Hot Topics In The Community
Failed Adoption: The Parents Who Change Their Minds
We often hear stories about happy mothers and fathers who have brought their adopted newborn boys and girls home for the first time. We read about the celebrities who successfully adopt older children from far-off countries. We also hear the sad stories of adoptive parents who are left with fallen tears and empty nurseries because a birth mother has changed her mind.
What we don’t often hear are the stories of those whose adoptions fail. “In as many as a quarter of adoptions of teens, and a significant number of younger child adoptions, the parents ultimately decide they don’t want to keep the child.”
Joyce Maynard revealed on her blog “that she’d given up her two daughters, adopted from Ethiopia in 2010 at the ages of 6 and 11, because she was ‘not able to give them what they needed.’” If you read her blog, you not only feel her anguish and grief, but you can also sense her resolved understanding; she feels she did what was best for the girls and her family.
Zia Freeman, an adoption counselor in the Seattle area, said, “We [give parents] a huge list of behaviors to expect and they’re not fun. But I’ll have parents come back and say to me, ‘I sat through those classes and heard you say that, but I still believed it wouldn’t happen to me. That I wouldn’t get a kid that wouldn’t respond to my love.’”
The TODAY Moms article I’m writing about also had other stories of “disruptions,” which is what a failed adoption is called. These adoptive parents spoke of intense aggressions, sexual misconduct and abuse (an adopted 4-year-old girl was grabbing one mother’s crotch and sexually abusing her 18-month-old daughter), withdraw, manipulation, and other negative attention-seeking behaviors (“running directly into traffic or screaming that she was being kidnapped in public places”) from their adopted children.
When you adopt a child, aren’t you agreeing to accept this child as your own? Can you choose one child’s spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health over another’s? Perhaps ...
“For children older than 3, disruption rates range between 10 percent to 16 percent; for teens, it may be as high as 24 percent, or one in four adoptions … [for older children] it’s significantly higher because of the complexities of parenting a child who already has life experiences and certain behaviors. When we’re rejected and traumatized early in our development, it changes the way we function and respond to people.”
Thinking of the affects a “disruption” can bring upon the adopted child, including trust issues, low self-esteem, and additional behavior problems, I imagine it’d be very difficult to decide to give up - a life-destroying and life-changing decision.
What do you think? If faced with extreme difficulties, similar to those mentioned above, would you give up your adopted child?
Kimberly Shannon is a wife, a mother, an editor, a writer, a Pilates instructor, a dance teacher, a choreographer ... She is always working to find the perfect balance¹! After Kimberly received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism, she worked on two master’s degree...Read More