Failed Adoptions

When love isn’t enough.

In child welfare, when adoptions are not successful we refer to it as a “disruption.” Disruption is not a topic of general conversation, possibly because no one wants to anticipate the failure of an adoption. Thoughts of an unsuccessful adoption bring up feelings of rejection, failure, and hopelessness. The National Survey of Adoptive Parents administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services in April of 2013 revealed that foster care adoptions make up 37% (661,000) of the adoptions in our country. While there is no data available on how many of these adoptions were unsuccessful, it is reasonable to assume that some of these adoptions did not succeed for one reason or another.

It is a sad fact that some adoptions reach the point where parents consider disruption or dissolution. Families may become stressed to the breaking point and may not know where to turn due to the lack of guidance, procedures, support, and compassion. Kids Central uses every means possible to try to ensure a good match when placing a child with an adoptive family.  The last thing we want to happen is to add another disruption in the life of a child: it is heartbreaking for all concerned we want to prevent it as much as possible.

If birth parents’ rights are not terminated in strict compliance with the law, the adoption is not legal and binding and can be contested leading to stories of birth parents returning to claim their child long after an adoption has been finalized. Before a foster child is ever made available for adoption, the child must first become “legally free.” This means that the court has legally terminated the parental rights of the child’s biological parents, and any available appeal periods have passed. When you adopt a child from the foster care system, the biological parents cannot come back and reclaim their child.

The risk of arriving at the point of disruption or dissolution can be minimized if full disclosure is made to prospective adoptive parents and the child’s well-being and best interest is paramount. Difficult times and stressful situations are common for all families, not just families with adopted children. We encourage parents to develop their parenting skills by taking advantage of learning opportunities and offer post-adoption support to better equip adoptive parents to understand the challenges they may encounter.