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Foster Care Adoption Myths Debunked

Americans have a more favorable opinion of foster care adoption than international adoption or private infant adoption, according to a 2013 study by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. And that's a good thing, considering that more than 100,000 children in foster care still waiting for permanent homes, according to Today Parents.

Yet more than half of Americans still wrongly believe that children in the foster care system are juvenile delinquents, the study also revealed. The truth is, children enter foster care because of abuse, neglect and/or abandonment by their biological family.

But now there is a new campaign that brings awareness the the joy that adopting a foster child brings. It's from Together We Rise, a foster care advocacy group that shares Adoption Day photos. Check them out along with six misconceptions about adopting from foster care.

1. You'll end up fostering or adopting more than one child.

The is the misconception that the foster care agency is "going to twist your arm and you'll come home with a carful of kids," said Rita Soronen, CEO and President of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. In reality, Soronen said, foster care agencies "for the most part err on the side of caution."

2. Foster kids have medical or behavioral needs that make them difficult to care for.

Only one-third of the children in foster care have any kind of diagnosable disability, according to a report from United Cerebral Palsy and Children's Rights. And being classified as a "special needs" child may simply mean that he or she is part of a sibling group or more difficult to place because of age.

3. It costs more than adopting from overseas.

The average cost of adopting from foster care is less than $2,500. Up to $2,000 of that cost may be covered by the state. Families may also receive monthly maintenance payments and financial aid for their child's college education.

4. There may be a risk of having to say goodbye at some point during the adoption process.

"Sometimes I felt like I would keep my heart guarded, just in case," said one parent of an adopted foster child. But "once they get adopted, it's like you gave birth to them."

5. You have to have a relationship with the birth parents or relatives.

"No adoptive family is required to have a relationship with the biological family," said Soronen. "Once you're an adoptive family, you make the legal decisions for [your] child."

6. If you adopt an older child rather than an infant, it won't be like having your own child.

"That's just so wrong," said Soronen. "There's just no reason to think that adopting an older youth — whether they're 9 or 16 — isn't worth the effort."

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Image via Together We Rise/Instagram

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