A few years ago I did a post on Ending an Adoption where I provided tips on what parents can do before deciding to end an adoption.
Since then, I’ve heard of more families who have dissolved their adoption and placed their child in another family. Some utilized an agency while others did not.
In this post, I want to talk about how we can support families who feel ending their adoption may be their only choice and the best decision for their entire family.
In some situations, removing a child from the adoptive home is necessary. There may be safety concerns for other children in the household. There may be medical and psychological needs that cannot be met in the family.
No parent in this position takes the decision lightly. It is an incredibly stressful, difficult situation. The parents are in a lose/lose position.
No parent dreams of a day their home is not safe for one (or more) of their children. Nor do want to have to choose one child over another.
But sometimes…there is no choice.
Sometimes parents have to do what is best for every child in their home.
And sometimes that means removing a child from their home. Perhaps to get that child the medical and psychological care they need. Perhaps to restore a safer environment for another child.
What Can a Friend Do?
Pray for the family. Generally, parents do not come to this place from one small behavior/event. They have experienced a series of events and a progression of behavior. They need clarity and peace in their decision making.
Listen without judgment. It is difficult for parents to fully describe the state of their household. The stress. The challenges. The environment. The pressure. The decision. Do not assume you understand. Do not determine whether you believe they are making the “right” decision. Only they are experiencing it. Only they can decide.
Offer help. Bring dinner. Mow the yard. Babysit all the kids so the parents can take a break. Or babysit one child so the parents can focus on another. Do they express help to research options? Maybe help research therapy, respite, or doctors in your area.
Families on the verge of dissolving have many needs. They need friends. They need understanding. They need love, care, and grace.
And who knows? Maybe your open, non-judgmental friendship will help them through this dark time and they choose to continue to parent their child. Or maybe your support will be a comfort as they make the hardest decision of their life.