When Adoption Fails

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We often hear success stories of the likes of Reverend Run and Justine Simmons or Lionel Richie and Brenda Harvey who have adopted children, Miley and Nicole respectively, but what’s the flip-side of tales like these? Who’s responsible when an adoption fails?

MSN’s Today Moms discusses how a failed adoption–known as a “disruption”–can impact parents, a family and especially the child; however, the reasons behind failed adoptions are seldom talked about.

While disruptions often occur within the time it takes for adoption to become final, which could range from a few months to a few years, it rarely occurs among adopted infants. When it comes to older children, however, the likeliness increases 5 to 20 percent due to life experiences and behaviors.

Sage, a 39-year-old stay at home mom describes how her 4-year-old adopted child’s behavior led her to have to give her up after just a year and a half. From spitting and name-calling to telling her 18-month-old ‘Your mommy doesn’t love you,’ and pushing her into walls, Sage found out that her adopted daughter suffered from reactive attachment disorder causing her to display aggressive characteristics and attention-seeking behavior. Sage, like others, realized that she could not provide the child with the environment and care she truly needed.

Zia Freeman, a Seattle-area counselor who’s been in the field for 20 years, says that adoption agencies do everything they can to keep a family together including classes and support groups at the first sign of any problems between the adopted child and her new family.

“The more research a parent does before adopting an older child, the better,” she says. “You’ve got to be open to educating yourself and being honest with yourself. Ask yourself, “Can I live with someone who doesn’t like me for a few weeks or months or years?’”

Source: Black and Married with Kids

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