Adopting From Disruption
Adopting From Disruption
Once a firm decision is made to disrupt, the current family retains an experienced adoption attorney. I encourage the family to find members of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.
Then a couple of families are referred or otherwise located. The disrupting family can have conversations with the prospective new family, or the attorney can handle it, depending on the wishes of the disrupting family.
The prospective families send their home studies to the family's attorney for review.
The first family chooses a family and begins to communicate.
Prior to placement and firm acceptance: All medical, psychological and education records should be made available to the prospective new family prior to absolute acceptance of the child by the receiving family. This reduces any risk that the new family will themselves disrupt. The more info provided, the better the long term outcome for the child.
Once a firm commitment is reached on both sides, transition plans are made for the child to go to the receiving family.
At time of placement, the disrupting family is responsible to send enough clothing and other personal possessions the child has, both for day to day clothing needs, and emotional needs, such as a favorite teddy bear, or blanket.
Generally, a family member escorts the child to the new family, depending on individual desires, and geography involved.
In some cases a guardianship is done, the child goes to the new family for a visit to see if things work well.
In others, the lawyer files for ICPC, that is, the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, (which adds to the costs involved) and there is a waiting period for ICPC to be completed. This can be a couple of weeks or many months depending on each state's requirements. Again the fees involved are paid for by the disrupting family.
At NO point can a disrupting family ask a receiving family to repay fees paid by the disrupting family for an international adoption. This is a felony and considered child selling.
After six months, the new family files to adopt the child, using their attorney in their home state where they reside with the child.
The first family severs parental rights (through their attorney) and generally, in most states, six months later the adoption is finalized.
Each lawyer has different fees, but the overall average, in my experience, is about $1,500 to $2000 to handle that side of things, when one chooses guardianship process.
The receiving family is responsible for food, shelter, etc, (excluding medications) that the child requires, and also for the lawyers fees, social worker fees for supervision and adoption finalization costs.
In the majority of situations, the disrupting family is responsible for the fees of the lawyer they retain, the transportation costs to the new home and medical insurance until the adoption is finalized, unless the receiving family has insurance that covers a child on guardianship. If this is not possible, often Medicaid can be obtained in the new state, if the receiving family knows how to make that work.
After placement, most receiving families will ask for a period of no or little contact, so that the child can be free to bond with the new family, rather than waiting for the first family to 'take them back'.
Prior to actually commending on a disruption process, it would be helpful for the disrupting family to consider what sort of family their child would flourish in. Please, folks, don't limit this to childless couples. They won't have the experience to make it successful and it generally is a bad idea for the child anyway.
Children being disrupted, have, for the most part, extensive needs. A family with the experiences and resources to be successful IS ALREADY parenting a child or more!
Inexperienced families generally cannot cope with the extensive needs a child who's being disrupted will have.
A family with no other children is often the WORST place to put a child with attachment issues. Children with extensive issues need to feel safe, and when there are two adults focusing all their parental time, energy, affection and expectations on ONE child, it triggers survival level fear, pain, and acting out.
For these children, in my experience, intimacy is equated with pain and abuse, neglect and sadness. They need to feel safe to begin to trust others and often the place they can do this best is in a sibling relationship in a larger family. They can begin to attach at their own rate, in their own time.
Most children with attachment issues do much better in families with several other children and parents who have already build an extensive network of resources and support system that is needed to make such placements work and help children heal and recover. In my experience, they do exceptionally well in larger than usual families.
Qualities that can be reasonably sought might be, having a parent with experience and success, a family with a stay at home parent, a family with the extensive network of services a child needs, etc.
Subject: Re: what to tell child here is what we did
From: "Glenda Kinghorn"
We also have adopted several through disruptions. Please be prepared for a ton of anger dealt upon you first off. As this child will really be hurting.
With each of our children it was different, some were told and already prepared, others were sent quickly as the parents were in frantic mode. But they all reacted the same way. ANGER AND DESTRUCTION. And I bet in all likely hood he has RAD! possibly even FASD.
Think of it as a divorce, first you love each other and then you are mad at each other and then you seem to hate each other and can hardly wait until you are apart. Then the remorse and sadness kick in and so does the longing for the other family. Often the child will everything he can to MAKE you send them back. So make it very clear that He is staying and the negative behaviors are Leaving!
Some of it has to do with the SW's and the term Forever family, now the family is no longer forever.
Also all the new rules should be established right off the bat no honey moon as well as what the consequences will be should they be when rules are broken. I sit down with the child and tell them I am sorry, I know that they are hurting really bad. But that it is not my fault and I will try to do what can to help this child.
We also talk about how sometimes even adults can make mistakes and sometimes do not know how to help the child with the needs he has. I would not talk about adoption at this point only that you are now including him into your family. We talk about them possibly be scared of the unknown in our home and new everything, Rooms, towels, smells, toys, foods, clothes, etc.
I keep the child with me 24/7 for the first few weeks which we find often helps. And help to cook some of his favorite foods, and do not wash a few of his things so he can retain some of the familiar smells for a while.
I hope this helps a little.