Disruption or Dissolution
At the JCAN we have been called a number of times by parents feeling helpless and wishing to dissolve an adoption. In one case, we felt the parents were severely dysfunctional and dangerous to the child, and acted as quickly as possible to find an alternate home (where that child is now doing extremely well), but in most other cases we have provided support and referrals that have allowed the adoptive family to remain together and deal with the issues that brought them to the brink of dissolution. One of our greatest senses of satisfaction comes from a call from one of those families updating things and telling us that things are going well (not perfect, but well) after all. [By the way, we always love to know how things are going for all our families (pictures are welcome!), so please stay in touch].
On the topic of disruption we saw the following published by Family Focus (the agency involved in the placement of our Rafi into our home) and appreciate their permission to reprint it here:
"Disruption and Dissolution - The Family Focus Perspective:
"The disruption or dissolution of an adoption is a decision. That means that it is a choice--it is never inevitable. It is a choice, furthermore, made solely by an adult. Adults adopt; children are adopted. So while children may be disruptive, adults choose disruption.
"Adoption--the Family Focus Adoption Services
perspective on adoption--is an irrevocable decision made by an adult to permanently and unconditionally commit to parenting a specific child who has assented to that adoption. The decision is irrevocable. That means that if the adult revokes the decision, for whatever reason, the original decision could not have been made irrevocably...
"Aside from the very few disruptions triggered by the death of a spouse, our experience is that in almost every disruption the adults use the same thinking. That thinking is expressed using some variation of these words: 'This child has shown me by his/her behavior that he/she does not want to be part of our family.'...
"We, at Family Focus, give no credence to those words. We know from our post adoption work that adoption triggers dynamics within a child that sometimes result in severe acting out but more often results in intense communications between child and parent. We do not believe that those behaviors or that intensity indicates a decision on the part of a child to 'unadopt' themselves although it may indicate their realization that the family's commitment to them was conditional, temporary, and revocable...
"Post adoption behavior--that is, behavior on the part of a child who is certain that his parents have made an irrevocable, permanent, and unconditional commitment to parent
him/her--is an attempt to communicate with the parents and to resolve abandonment issues within the child. It is never evidence or proof that a child 'does not want to be part of our family.'...
"Disruptions and dissolutions are a function and direct result of an adult not making an irrevocable decision to permanently and unconditionally commit to parenting a child. They have nothing to do with a child's behavior, nor a child's wishes. Failed adoptions
lead to an overwhelming feeling of guilt on the kids' part, but on a much deeper level they experience disruption as themselves having been lied to. In truth, these are NOT adoption failures on the part of a child. Rather, they truly are broken, although rarely phony, promises on the part of an adult...
"...Unconditional commitments that are contingent on a child's behavior are not unconditional commitments... .A child cannot be held responsible for the decisions of an adult. And so, disruptions or dissolutions are never the function of any failure on the part of the child...."
6) Tell everyone you know that you are interested in adoption. We get concerned when people call us and tell us that they don't want anyone to know that they are looking into adoption. It is not a shameful proceeding! If you think it is, you shouldn't be adopting
, because how, in your subconscious, will you feel about your child you think that the way you got him/her is less than perfectly normal. Then more people who know you are seeking to adopt, the greater your chances of hearing about an available child. You never know where your next child will come from. So tell everyone you can.
7) If it's meant to be, it will happen. Good luck!
© Jewish Children's Adoption Network