This is a topic I had not previously considered. An adoption disruption is every hopeful adoptive parent’s biggest fear. After all, prospective birth parents can change their mind about adoption at any time until they legally sign their consent — and when that does happen, it can be extremely difficult for the adoptive family that has invested so much hope and energy into the adoption opportunity. While adoption disruptions are not incredibly common, they do happen.
An adoption disruption is sometimes referred to as a “failed adoption.” It’s not surprising to know that older children adopted out of foster care would experience a higher rate of adoption disruption than younger children. Every adoption is unique.
A family whose adoption failed is left trying to piece together a difficult situation. From the perspective of an adoptee there is always some “back” place where they could be sent if the adoptive parents are unhappy with them.
One adoptee discussing this recently shared – “I wasn’t HIS kid. I was her kid and so anything related to me – she had to deal with because he wasn’t interested. As far as he was concerned, I should have been returned to foster care when I was a little kid.” The clincher was that this man was a religious minister.
While there are many causes – legal disruptions, children returned to care, adoptees placed in residential facilities or other out of home situations – it is also potentially caused by a breakdown in the parent child relationship.