5 Big Adoption Myths

Author of 5 books, podcaster, parent trainer, husband and father.

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Thanks to the culture around us, we have some big misconceptions about a lot of things in the world. Adoption is no exception. How do you decipher reality from myth in a world full of smoke and mirrors?

I didn’t want to adopt. At least not in the beginning. Back in college, as my wife and I were planning our future life together, she told me she wanted to adopt all of our children instead of have them biologically. I scoffed. It wasn’t that I was against adoption, I just didn’t understand it!

I’ll never forget the night. We were sitting in front of our college campus library, in my metallic blue firebird (I loved that car!), when she told me this. An argument broke out. It wasn’t a bad one, but it was a thorough disagreement. My angle was this- “We did things one way in my family: graduate from college, land a good job, get married to a pretty girl, and start making mini-me’s. It was that simple!”

I was clueless.

Thankfully, my wife’s big heart won out, and God changed mine. It took a few years, but my perspective changed. For that, I’m grateful. I could not imagine my life without my amazing, adventurous, beautiful children, all of whom are adopted. It’s been an amazing adventure!

As I reflect back on those early days, I realize that my resistance and aversion to adoption came from 2 places:

  1. My fear of the unknown.
  2. A buy-in to some big myths.

I believed several things about adoption that really weren’t true. You couldn’t blame me though. I lived in a world that, for the most part, had a big misunderstanding of what adoption really was.

I’ve been there. I’ve believed these myths. And I’m willing to bet a few of you have too. I want to dispel them and share the truth. The hope is that my own experience will help those reading this gain a new understanding of what adoption is, and isn’t!


“I won’t be able to love my adopted children as much as my biological children.”

Love is a choice, no matter what the situation is. You have to choose to love your wife, your husband, your children, your latte, your car, your dog, the list goes on. You choose to love the children God gives you, whether or not they are biologically yours or not. I feared this myth very briefly in the beginning of our adoption journey. But once my first daughter stared into my eyes, and later called me “daddy,” the myth was dispelled!

“I’m afraid my children will want their birth-parent(s) more than me.”

Your children will want their mommy or daddy and that’s you! There will be days when they lash out, and scream “I want my ‘real mommy,’ or ‘real daddy!'” It happened to us on quite a few occasions. And, yes, it hurt. It will hurt you too. But remember who picks them up when they’re falling apart. Remember who kisses their wounds and wipes their tears away. Remember who is there to feed them and clothe them and listen to their broken hearts. It’s you! They want you. Deep in their hearts this rings true.

“If I have an open-adoption with their birth-parent, my child will be confused.”

Your child will be confused over tons of stuff in life. They will probably have some confusion over who exactly that other person is and that’s okay. You minimize the confusion over who you are verses who birth parents are when you stay calm and consistent in your mood and lingo, and when you clearly explain things openly to your child. Don’t mask the fact that they’re adopted, or try to stay hush hush about it. Your child gets it. You will add confusion when you do this.

“It’s better to wait until my child is older to tell them they are adopted.” 

This is a huge MYTH! In our case, our first 3 children were African-American, so the joke would’ve been on us if we waited. Believing this myth does no good for you or your children. They will resent you, in some fashion, if you wait until you believe they are old enough, or understand, or get it, to tell them they’re adopted. Be honest. Be open. And, by all means, celebrate adoption, theirs especially. On a semi-related note- celebrate their birth parents too. Make sure you always hold your child’s birth parent in high regard for making the choice to place them for adoption!

“People will judge me and think I’m weird.”

People are already judging you. This is nothing new. You, and everyone else in this world, are being sized up, glared at, whispered about, gawked at, pointed at, ignored, and  judged. Even if you can establish your life as “normal” in some way (not sure what that means), you will still be judged for something. You can’t escape it. I wrestled over the judgement thing a lot, early on in our adoption journey. When I finally realized that I couldn’t escape it, I stopped caring about other people’s opinions and focused on the most important thing- my beautiful family and my precious children!

Adoptive parents: what are some other myths out there when it comes to adoption?


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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.