The Disruption Process

May 8th, 2008

I want to talk about the disruption process, but about the emotional process rather than the legal process. Let’s start with the term disruption. Legally it means that a placement is terminated before an adoption is finalized. A placement terminated after the adoption is finalized is called a dissolution, but disruption is commonly used in both circumstances. In fact, I rarely hear anyone use the term dissolution. Whether the placement is terminated before or after adoption does not make the decision process any less painful. Our family has never voluntarily disrupted a placement. We had two children removed from our custody during an abuse investigation and the loss was incredibly painful regardless of the fact that legally they were not our children… [more]

Requested Advice Regarding a Failed Adoption

April 15th, 2008

Recently a reader sent me an email asking for advice regarding a failed adoption in which the reader still has physical custody of the child. May I first make it clear that I am not an adoption professional neither do have legal training. I do have 14 years of foster care experience, have adopted seven children, and mentored new foster and adoptive parents for many years. While I have strong feelings about adoption issues and freely share my advice, it probably isn’t what the reader or most adoptive families would expect to hear. A family involved in a failed adoption is hoping for a rescue to save them from the pain of loss. I know, because we have experienced it a few times. “I am involved… [more]

Some Difficulties in Adoption – A Teenager’s Thoughts

January 18th, 2007

family zoo This is the second of four articles where Caroline (17yr old adoptee from Russia) shares her thoughts on adoption issues. Today, she answers questions about very difficult adoption experiences. Our family has a lot of children from disrupted adoptions, including you. People often ask me why a child doesn’t do well in one family, but can make changes in a different home. What are your thoughts about that? I don’t really know. Sometimes I think I have ideas, but then I think some more and change my mind. (note from mom: If even SHE doesn’t know why she could do well in one home and not in another, then maybe it’s not so bad that most of us parents… [more]

Disruption and Re-adoption

January 14th, 2007

caroline So, you’ve left your first adoptive family. Now, you’re a kid from a disrupted adoption. How do you feel about that? At first, this is what I thought: I figured I wouldn’t stay here anyway, so I didn’t care about this new family. In my whole life, everyone lies, so I’m not going to trust anyone here. I was angry. I was angry at the adoptive parents and the older brother. I was angry that my littlest sister stayed there with them. But, I don’t like the word ‘disrupted’. I’m not a 'disrupted kid'. What’s wrong with me? Is there something wrong with me? What does disrupted mean to you? It means there is something wrong with… [more]

Caroline’s Adoption Disruption

January 14th, 2007

caroline Caroline has been sharing the story of her adoption from Russia at the age of 11. Today, she tells about events leading to the disruption of her first adoption. You came from Russia to America. Your parents were trying to parent you, but ended up sending you to two different families to spend some time. Did you stay with families other than those first two? Yes. Our parents took us to another state to stay with a family that they knew. We were there about three months and went to school there. This family had two parents and a LOT of kids. Their kids had all sorts of problems, but there were some from Russia like… [more]

Another bummer (but real) adoption story

October 10th, 2006

I live in the Washington DC metropolitan area so I saw, first-hand, the article on the front page of the Washington Post about the woman who is seeking to un-adopt her son. As I read it I cringed and thought to myself, "Oh no. Another bummer adoption story." I don't know why I take every adoption story personally. I don't know how to explain it, except to say that my personal investment in the adoption stories of other people is excessive. Particularly when the adoption story becomes public. If it is a positive story, I want to jump up and shout "Yay, adoption!" If it is a sad or tragic story, I just go into an immature funk. If there is… [more]

Adoption Disruption and Dissolution

June 5th, 2006

One of the things we know for certain is that there are no guarantees in life. When biological parents give birth to their children, there are no guarantees of what life will be like for the child or for the family. The same applies to adopted children. Adoptive parents go into adoption expecting a positive and happy outcome. Much of the time that is exactly what they get. Sometimes it is not. Adoption plans can fall apart for many reasons. When an adoption is not yet finalized and it is determined that the parents are not going to move forward with their plans to adopt it is called a disruption. When adoptive parents make the decision to place a child in the custody of… [more]