Friday, July 27, 2007

Adoption is Forever

I am highly disturbed. A fellow amom who reads more blogs than I, was directed by a link on someone's blog to an adoption agency's website that has me so MAD.

A Child's Waiting is an agency in Ohio with an "adoption disruption" policy....a nice way of saying a "return policy"....look at the link and see how they "so kindly" say it---it's sick.

I wrote them this:
I was highly disturbed by your section about Adoption Disruption. No matter what - there is no turning back, no "return policy" in adoption. I am an adoptee and an adopted dare you even suggest there is anything like a divorce when it comes to adoption? If it becomes too difficult to take care of a child with special' is still your child and you help them any way you can, even if you have to turn to a state run facility for their help. Adoption is for life - no matter what!
and I suggest others also writing and telling them what they think about this. I would think I would be offended if I was in any stage of this process, a mother-to-be inquiring, a person considering adoption or an adoptee. This is a slap in the face to birthmothers who entrust a family with a child they love and care about for their lifetime.....I'm pretty ticked. Adoption is FOREVER!


MomEtc. said...

Thank you for sharing this. What a devastating site. My agency is the exact opposite. They send us regular messages to prevent disruption. They make it clear that it is unacceptable.

I'll send a letter as well. I didnt'know anything about this agency before but I have heard of them.

-N- said...

Y'know, I didn't read their whole site, but I'm pretty sure this isn't infant adoptions they're talking about.

Some special needs kids are extremely difficult, and never do settle in to their adoptive home despite the best efforts of their adoptive parents. Too much damage has been done to them prior to the adoption. These are usually older kids.

If there was no chance to undo a troubled adoption that is destoying an adoptive family and having no positive impact, or even a negative impact, on the adopted child (it's rare, but it happens), that would be unethical.

If biological families can relinquish in unbearable circumstances, then you couldn't ban it in adoptive families, and wouldn't want to. The difference with an adopted kid is they've already been in the system, so that's where they go back to, instead of entering it for the first time like a bio kid. It makes it sound like a "return policy" if that's how you want to frame it, but that's really just your framing.

Bio families relinquish kids exponentially more often than adoptive families (and that's not to fault bio families, it just makes sense for a myriad of reasons that that would be the way it is.)

Don't be too harsh on people who found themselves in the horrible situation of having to disrupt their adoption. Their circumstances would have been way different from yours. They took on what turned out to be an impossible situation that both they and the authorities thought they could handle, hoping to do good, and they couldn't. Hopefully the authorities did their part in preparing the family and honestly disclosing the issues they would face, but if they go so far as to have a well-laid out disruption policy as these folks do, then they probably did.

petunia said...

I see your point however these are extremely small percentages we are talking about - to word this sort of thing on an agency website the way they did is still abominable. Reading the page they make it sound like it IS a "Return Policy" like you can try out adoption to see if it suits you and your lifestyle.... if you adopt a child that has disabilities you better be pretty willing to do all you can. People need to know exactly what they are getting themselves into.
My nephew was adopted and has been diagnosed with so many things I have lost track. He has hit puberty and had begun to attach his family. They have done everything they can do at home and have been forced to choose a place for him to live until they get all this under control (for his safety as well as the family's). Has it been difficult over the years? - You wouldn't believe the stories if I told you. Have they given up? ABSOLUTELY NOT. What if it was a biological child? What are the return policies on them? We visit him all the time but we are all anxious to be able to bring him home.

Tishslp said...


I really, really understand your point. And I agree with the permanency of adoption. I would like to point out, though, that there are people who have adopted children who were not told (or didn't listen) of the extent of the special needs that some children may have.

Special needs children ARE special. And they can bring to a family joy, happiness, fellowship and so much more. But, they also bring difficulty in terms of the need for constant supervision, difficult behaviors, perpetual dependence and medical expenses. There are parents not equipped to handle that. And these kids deserve so much more than to live their lives out with people who resent them for their condition(s). They deserve a loving, stable home with a family who enjoys them and appreciates them for the unique dynamics and abilities they bring to the family. Just like "normal" kids.

The sad thing is, you can't make someone WANT to be a good parent to a special needs child by telling them to strap it on and make it work. They have to be vested in it for it to work. That's why it is so, so, so important for people to pick an ethical agency that will be completely up front about the possibility of special needs and will be honest if they sense there are any red flags to a couple's ability to parent a special needs child (children).

petunia said...

Tish -I get you, i just think it's a small percentage. Maybe some bite off more than they can chew and they do adopt out of love but just can't handle it. I just REALLY hate the way this agency states it all---they make it just seem too easy to turn around and exchange a child for one that fits better....

GDS said...

I've been thinking about this a bit lately, and I have decided to be appalled by it as well.

I think your greater point is how this particular agency and it's web site convey disruption. They have all kinds of reasons listed, many of which just are not good enough for me to allow parents to walk away from their kids. You cannot predict with real certainty that kids will always be healthy adopted or not.

So, the issue of whether parents can handle special needs children should be separate from their adoption. I say that because I can envision ANY parent needing help if their child becomes disabled in some way, whether by injury or illness.

The example on their web site however is horrid. The parents involved were adopting for all the wrong reasons. Most adoption social workers will seriously question you if your motivation focuses on the fact that you "care about helping orphans", and that you tried "finding a boy who looked like my husband". Holy moly.

The writer then goes on to say that she was "so sure that this boy would fit into our family and help us out...We would do more fund raising when we got home". Are you kidding me? She expected this child to help raise money to pay off his own adoption? That's disgusting.

Tishslp said...

I agree with you, P. Children are not clothes. They are not one size fits all and "exchange" for fit is unethical in my mind.

Melissa said...

What's really sad is that in the Akron Beacon (small town Ohio paper), every now and then they have this ad in the paper with a picture of an adoption disruption. 9 out of 10 times, it's a young (7-17 years) kid from eastern europe. The ad (this is the shocker.. your life and worth diminished to just an 'ad' in the paper) searches for prospective parents willing to adopt the child.

As much as it pains me to hear about these things, I can't imagine what this does to a child!

BB Church said...

Adoption disruption has been around as long as modern adoption itself. We can assume that the percentage of adoptions disrupted is "tiny" but we really don't know, it's a statistic that the adoption industry doesn't trot out and publicize. Disruptions began to rise, though, with the fall of the Soviet Union and Romania when unprepared American adoptive parents began to take in children severely impacted by RAD and FAS kids. The agency that publishes information on the reality of disruption is an exception, the one noted in the comments that states that disruption is "unacceptable" is more generally the rule. If parents feel they can't get the solution they feel their families need from an agency, they can always surrender their children to the US foster system...