“Rehoming” is a term often used in situations where adoptive parents are trying to “get rid of” their adopted child. This can stem from behavioral and/or emotional issues from the adoptive child that the parents do not feel equipped to handle.
Most re-homing exchanges initially are made via the internet, through websites or forums. The majority of these rehoming exchanges are made by parents who adopted a child internationally. There is less follow-up/resources for these parents, so many of the parents have stated that they had nowhere to go or no one to reach out to for help regarding the issues they were having with their adopted child.
Although it seems like rehoming should be illegal, unfortunately, there aren’t many laws protecting children being given away to others. The problem with this is that many of the people who are taking these adopted children have criminal backgrounds or are psychologically unstable, putting the child at risk for emotional and sexual abuse, trafficking, or even death. Predators take advantage of adoptive parents who are emotionally burnt out, giving them an “out,” many times free of charge.
Kids can be put into real danger when adoptive parents are desperate enough to give in to this type of exchange. It is not illegal but there is usually no background check and the exchange can be made with nothing more than a signed notarized document. No legal authorities need be involved.
Most people are unaware of the horrible reality of rehoming. But it is a real issue. Awareness can prevent a tragedy. If you are an adoptive parent who is in a situation with a new adoptive child which seems unbearable, there are resources. Don’t choose a do it yourself solution.