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Are these adoption myths holding you back from your dreams?

Perhaps you already have a child and want a sibling without the physical or career strain of another pregnancy. Maybe you and your spouse can’t have children of your own for one reason or another. If you have thought about adoption but then rejected the idea because it seems too complicated, it might be time to give the idea a second glance.

Some of the most common reasons people give for not considering adoption are actually myths either based on outdated information or practices in other places, not Pennsylvania. If any of the three following myths have stopped you from pursuing an adoption, it may be time to revisit the idea of growing your family.

You don’t need to have a house to adopt

One of the most pervasive myths about adoption is that only those who own their own single-family home can legally foster or adopt. Others think they need to have a separate room for each child in the household.

You don’t have to own a property to provide a child with a stable household. You need to have adequate income for your family size and a private living space with enough room to accommodate another family member, possibly in a shared room with another child. You also need to maintain a clean and safe enough home, rental or otherwise, to pass a home visit inspection.

You don’t have to get married to adopt

Some people believe that only married couples can adopt, while others take that idea a step further and assume that only those who already have children within the marriage can adopt.

People with no children of their own, as well as single individuals, can adopt in Pennsylvania. You do not need a spouse to be a parent. You just need to have the support network and resources necessary to give your time and energy to a child who will need you.

You aren’t too young or too old to adopt

While some people who might just be out of school or those already well into their retirement years may legitimately be too young or too old to take responsibility for another life, most people who can reasonably consider adoption meet the basic criteria to do so.

Generally, you need to be at least 21 years of age and able to pass a background check to adopt. There usually isn’t a maximum age. If your age, marital status or rental housing situation has been the only thing holding you back from looking into adoption, it might be time to sit down and talk about your ideas with a lawyer who can help you better determine if you are in a position to adopt right now.