While bonding may be slow, most adoptions work out. According to a review of American adoptions in the book Clinical and Practice Issues in Adoption (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1998), 80 percent of placements make it to legalization. After the paperwork is in, the success rate was 98 percent.I think we would all see inuitively how disruption rates would rise with the age of the child when adopted, but it's interesting to see that research backs up that intuition. I would not, however, have thought the rates as high as those quoted in the article.
But in extreme cases, the adoption "disrupts," and the child is sent back to the agency or foster home. This process is rarely as dramatic as Artyom's unaccompanied flight from Washington, D.C., to Moscow, but the case matches previous research in other ways. The risk of adoption disruption increases with age, from less than 1 percent in infants to up to 26 percent for kids adopted after age 15, according two 1988 studies.
The second of those studies, published in the journal Social Work, found a disruption rate of 10 percent for children adopted between the ages of 6 and 8. Artyom was 7 when he came to America.
Disruption rates are hard to come by, since they usually happen under the radar, and look just like any old adoption. Add to that the fact that any record-keeping that happens is in each individual state, it's really hard to get a complete picture. That's why I'm happy any time I run across statistics about disruption, no matter how dated.