What is Adoption Disruption?
When thinking of adoption, you’re probably focused on the legalities, the paperwork, making your home ready for a new child, and of course, the child themselves. The last thing on your mind is adoption disruption, but this is a very real scenario that can take place during the adoption process.
Though a hindrance, and sometimes a devastating setback, adoption disruption is not uncommon. When looking to adopt, you’re sure to want to avoid adoption disruption at all costs, because it can mean the delay of your child. There are ways to prevent this unfortunate event, and taking care to observe these steps and factors can ensure that your adoptive child will certainly be placed with you.
How Adoption Disruption Can Happen
When the Birth Mother or father changes their mind during an adoption process, there’s little you can do to salvage the adoption. In all U.S. states, birth parents are unable to permanently terminate their parental rights until after their baby is born. During this “in- between” time, if the birth parents decide they no longer want to go through with the adoption, even if the child has already been placed with their adoptive family, they are able to ask for the baby to be returned to them. If you are adopting through an agency or have a private adoption, this is the type of disruption that is most likely to occur.
On the other end of the spectrum, adoption disruption can happen if the adoptive parents decide that they do not want to proceed with the process. Typical of state- sponsored adoptions, the adoptive parents deciding not to go through with the adoption usually results in the child being placed with another family or in foster care. There are a number of reasons why adoption disruptions can happen, and knowing how to prevent these scenarios can ensure a smooth adoption for both you and the child.
Preventing Adoption Disruptions
Adoption disruption due to birth parents changing their mind can be prevented a few different ways. When this happens, it is usually because the birth mother or father is feeling unsettled about their decision to put their child up for adoption. Of course, it is understandable that they should have doubts and fears, but going so far as to ask for the child back can be disruptive to themselves, their child, and of course, you, as the adopting parent. To avoid this happening, try the following:
- Suggest an Open Adoption: If you are able and it is acceptable with both parties, you can suggest an open adoption This way the birth parents will be able to see their child, interact with them, and create a bond. Also, if the child was placed for adoption due to personal hardship of the birth mother or father, it will give them an opportunity to see that their child is safe and happy with a loving, financially stable adoptive family.
- Attend Counseling: This may not be possible for some adoptive parents and birth parents, but if you can all attend adoption counseling before the baby is born, before the adoption is finalized, or at some point during the waiting period(s), you may be able to resolve an issues that could cause the birth mother or father to change their mind. If counseling costs are an issue, there are grants and loans available that help with all areas of the adoption process.
- Communicate: Adoption is a very serious decision for everyone involved, so it is imperative that there is clear communication between the birth mother and the adoptive parents if all parties are able. When one changes their mind, it’s usually because something was not communicated or they did not make a fear or apprehension known. Avoid this be keeping the lines of communication always open.
If you’re worried about adoption disruption on the adoptive family side, try the following:
- Make Sure Your Family is On the Same Page: If you and your spouse are looking to adopt, but one of you is not all the way in, DON’T proceed. At this point, it is better to talk about your fears, expectations, and wants together before bringing a child into the mix. You are only as strong as you are united, and beginning a familial relationship without honesty is only asking for trouble.
- Ensure that Finances are In Order: In some cases, an adoptive family may back out because their finances fell through. Of course, adoption costs can be very high, so this is not an uncommon occurrence. It is, however easily fixed. There are plenty of ways to pay for the cost of adoption through grants, loans, and more, so explore these options as backups before proceeding.
- Prepare for the Worst: If you and your spouse are looking to adopt and a tragedy befalls you, this can cause an adoption disruption. Death, illness, or other serious troubles can occur unexpectedly, so it is important to prepare for these situations. All you really have to do is keep a plan B, C, D, etc in the works just in case death, illness, financial ruin, or other scenarios pop up. This will help the process run a little more smoothly if disaster unfortunately strikes.
Adoption disruption is not good for anyone involved, but it can happen. If it happens to you, learn how to cope with the sudden change and move forward with adoption when you’re ready to do so. This is an emotional endeavor, so it is important to be prepared for anything that can happen throughout the process, start to finish.