The new catchphrase on an older concept: rehoming. Some in the adoption community call it adoption dissolution or disruption. You may have heard about the Reuters investigation “The Child Exchange,” and NBC, which began broadcasting the reports on Monday morning about this issue.
Reuter’s series focuses on families who feel they can no longer care for their adopted children. Their investigation looks into those who have placed their kids with other families without contacting their original adoption agency or state child services. The stories that Reuter’s (focuses) on exist, and are disturbing, yet I don’t feel that the stories they are publishing are the largest problem we have.
The problem begins when families do not take care of their adopted children, and I believe much of this stems from a lack of quality pre-adoption training. We were fortunate and had adequate pre-adoption training, but there are many counties and agencies that do not provide what adoptive parents need. Parents need to know what neglected, abandoned, and abused children are dealing with and how to handle it. They need to know what behaviors may arise from hurting kids. Adoptive parents also need continued training to remind them of how to handle different stages of the child’s development (in the sense of emotional development in dealing with what they’ve been through).
The problem goes on after adoption where the parents need to look at their promise they made to their child. When someone adopts, they go before a judge and make an oath that they’ll care for their adopted child as if he/she were their biological child, as it should be. It’s not common (there are far more successful adoption stories than horrible ones), but some adoptive parents have forsaken this oath. To me, it’s not as important that a parent made the promise in front of a court, but that they made it to the child who is depending on them to care for them.
I wonder if a biological child was to put holes in the wall if as many parents would ship them off. I wonder if a dog were to pee on a sofa, or tear it up, if it would be sent to a different home? In most cases with the dog, no, and as for the cases with biological children wreaking havoc in families, I would say the family doesn’t consider the option of sending them elsewhere.
We have to make our children a priority. Our hurting kids came to us because we chose them. They have gone through the worst that a child can imagine, and far too much of it is beyond comprehension. They deserve all of us. They deserve solutions, not dissolutions. They deserve a FOREVER family. I get that it’s hard, if you read my “about” page you will see that my children have several diagnoses that stem from their early neglect and abuse, and it has been HARD! But that’s never an excuse in my mind to say farewell. I don’t see it as an option, ever. No matter what your child is doing, there is a solution. It might be inconvenient, it might be more than you THINK you can handle, but you can. Our children need us, and I don’t believe there is hope for them if the family that promised to protect them after their abuse and neglect abandons them. It reiterates what the rest of the world has taught them. No one can be trusted.
This is why I do what I do. Before I began sharing this blog, I was getting emails at least once every two weeks about children who needed new homes because their adoptive families no longer wanted them. I heard about a girl LINK that is five who had been placed in a residential treatment center because no one would take her in. I knew I had to do something. My husband and I were having success with our daughter who has struggled with several disorders due to her early life and I wanted to help others by giving them tools to make it through all the mire. My hope is that through my words, families will stay together, adopted children will be loved, and this Reuter’s story will be blown out of the water by all the positive adoption successes.