I'd like to pass on three thought-provoking series of posts/discussions from other blogs--all adoption related. (Okay, folks not interested in adoption, you can skip this post!)
First, there's GrrlTravel's post about adoption disruptions. An adoption disruption happens when adoptive parents decide they...um...don't want the child anymore. Technically, there are two different scenarios: "disruption", which happens before the adoption is finalized, and "dissolution", which happens after it's final. But generally, when one is talking disruption, it covers both variations.
There have been some pretty well-publicized disruptions in the Chinese adoption world lately. Some folks have disrupted in China, fearful of potential special needs which were undisclosed prior to the travel (Johnny has a story of three which happened on his adoption trip--Part I, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4). Then there's a couple who disrupted two or three months after being home; the mother had a nervous breakdown and decided that they actually weren't cut out to be parents. The mother posted about it on her blog, but I can't locate it now. Given her story, and the fact that the child is thriving in her new family, I can't help but feel it's better to have disrupted this adoption for this child.
Amy Eldridge, of Love Without Boundaries, wrote a letter to the Chinese adoption community addressing disruptions, most prominently noting that children who have been institutionalized quite often show developmental delays that can seem extreme, the majority of which resolve in the loving and attention-filled atmosphere of a new adoptive home--and that there are an amazing number of potential adoptive parents who show up in China for their child without any knowledge of institutionalization effects, no real preparation.
Then there's a case I know of where the parents adopted a sibling pair from the state. The younger boy was delightful, wonderful...but his brother spiraled into threats and violence. The night they found the older boy standing over their daughter's bed with the knife, saying he was going to kill her was the end of it all.
Amy/GrrlTravel has some very good points. But at the same time--some disruptions are for the best. In biological families, it doesn't happen often--what happens most often is that the parents turn to abuse of one type or another, or neglect, and the state has to step in, remove the child(ren) and place in foster homes. Sometimes, a biological parent knows early enough, and offers the child up for formal adoption.
It's a difficult subject. It's painful. A lot of times, the circumstances seem to not warrant the disruption...I've heard tales of potential adoptive parents who get to China and turn down the child because she's not pretty enough...or the older child doesn't want her...or because she's "too dark". These superficial reasons are horrific to me, and I can't help but wonder how on earth these people got through the homestudy process. If the child were immediately placed with someone else, no harm, no foul--who would want to subject a child to living with people like that? Unfortunately, word has it that the child is returned to the orphanage, and oftentimes doesn't get placed back into the adoption pool. So, because someone made a snap, superficial judgment on an infant, that infant's life is confined to the orphanage from then on.
Hm. This is getting long. Conversation pointers will continue tomorrow!