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Carrie Craft

Adoptive Family Going Through an Adoption Disruption - Needing Support

By December 3, 2009

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I just received an email a few days ago from a reader who is asking for supportive resources:

"Carrie, I am going through a disrupted adoption. Do you offer support for adoptive parents? I have 8 adopted children and one is disrupting. Just some friendly support would be helpful. People sometimes act like it is my fault my daughter that is being disrupted has problems. She came with many problems I did not create. Our DYFS Division of Youth and Family Services is fighting me tooth and nail. My daughter needs help, and I could use some friends."

From Carrie: I have not personally experienced a disrupted adoption, however I do know what it's like to be at the end of your parenting rope. There comes a time when we do have to let our children go in order for them to find the help that is needed and to protect the other children in the home. My advice: 1. Seek out friends who are also foster or adoptive parents, sometimes friends outside the foster care and adoption community don't always fully understand. 2. Be kind to yourself, sometimes we moms can get really hard on ourselves. 3. Seek solace in whatever faith based practice that is fulfilling to you. Sometime we need to remind ourselves of the bigger picture.

Asking our foster and adoptive parenting community: Have you endured an adoption disruption? What helped you through the disruption process? What advice would you offer this mother and family as the children will need support too. Please share your kind thoughts, and advice in the comments area. PS. This isn't a space to post rants against these parents. All of these types of comments will be deleted.

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Comments
December 4, 2009 at 1:47 am
(1) Sally says:

Carrie,

We recently accepted the placement of a baby girl and later found out her older brother was coming to our home as part of a “package deal”

We spent many sleepless nights and thousands of dollars in legal fees trying to explore our options for an adoption disruption.

In my reserach, I came across this blog, where the blog author experienced a disruption, and writes about it beautifully. Her perspective really helped me.

http://www.anymommyoutthere.com/2008/07/disruption-failed-moms-look-back.html

Also, we found that we did get support, when we kept looking. Initially everyone was very shocked, and verbal about their disappoinment / disapproval. But we kept searching, because we truly wanted what was best for this little boy. We found support in the most unlikely place, through our church. We found an effective lawyer, a psychologist, and a great supporter. It is so freeing to not be judged. Not all placements work out, and sometimes it is definitely in the child’s BEST interst to move onto a different home.

The end of our story is we are adopting both the baby girl and her older brother. We received counseling and so did he. We were so close, and I completely relate to anybody who walks in these shoes.

Tell her to contact me if needed. Thank you for this blog.

December 4, 2009 at 9:34 am
(2) adoption says:

Sally,

Thank you for sharing your story. I think your push to just continue searching until you find the support you need is very valuable advice. Thank you for bringing it to light. We had to do the same – keep looking until we found the support that we needed.

December 4, 2009 at 10:18 am
(3) Mara says:

Adoptive children are NOT “throw backs”. Would you kick a biological child to the curb? I think not.

This word “disruption” to describe an AP’s returning of their damaged “merchandise” is disgusting.

Adoptees are NOT disposible and should NOT be returnable.

Why is it that AP’s can divorce their parents but we (adoptees) cannot divorce our AP’s? That’s simple: We are treated as CHATTLE. That’s BS.

December 4, 2009 at 10:20 am
(4) Mara says:

(Oops, I meant divorce their adopted children)…I need coffee.

December 4, 2009 at 2:14 pm
(5) Lexushoneybee says:

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and have worked in child welfare since 1983 as a social worker, supervisor and agency director. I, too, am highly disturbed about the idea of “giving a child back” … biological parents do not “give a child back” and neither should adoptive parents be offered this option. As to the comments made by “Carrie” above, you had the option to not accept another placement, regardless of the circumstances…no agency or social worker can force an adoptive family to accept a child into their home. If you accepted the child, you did so due to your own choice…but, then to return the child to where ever is represehensible, in my opinion. These children have no voice…EVERY ADULT IN THE SYSTEM DOES HAVE A VOICE AND THEREFORE A CONCURRENT RESPONSIBILTY TO ENSURE NO CHILD IS HURT OR TRAUMATIZED BECAUSE OF THE ADULT’S SELF SERVING AGENDA!

December 4, 2009 at 2:53 pm
(6) adoption says:

You might want to consider re-reading the comments above – they were directed to me “Carrie” from “Sally.”

Unless you lived it – no-one completely understands. Also, it is surprising what can be forced upon an adoptive or foster parent.

I’m surprised that there are so many comments regarding bio parents not being able to throw back their birth children? Really? No one heard of parents kicking children out of their home, or having them live with other relatives?

I think the situations above and those I know of personally is regarding children from the foster care system. If the cases were handled properly from licensed social workers in the beginning it would have resulted in better placement of the child in the first place. Many times children are misdiagnosed or not diagnosed at all in an effort to get them placed in an adoptive home – any home – so that the agency’s records look wonderful and they can qualify for more grant money. “See – look how many children we placed in adoptive homes! We rock!” This is unfair to the child and to the adoptive parents. Then when it all falls apart – the adoptive parents look bad and the child is further traumatized.

No, adoptees are not property. And adoptive parents are not always the bad guys. The system is not perfect and adoptive parents need more support in parenting disturbed children.

December 4, 2009 at 3:06 pm
(7) Lexushoneybee says:

Sorry, but your argument does not hold water. Every adult in the system — whether prospective adoptive parents, bio parents, judges, social workers, etc. etc.– has a voice and a choice…not so for the children who are the entirely innocent parties here. I have seen plenty in my almost 30 years in the field (probably much more than you can imagine, even given your experience as an adoptive parent). My position remains the same, adults must be the ones to be principled here. Yes, children in the foster care system are often traumitized and many times they are not provided with the needed mental health services they need. However, prospective adoptive parents may not use this as an excuse to re-traumize a child they have accepted into their home because “they didn’t know”. They are the adults and it is ulitmately their responsiblity to ask questions, do research and insist on full disclosure. Anything less is on them.

December 4, 2009 at 3:26 pm
(8) Margaret Gannon says:

Dear Mom,
Reach out to your Resource Family Advocate from Foster and Adoptive Family Services (used to be the foster parent association) 800-222-0047. You advocate is assigned to your county and can be a listening ear as well as advocate for you with DYFS. There are six of us throughout the state and cover all the counties – we work out of DYFS offices, but ARE NOT DYFS. We’re there to support you. Disrupting an adoption is like having a death in the family. It’s very, very hard.

All the services from Foster and Adoptive Family Services are FREE to you. Good luck to both you and your child.

December 4, 2009 at 3:38 pm
(9) Lexushoneybee says:

Dear Margaret,
I have to say to represent yourself as an “advocate” but then to suggest the forgone conclusion of “disrupting an adoption is like having a death is the family” is not only infuriating but also malpractice. All of us in the child welfare system, whether professionals or paraprofessional (which I assume is your training) are first and foremost advocates for the children we serve. Instead of empathizing about the “disrupting an adoption” as though this is a widget or process we are suggesting should be terminated, rather the the very life of a child who will almost certainly experience retraumitization, I hope you and your counter-part “advocates” would first take the position of “What can we do to keep this child safely placed in this home and to ensure the stability of this family?” As an adovcate, I would encourage you to consider finding out what this child and family needs to ensure permanency. Does the child need mental health services? Does he/she need a psychiatric evaluation and medication management? Does the family need respite on a more consistent basis? Do the adoptive parents need more supports like parent training to deal with specific behaviors? Do they need a more complete context for the child’s history and trauma history? Do the parents need help with marital issues which are coming to the surface due to the child’s behaviors? Do the parents need individual therapy and support to deal with their own greif/loss/trauma issues? Etc. Whenever any of us hear about an out of home placement in trouble, our first response should always be “Let’s explore the issues and determine what we need to do to keep this family together”. Please encourage your adovcate colleagues to do the same.

December 4, 2009 at 3:59 pm
(10) adoption says:

Oh my argument holds water and then some – I think it depends on where you are located. The children are the victims. But like you said – all adults have a voice and some are not honest. Where do you all live where this thing called “full disclosure” honestly exists?

I agree with your post to Margaret – there is a process to ensure that all things have been done to preserve the family.

One can’t just order a disruption like a divorce – there is a process and it may not be granted in the end. But BEFORE it gets to that point – there needs to be services to the family to help them. Not treat them like criminals because things are not going well. Blame them for the child’s behaviors.

Many areas don’t have post-adopt services. And therapy is expensive and insurance puts a cap on it.

It took us 18 months to get help for our middle son – it was hell and that is putting it mildly. In the end it was an ugly, ugly situation because far too many people use the system to hurt others – because they can.

At the end of the day – I think we agree that support to the family is the first priority and that the children are the innocent victims in the whole mess.

December 4, 2009 at 5:45 pm
(11) Mara says:

If you purchase a child and have his/her original birth certificate (biological identity, heritage, ethnicity) sealed, and a receipt of purchase issue: AMENDED BIRTH CERTIFICATE, then YOU are in it FOR LIFE.

Don’t pay cold hard cash and have “YOUR CHILD” pay with their identity, just to throw up your hands and say “I quit, take him!”

So many adoptive parents are self-absorbed and only think of themselves. Don’t adopt if your goal is anything but doing what’s best for the child. (AND THAT MEANS MAKING SURE THAT THE CHILD’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE ISN’T SEALED.) You can do this, it’s in the law that you can waive the amending and sealing people! (But most AP’s want “ownership” and don’t CARE about the child’s true biological identity.) FYI: We ARE NOT BLANK FLESH CANVASSES ON WHICH TO PAINT IDENTITIES ONTO. We are also not moldable flesh to transform into everything YOU DESIRE IN A CHILD.

Research, effort, blood, sweat, tears…PARENTHOOD-biological and ADOPTIVE.

December 4, 2009 at 7:05 pm
(12) KimKim says:

I’m disappointed that people only seem to want to adopt babies. That baby girl that Sally wanted had a brother. It would be nice for that little girl to have her brother in her life. I think if they come together then let them both be adopted together, let another person adopt them. Sally is not the right adoptive mother for that situation. I am disappointed she got to adopt both of them when she was so against it.
Calling it disruption is misleading. It seems to me this new adoption language is all about making people who adopt feel comfortable.
It’s not a disruption, it’s a rejection.

AWFUL. REALLY AWFUL.
PEOPLE PLEASE STOP ADOPTING CHILDREN.

December 4, 2009 at 11:53 pm
(13) Sally says:

Kimkim and others,

You assume so much about our situation in your desire to express your anger. The birth mother in our case specifically asked us to adopt her baby girl. This baby girl is 1 of 9 siblings, and each of the other 8 had secure placements prior to our accepting this placement. We did weeks of fact finding and spoke to everyone possible on the case. Everyone was surprised when the placement of an older sibling was paired with this baby. Nobody expected it, but until you have walked and lived the unfairness and brokenness of the foster care system, it is difficult to believe the situations well intentioned people are faced with.

Have you accepted the placement of an older child that you were not expecting? Do you know all the circumstances surrounding his mental and emotional challenges? Did I express in my brief comment intended to support the original subject of the post the amount of time the baby girl lived with us, developing a secure attachment, before we were told about the little boy?

As my life continues, I find that I judge others less and less for their circumstances. I commend your heart for children, that is something we have in common. However, until you are faced with my situation (which you are not privy to all relevant details), I cannot respect your comments as anything other than anger and shallow judgement. This is something I am trying to grow beyond.

December 5, 2009 at 12:01 am
(14) adoption says:

Well said, Sally.

Social workers can talk about their years of experience – but until you’ve lived with the placement of a child that was not working out with the family – you don’t have a clue. No degree, no years of experience can compare.

I can say this as I”ve seen it happen with our own foster care worker – after spending a weekend with a little one she was contemplating adopting and the feelings she had when she knew things were not clicking with her other children. She felt so badly about it – because it was not the child’s fault. I told her, “this experience will make you a stronger social worker as you’ll know how it feels.”

And – I believe – didn’t you end up adopting the little boy, Sally, after attending family therapy? (I think some of the adoption stories are getting twisted together.)

Again – support resources hep preserve adoptive families – yet Why Do We Have To Search And Fight For Basic Support and at the SAME time feel like we have to cover our own behinds the entire time?

December 5, 2009 at 10:03 am
(15) Dad says:

We adopted two older kids from foster care. Our son had five foster placements before his 5th birthday, including one failed reunification attempt with his biological mom. Our daughter came to us after one disrupted adoptive placement. She was sexually abused before she entered care, and was subsequently placed in an adoptive home with younger children. Big mistake. Both our children were six years old when placed in our home – they’re older teenagers now.

I also volunteered as an advocate for domestic older child adoption. Our agency specialized in hard-to-place foster children, many of whom had disrupted placements. This is my background.

To the poster who argued that biological children are never “disrupted” – you obviously don’t have much exposure to the foster care system. I’ll leave it at that.

As for the argument that adopted children have no choice, I would kindly ask them what choice did my daughter have when she was being sexually abused by her biological father? Indeed younger foster children ultimately have no “choice” in their placements just as biological children have no choice in who their parents are.

In my state, foster children over the age of twelve must consent to their adoptive placement. At least the law gives them some control as they age.

As a general rule, the older the child when placed in an adoptive home, the higher the risk of disruption. This is not surprising given the years of trauma, perhaps both prior to and during their extended stay in state care.

Also, there seems to be a higher disruption rate with older international adoptees, especially those from eastern Europe. Failure to disclose, incomplete social and medical histories, no extended placements prior to finalization – all these and more will negatively effect the disruption rates. So many adoptive parents travel abroad to avoid the domestic foster child from hell, only to adopt a foreign one.

Dad

December 8, 2009 at 9:20 pm
(16) Paul Bernstein says:

I’m an Afather and an adoptee. All I can say is my wife and I destroyed ourselves trying to raise 3 deeply disturbed orphans from Russia. If only disruption were a more viable option… As it stands, no one will be better off in the end. My wife and I will be forever damaged because of our need to love, and these kids will forever be a burden to society, and disrupt and spoil the lives of others. By keeping these kids and trying to love them, we’ve perpetuated misery and ensured future pain to those others who might try to love and help them, once we’re gone.

December 9, 2009 at 11:18 am
(17) Mella says:

I had to leave a message after hearing about all of the anger people had over this. My husband and I recently adopted our 12 year old foster daughter. We came VERY close to disrupting with her on multiple occasions due to behavioral issues. They were not minor things. She came to us with more than 5 placements and 2 failed pre-adoptive placements. We tried services through a family stabilization unit, emergency respite for a couple of weeks and less than a month before we finalized, she was admitted to a behavioral health setting and is still there at this moment.

We agonized over whether to disrupt or not. She had been let down by so many people in her life and we didn’t want to be added to the list, but sometimes her issues got so out of control and we wondered if we could handle it in the long-term. In the end, I think we made the right decision.

It’s not about giving a child back, it’s about whether a family or person is able to care for a child the way that child needs. If a person cannot handle the situation, then it’s better to get that child into another home who can. Not everyone can handle every situation and even the thought of “full disclosure” is a laugh. We got A LOT of documentation and were able to speak with therapists and the Aunt before we accepted placement and thought we knew her history…Now we’re questioning some of the diagnoses and basically started at square one.

My suggestion is to seek out services from a family stabilization unit (they can be a part of abuse prevention agencies, mental health services, etc) and DEMAND respite. We kept getting the run around from our workers saying there was none available. We finally had to tell them if we didn’t get respite ASAP, we weren’t sure the placement would work out. We didn’t want to give an ultimatum, but in our case, completely true. Our daughter ended up staying in a group home for a few days, but the respite saved us. We were able to discuss what we needed and what our plan was.

Just my experience and opinion. We’ve only adopted once (so far, lol) and we were not parents before this experience. I’m sure there are others who have been in similar situations.

December 9, 2009 at 12:00 pm
(18) Ms. E says:

Wow…As an adoptive parent, former social worker, and Licensed Marriage Family Therapist, I was going to leave a comment for the AP. However, I see so much unresolved hurt and anger here, I’m not sure if I even want to read all of the comments and step into it right now or not.

I see here what I also experienced with the most difficult years of my son’s adoption (all of his adolescence :) – -total lack of empathy and blaming- -from all sides, suggesting there’s a pat answer for all things. I managed to endure, and as an adult, both my son (and my foster son) have, in their maturing, credited me for endurance. However it was an extremely painful experience which I still believe was worth it.

My experience is shared in my book “It’s Heart Work: Being The Village That Raises A Child” which is available at Amazon.com as well as http://www.forachildsheart.org/Products.html

December 9, 2009 at 1:11 pm
(19) Ann says:

No one ever wants to disrupt a child. In the adoption world it is disruption, but it is also happens in the biological world. Many times caused by the failures of adequate child mental health services. The General Office of Accounting in Washington DC wrote about this tragedy. Since then much is written about custody relinquishment to garner appropriate services for a child who is too ill to be maintained in the home.

I had an adopted daughter 12 years ago who nearly killed me, choked our medically fragile daughter and had no choice but to get her into residential treatment. She was ultimately diagnosed with RAD, Fetal Alcohol syndrome, PTSD and psychosis (seeing and hearing voices) and developmental delay. She could not control herself with her self harm. She got stuck in the state hospital for two years while I appealed for her right to residential treatment and still a family. If I brought her home I could be charged with child endangerment for the children already in the home, much less me, as she took out her misplaced hatred of her biological mother on me.

I was told I had to disrupt to get her mental health services, but disruption would cause my husband to lose his medical license. The system hid the two l7 page psychologicals from us, we were unable to see her history, but faulted when all the professionals who treated our daughter said she needed intensive residential treatment and wouldn’t get better.

Many times families are unequipped to handle some of the severest children like my daughter, but it also was
my daughter’s mission was to escape the love of a family as that attaching to her was “trauma”. Her sheer survival was making sure that she couldn’t, wouldn’t, be loved and she had to escalate her behaviors into hurting people, and we still did not give up.

I appealed to the state courts, Washington DC and won a right for her to have the services she needed and still a family. The system traumatized us much more than our sick daughter.

Neither choice, disrupt or hang in with my daughter …
We were lied to, held hostage, found many failures of systems. But the one thing I know, my daughter deserved better than the trauma of her prenatal exposure, circumstances in the biological home and the instability of the foster care system .

It is now l0 years later, she is attached, she knows this mom didn’t give up. But the price was waaaay toooo high for her and the entire family.

December 9, 2009 at 4:07 pm
(20) CPSGirl215 says:

I work in the child welfare field, the county child protective services for a large city. In my experience: 1) yes, workers do not always give full information on a child’s background and past/current behavioral issues/diagnoses, because for varied reasons they want the adoption to take place. However, I would hope that anyone considering adopting a child begins with the assumption that even if no behavioral issues are presenting now, issues could develop and present at any point in a child’s life (as for any child, but yes, often abused/neglected children – and who then go through what may be the additional trauma of permanent separation from biological family – are more likely to exhibit behavioral issues). Sexually abused children are most at risk for this, and these are the children adoptive parents need to be most knowledgeable about and prepared to handle. 2) In general, ask as many questions as you can (you can probably get info here and elsewhere about what to ask), but also ask for referrals/resources for the FUTURE, in case they are needed.
2) Please use chains-of-command for any agency staff you are trying to get support/resources/answers from. Your issues will never be the priority to others they are to you, so be assertive, insist on what you need to move to the next person up if you don’t get if from the current contact person!

Best of luck, I hope you get the services and the disruption can be resolved. I do believe that families should treat adopted children as theirs, for better or worse – which is why knowledge and preparation in advance is so important – and mostly because for the child, this additional trauma of “rejection” can be the final “nail in the coffin” for a child’s chance to connect and become part of a family, and have some sense that they are wanted.

December 10, 2009 at 9:43 am
(21) Jamie says:

I can appreciate that a family needs support in getting and adoption dissolved ( the legal term). I’m not in their shoes. What I AM going through is parenting a child who comes FROM a disrupted adoption and it’s been the hardest year of my life. This child was hurt, did not trust, no longer understood what “adoption” meant (why would she). She was scared – yet outspoken and angry and so, so tough on the outside. DO I continue to parent this kid? I have no moral choice. She came to us, because we offered “respite” for a week in the summer, without the knowledge that her first adoption was not going well. We learned that there waqs no permanency for her there – once she came to stay with us. Of course, we love her – but this is the hardest kid to parent. Anyone else going through this – or know where to look. Did I mention that she comes from an international adoption and there are NO state resources for her re: therapies, medical insurance or financial aid? Thank goodness, we love her:)

December 15, 2009 at 10:23 pm
(22) Marcie says:

My daughter came to me from the foster care system. She was put there after a disrupted adoption. She was adopted from a Russian orphanage at 11 but had never known a family since she was put there at birth. When she got here she knew no English. There was a lot of accusations thrown out there and at 12 she landed in a mental hospital. That’s a fast way to get these children out of your home so I’m told. I think it’s a terrible way but it is what happens. From there she ended up in a foster home which happened to be a relative of mine. I adopted her at 13 and have had nothing but wonderful , happy times with her. She is a joy to be around and all her teachers say she is great. She is now 15 and you would think i had her since birth. I thank God she is so well adjusted and able to handle things. My point in all this is sometimes you have to give someone else a chance.The child may do better with in a one child home. I don’t think bad about the woman who gave her up. I’m happy that she did ,things could have been really bad for her had she stayed there. Not all mothers are able to handle things the same way, not all children can handle things either. Let’s not judge each other but instead help one another, if not for us let’s do it for the children who didn’t ask to be put in the situation in the first place.
As for biological family’s not giving back there children , where do you think some of these foster children come from?

December 20, 2009 at 4:33 pm
(23) sandy says:

A CHILD IS A CHILD!!! Why would you even think that you can “give away” a child just because they are not biologicially yours? People who want to disrupt a child from a home because its not what they wanted hould be stripped of all paretnal rights forever! I

December 21, 2009 at 9:55 pm
(24) pfh says:

Dang! I asked for support, and got a kettle of worms. Just to let you ALL know, I have a total of 8 adopted children. They are all special needs because of prenatal exposure to drugs and or alcohol. My daughters adoption is not being disrupted. She has been placed with dyfs because after she beat up my ten year old son and myself, I was afraid to have her near the other children. Four years ago she tried to kill my one daughter and myself. She chocked a cat to death, calculated the death of my one son, tried to poison her baby brother,molested four of my foster children,etc. We had many many many therapist. She was diagnosed with RAD. She spent the last four years in treatment homes and mentor homes. She came home in July and within six weeks had assaulted my one son and myself. She has never received RAD treatment which I begged for over and over and over. I am now paying child support until she is 18. I believe we exhausted all possible resources. Dyfs lied to me about her background. She needs love, attention, understanding, etc etc, but not with younger children around. She will remain in my heart forever, but it was not possible/is not possible for her to remain in my home.

January 11, 2010 at 11:42 am
(25) Sara says:

We just went through a disrution. The little boy was 13 months when he came and 2 when he left – he’d been with us for almost a year. The problem became that we went to marriage counseling and our adoption agency didn’t want to work with us through that. After a meeting to decide that we were all on the “same page”, they told us they would be taking him away and all we could do would be to hire a lawyer. When I cried in my car, they said I was having an “emotional breakdown” and had me come back inside and talk with them. Then they pulled him from my arms, screaming, and I just had to walk away. After 4 days of court hearings, the judge decided he was better off where he was. His care in our home was never a question. We were to adopt him the month they took him away. Our agency did not stand by us at all and the director of the agency was very upset when another situation didn’t work out with us. They passed on half-truths and lies to the child’s agency. It seems like there is no way to get past the grief. And, the little boy is still in town. – he still goes to the same doctor, shops at the same stores, etc. And people who have seem me with him and see him with someone else say that he’s just not the same – which is truly heartbreaking to hear.

January 31, 2010 at 6:09 pm
(26) northerngirl says:

There is so much anger against adoptive parents who cannot finalize the adoption. 5 and a half years ago, we took in a boy aged 5 and his sister aged 7 with every intention of being their forever family. Two years later after trying counselling and many specialist visits, we gave up our dream. Both children had severe attachment issues and other special needs that were not disclosed to us. I had severe anxiety and panic by the time we decided we could not continue. It has been 3.5 years and I still cry for what we could not do. I don’t know how to grieve for them when I feel so guilty that we could not keep them in our home. I wish your readers and others understood how difficult adopting older children from foster care can be. We went into it with our eyes wide open, but nothing could prepare us for the behaviors. I wish that love was enough. I still think of them everyday. We lost a dream and faith in ourselves.

August 11, 2010 at 2:23 pm
(27) adoption search specialist says:

If you are an adoptee, or are a birth mother, birth father, or birth family member in search of a missing adoptee, please submit a request for a free evaluation of your adoption related search. One of our recently reunited clients said it best when she stated, “Finding the answer to who I am and who they are is the best thing that I have ever done!”

August 16, 2011 at 9:40 am
(28) Fiona says:

Hi

Did you go ahead with the disruption? We like you are at our wits end. We have an adopted son who we love very much but the extreme behaviours he came with have not calmed at all in the eight years we have had him. He has had intensive therapy for years and nothing seems to change the violence, aggression, sexual deviance, lying and stealing. We were not informed prior to placement of the severe sexual abuse he had been subjected to!
If you are still out there would be great
to chat.
Fiona

September 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm
(29) Amestris says:

Every child deserves to loved and protected from harm. Particularly the home should be a safe haven. When the abuse and danger to our children is a sibling in the home (biological or adopted), we must remove danger from the home immediately. The rights of that one disturbed child cannot trump the rights of the others to live in safety and harmony. RE: disruption of adoption: When there is a clear case of deliberate non-disclosure of biological parents’ drug abuse, mental disorders, etc. or the adopted child’s own history of mental and behavioral disorders, the adoptive parents should be able to hold the agencies accountable! Agencies that knowingly hide or falsify information should be fiscally responsible for the disaster.

October 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm
(30) Wanted to give another child a home says:

I so feel for all of you who have had to face the choice of rather to disrupt an adoption. I am a Social Worker and thought my husband and I, after our own biological children were raised, could adopt an older child. We were placed with a 13 year old who had been through several disrupted placements. I’ll admit, I was naive. But we were also given no information about her; including her violent rages. We finally decided, after 8 months, we were not able to handle her rages and hoped that someone in her life could help her more, and told her caseworker this. She’s been gone three months now, but we miss her far more than we thought we would. She’s been placed not far away, so we see her (from a distance) on occasion. Though we have asked, we are not allowed contact. What I didn’t expect is how much her loss would hurt. We failed her, perhaps through no fault of our own, but still, it hurts. I wish we could try again, but that would result in potentially more hurt for her. Has anyone tried again with a disrupted adoption?

Our agony is we still love her, though we couldn’t help her. (And please, refrain from beating up any of us who are in this situation. Even though there is nothing more any of you could say that we haven’t already said to ourselves, this place is one I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.)

November 10, 2011 at 10:57 pm
(31) Momof 3 says:

My ex husband and I adopted a boy that was in foster care when he was three. We later had 2 daughters. Jump ahead 12 years and a divorce later. My son has had problems with behavior and delays since before the adoption, but when a boy is 3 and steals, shouts or hits others it is very different than when that same boy is 12 or 14 and stealing bikes and masterbating all over the house, calling me a “f’ing bi”, taking weapons to school , physically attacking his younger sisters and acting out sexually. He attempted to jump out of an 8 story building, cuts himself and beats his head against things until he is bruised. I asked, pleaded and begged for help with him.

November 10, 2011 at 10:58 pm
(32) momof3 says:

His father has nothing to do with any of the children and I am an only parent. I asked for respite from the State where he was adopted, I asked for help. Eventually he was hospitalized and then put in a residential treatment center where he has a 24 hour watch. This has been like a death for me. The hopes and dreams of my son, will not happen. Today I speak with his behavior therapist who tells me he may be coming home in a couple of months. He still acts out the same in the residential center, by the way. Except sexually as they are not around girls. They say it’s ok for him to materbate all over his bathroom there, because he does not share it with anyone. Well in my home, we all share the bathroom. How can this even be? I will stand the fear of my other children being taken from me because he is a risk to them. I am frantically looking for a facility to put him in so he can continue to have care in a group setting with 24 watch. My son has (among other things) an attachment disorder and he really feels no sense of loss or verbalizes missing us. I talk with him about every day via phone. I am having to come to the horrible conclusion that if disruption may be the only way for him to get care and the rest of my family to be safe. I feel like I am being made to disrupt. I can not afford these facilities otherwise. I want to parent my son and make decisions for his best care but he can not live with the rest of the family. I feel like if he was NOT adopted this would be different. People do have their uncontrolable teens put in State custody, people do have their biological children emancipated. I don’t want to “return my damaged goods” I want help with them, but I can’t get any. I am to the point where I feel like I have to cut off a finger to save my hand” My heart is broken and I feel lost.

November 11, 2011 at 8:58 am
(33) Karen says:

I definitely feel for you! This IS like a death. It is grief. My prayers are with you.

November 11, 2011 at 9:19 am
(34) adoption says:

I am so very sorry that you are experiencing this. I understand your pain. All three of our adopted sons were mentally ill. We knew it would be hard – but didn’t’ know how much it would hurt – most of the pain coming from the lack of resources and understanding from the various agencies we reached out to for help.

November 28, 2011 at 4:14 pm
(35) Elly says:

I can’t imagine the pain of a child.I can only beg that there can be some empathy of the pain of the parents & family tool. We lost a daughter at birth a few yrs ago. I have 2 sons from a previous marriage. I ADORE them – yet have always longed for that mother daughter bond missing in my life (love my mom DEARLY, but aren’t at all close).
We thought it would be wonderful to find a little girl that needed a loving home & also help fill that empty spot. We were matched w/a little girl! ASSURED by the worker that previous RAD diagnosis had been RULED OUT. Being naive, we didn’t research further. We were so excited & took her word. Shocked that they only allowed a brief visit (she’s out of state) before placed in our home. But, the visit went great! (exactly to be expected with RAD). Excited we came home, bought furniture, painted, etc… W/in a wk, we knew something wasn’t right. The little girl that was so sweet & affectionate, now glared at me w/utter hatred anytime I tried to help her w/anything – or lovingly (I promise at first it was!) correct her. We’d go out, she’d cling to every other person there – except me. The symptoms of RAD:
http://positiveparentingskills.com/attachment-disorder-symptoms/
How could anyone place a child w/even a hint of this with a mom who’s lost a child & aching for a little girl to bond with?
I was a wreck! I cried all the time, snapped at everyone… She really played the ‘triangulation’ – my husband & I bickered constantly. I began to resent this poor little girl so much I was truly ashamed!
Could it happen that a biological child would, w/in weeks, have a complete personality change and begin hating their mother? Well, I suppose anything’s possible. I’d imagine there would be SOME circumstances leading up to it – things could be dealt with BEFORE they reached this stage.
Please do not judge everyone so harshly – I wanted nothing more than to love this little girl – but she would not let me…

January 7, 2014 at 11:23 pm
(36) Mama-Panther says:

We are at the point of disruption with one of our 5 adopted children. He sexually abused his 3 younger siblings. He was in a residential treatment facilty for a year and a half..he came home on Dec.23rd..He has gone back to his inappropriate ways already. Just today he told his speech therapist that he was going to get rid of me and my husband. He will become the daddy and his sister will be the mommy and the 2 youngest kids will be their babies. He is 8 years old!

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