Adoption dissolutions and adoption disruptions are two terms that are the result of a failed adoption.
As in any type of division of the family unit, it leaves behind broken hearts, a multitude of unanswered questions and an array of emotions. The child might be placed within the social services system, adopted by a new family or in some cases, even sent back to their home country. It’s heart-breaking, but in most cases, it is preventable.
Here Are 10 Ways to Avoid A Failed Adoption:
Learn as much as you can from as many people as you can. Going into an adoption with your eyes wide open is a way to safeguard yourself, your family, and your adoptive child. Watch movies and documentaries, read books, magazines, and articles, seek out classes on PTSD, bonding and other hot topics of adoption, find support groups through communities, churches and online. As you’ve taken in a wide variety of information from different sources, keep the lines of communication open with your spouse or significant other. You want to be on the same page, willing to discuss difficult topics and to be setting yourselves up for a successful adoption.
Also, before adopting, get as much information as you can about the child or children you are considering adopting. Meet with counselors, caseworkers, teachers, foster parents, anyone who works with the child, knows the child and is willing to speak candidly about the child. Be willing to ask the tough questions and willing to hear the answers. Being prepared for difficult behaviors is the first step in preparing yourself, your family and your home environment to keep them safe.
Get to the root of your child’s behavior:
As much as you can, keep your emotions out of situations with your child. They need to know that you are tough enough to handle anything they have in their past and in their hearts. Adoptive children often do not feel worthy of love. It does no good to take offense to their hurtful words or behaviors. Often a belief system or a deep pain can be uncovered, talked about and addressed head-on.
You will not always agree with caseworkers or foster parents, but you need to act as a team on behalf of your child’s best interest. There are many differing opinions, mindsets, prejudices, biases and belief systems that can create a great bit of strife but handling it professionally and appropriately can give you a better feeling than telling someone a piece of your mind and the latter can destroy the chances of adopting the child or send him packing. Being a caseworker or a foster parent is a very difficult job and they feel the stressors of it daily.
Easy on Material Stuff:
Giving your child too much too quickly sends a child the wrong message and can overwhelm a child. The first few months should be kept simple for a newly adopted child. Take this time to get to know one another. Whether you are planning a trip to Disney World or an electronics store, think twice about the stimulation and overwhelm they might feel.
Make the new rules simple and clear. Do not expect too much too quickly. Whether he is a child coming from an orphanage in a third world country or foster home in the United States, it is not easy to change lifestyles, expectations, relatives, pets and who they call ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad.’ Allow transition time and be easy on the punishments or corrections.
Most parents are familiar with Time Out. Time In is the opposite and allows the child to remain by your side rather than be rejected or separated from you. It gives the parent an opportunity to teach the child what is expected. Enjoy being with them and don’t be afraid to go back to the basics. Many children have spent so much time bouncing from home to home, they have never enjoyed the basics. Keep them close and get to know them.
Educate Family and Friends:
Family and friends generally have good intentions, but they may not fully understand the challenges you are facing. Being on the same page will help support the security of your adoptive child by reducing unintentional undermining.
Foster and adoptive children, regardless of their backgrounds, trauma or age, have experienced unknown abuses and situations within their family unit. Safeguard your children in ways that help them feel safe as well as yourself and your family. It may include regular family meetings, a more structured lifestyle, new rules such as ‘no overnights’ at other people’s houses, or security cameras.
We have regular family meetings to talk about upcoming events, what to expect and their daily/weekly struggles. We enjoy impromptu outings like any family, but insecure children thrive on routine and have a need to know what is coming up for the day.
Trust Your Instincts:
We may not be birds who instinctively know to fly South in the winter, but we have gut feelings; uneasiness and peace, based on what we feel is the right thing to do. We cannot always put our finger on it but we feel it. Trust those instincts and do what you feel is right – this will come into play adopting and raising the adoptive child.
SUPPORT THOSE WHO ADOPT
It is important to support adoptive parents in their struggles with adoptive issues such as insecurity, manipulative behaviors, and feelings of loss. It takes a family to raise a child but a village to support that attempt.