Heartbreak, Shattered Expectations, Grief: Dealing with a Failed Adoption
Adoption is a delicate process. There are emotions on every side of it. However, one of the toughest experiences that a hopeful adoptive family can experience is certainly dealing with a failed adoption. It’s not uncommon. Every prospective birth mother has the right to change her mind and decide to keep her baby, even if her medical and living expenses were covered by a hopeful adoptive family.
Many couples that have experienced a failed adoption liken it to a miscarriage. While hopefully, no actual death was involved, hopeful adoptive parents often experience a death of their dreams. For many, adoption is their only option for growing their family, and this sudden change of circumstance is extremely hard to deal with, especially considering that they have already taken in the good news of being matched. However, families dealing with a failed adoption should note that this is not the end of the road.
Five Tips for Dealing with a Failed Adoption:
- Take time to mourn and recover. Take time for yourself.
- Though it may be hard, consider all those who were positively impacted by this turn of events. Could you imagine how this birth mother would feel if she had made the wrong decision? Put yourself in her shoes.
- Talk with others. Remember that you’re not alone. If you’re looking for a community, there are plenty of forums/support groups online with couples from a similar experience. Your agency may also have access to counseling resources.
- Throw yourself at your passions. There’s always something to gain from painful experiences, and sometimes it’s simply the motivation that arises from wanting to let go.
- Move forward with adoption. The vast majority of families who decide to continue with the adoption process after a failed adoption end up placing after all.
Other Things You Can do When Dealing with a Failed Adoption
Continue to Build the Dream with Your Loved Ones.
Lean on those who love you. Your partner, your family, your friends. Take time to focus on your relationships, and remember what’s important.
Prepare for A Beautiful Day in Your Future.
Just because this adoption has failed, it does not mean that you will never be able to adopt. Continue to work towards that goal. Buy the crib. Paint the baby’s room. Read about parenting. Your day will come.
When you chose to pursue adoption, you knew that adoption is an incredibly difficult decision for birth parents. Honor the woman who chose to parent her baby. Honor her choice; honor her love; honor her struggle, fear, and grief. Most of all, be thankful that she had the right to make that choice for herself, as that was not the case in the past.
Failed Adoptions Happen. But It’s Not the End.
The most important thing we can tell you is to stay strong. We know it’s hard. But it’s not the end.