrity.

America World's team of professionals would be honored to assist you in growing your family through the miracle of adoption. Learn more about us and our adoption programs at or contact us at or call 800-429-3369.

Ready to begin?  APPLY ONLINE to begin the adoption process, or if you have concerns about a country's requirements you can fill out a free PRE-APPLICATION for pre-approval.