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Adjusting after an adoption can be harder than it looks

Parents across Louisiana and the nation can attest to the fact that parenting in general isn't easy. Neither is adoption.

For parents who find adoption was not ideal for them, there is a way out, but it is not a decision to be made lightly as parents often face legal hurdles and scorn in the court of public opinion. According to experts, parents wanting to reverse their adoptions is not uncommon. In about 25 percent of adoptions of teenagers, as well as in a substantial number of adoptions of younger kids, parents decide they do not want to raise the children.

The number is higher with older children because of the difficult issues that come with children who already have developed certain behavioral habits and who might have faced trauma in their earlier years.

A doomed adoption is known as a disruption. One adoption counselor said she has worked with 25 or so adoptions in her two decades in the business. She said tries to prepare adoptive parents for what they can expect in terms of behaviors, but they often return saying they never thought they would find themselves not loving their new child or being loved in return. Most disruptions occur before the adoptions are final, which can often take up to two years.

If a parent wants to end an adoption after the legal process is over, the parents must find a home for that child or other resources to care for the youngster. That could include the state, which would probably send the child to the foster care system. If the adoption ends before it is finalized, the child would go to foster care, the adoption expert said.

In the case of an international adoption, the country is informed of the disruption but the child is sent to foster care, not to the country of birth.

The decision to disrupt an adoption is tough and should not be made without the support of a counselor and attorney.

Source: Today, "It takes more than love: What happens when adoption fails," Diane Mapes, Aug. 1, 2012

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