Ever since a "mom" let her child be returned to Russia by himself on a plane allegedly without notice, the adoption community is especially judgemental of adoption disruption. We seem to now assume the worst of the family or the child or both. As an adoptive mom, I certainly never want to see an adoption be disrupted, but I think we are too tough on families and children who are experiencing a disruption. It seems that we rarely give the families the credit that they deserve.
The adoptive community seems at a consensus that adoption disruption only happens to parents who are not committed to their kids or who don't work hard enough to make it work. However, what if these families are even more committed and are working harder than our own? What is its not about commitment, but about their family's survival? What if its not about the child or the parents? What if we are judging simply out of our own fears about failure? What if a disruption is not a failure, but a last opportunity for a family and a child to get the peace and healing that they need.
Ironically, the same adoption advocates, who will extend all respect and love to a biological parent who chooses to utilize the benefits of adoption, will condemn an adoption disruption without knowing the situation. Is it really fair to an adoptive parent? Is it really fair to an adopted child? It is time for the adoption community to develop a less myopic view of disruption. Parents including myself need to move beyond judgement to helping find resources for families facing tough decisions and for kids needing new families.
If we consider that 2% of the US child population is adopted (1.8 million children)and that disruptions occur in between 1% to 10% of adoptions, then we would realize that this issue is too big and too damaging to ignore with judgement. Plus the rates vary by the age of the child and type of adoption. Needless to say, even at 1% that is 18,000 kids and families who are hurting and need compassionate help in healing. There is an excellent government report that reviews the factors and frequency of disruption in the US. One positive indicator from the study is that disruption rates have dropped since the 1980's and 90's. However, one thing is for sure, condemning families and child(ren) who experience the tragedy and loss of disruption will not solve the problem or promote any one's healing.
As an adoptive community, we need to be advocating for research, resources, support and better options for all families in crisis...biological and adoptive. What if families facing these issues were given 24 hour support staff instead of removing the child or what if children were more truthfully presented by adoption agencies or what if adoptive families had paid adoption leave to promote bonding? Would any of these ideas or numerous others help families? I don't know, but I think a lot of families and children deserve some real answers...not judgement.