Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Another and Another and Another . . .

Another adoption disruption story, brought to light by An-Ya blog and O Solo Mamma. A little girl adopted internationally at age 4, and is now 13, and her parents feel she "never bonded."

From An-Ya:
Ok – we are not talking about a violent child, a sexually aggressive child, a child that is urinating and defecating the walls or destroying property or animals. We are not even talking about a child who is stealing or lying or running away.

This is a teenager who isn’t fun to be around. Mom says that child is RAD but I see absolutely nothing in her post to suggest that anything this child is doing warrants a new home after being there for 9 years.
From O Solo Mamma:
Whatever you do, don’t come here and tell me I haven’t walked in these parents’ shoes. I thought the big headline around town was how forever adoptive family was. The only shoes that count are the ones worn by the kids. Sore feet, bloody feet. It isn’t comfortable.

* * *

I will never let you go. I will never let you down. I will never abandon you.

Truth be told, I promised that the day I adopted.

Jade. Tristan. Toni. Sweetpea. Matteo. Two unnamed boys. Jennifer. Angry Boy. Now this young teen. Just the ones I've heard about that are documented. How many more are there?

According to this 2004 article at the Child Welfare Information Gateway, the numbers are small:

Festinger (2002) found that 4 years after adoption, about 3.3 percent of children adopted from public and voluntary agencies in New York City in 1996 were or had been in foster care since adoption. In most of these situations the adoptive parent reported an expectation that the child would return to their home again.

A study of children adopted in Kansas City showed that 3 percent of adopted children were not living with their adoptive parents 18 to 24 months after adoption (McDonald, Propp, & Murphy, 2001).

In a longitudinal study of families in Iowa who were receiving adoption subsidies, Groze (1996) found that 8 percent of the children were placed out of the home after 4 years. However, in all cases the families did not dissolve the adoption and were considered to be connected to and invested in the adopted child.

A study of public agency adoptions in Illinois reported that adoptions dissolved at a rate of 6.6 percent between 1976 and 1987 (Goerge et al., 1997).

The GAO reported that about 1 percent of the public agency adoptions finalized in fiscal years 1999 and 2000 later were legally dissolved. The report cautioned that the 1 percent figure represents only adoptions that failed relatively soon after being finalized, so the number of dissolutions could have increased with time (U.S. GAO, 2003).

The numbers don't seem small when you hear the stories of these youngsters. Jade. Tristan. Toni. Sweetpea. Matteo. Two unnamed boys. Jennifer. Angry Boy. This young teen. And the numbers are growing -- this UK article reports that disruptions have doubled in the past five years.

I've been blogging about adoption for less than two years, and this 13-year-old is unlucky 13. There are are now 13 posts under the "disruption" label. I wonder how many more there will be two years from now. . . .


Von said...

These are the ones you hear about, there will be many, many more.Sometimes they come to court if abuse is discovered, sometimes they ar never heard about and children continue to suffer.They always will while this sort of adoption continues.

Elizabeth@Romans8:15 said...

What a shame all of this is.

Years ago I took in a cat whose owners had had him for 9 years and were getting rid of him because he had never really gotten along with their other cat who they had owned for longer. I couldn't believe they could do that.

And yes, I know just how different it is when you compare that to an actual adoption of a child, which makes me even more perplexed.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post, Malinda. We know there are others. Their stories are heard on the lists like the one An-Ya wrote about. Otherwise, their stories would not be known. It is OK, apparently, to rehome your adopted child if *you know* he or she doesn't fit in. I know there are parents out there dealing with kids with serious problems. My hope is that they get help for these problems and don't consider the kids the problem because once you've done that . . . it can't be fixed.

Anonymous said...

I'm so tired of the politically "correct" term of "adoption disruption". This is an ADOPTION TERMINATION.

Just because the adoption industry uses "disruption" doesn't mean WE (feeling human beings) should.

Diane said...

Sadly-Many more. I just did a quick search and checked the membership numbers for yahoo groups for those seeking to disrupt/seeking to adopt from disruption/post disruption support- here are the membership numbers...
= for a total of 1106

Granted some of these members might be cross members- but still. Heavy heart.

JennyT said...

Speaking of this subject: an 8 yr old boy adopted from Russia was sent back on a plane to Moscow with a note...very sad. It's a huge story in Russia right now.