There is Christine. Christine and her husband John have a dozen kids. No, really, a dozen. As in 12. They adopted 6 of those children: two of them from dissolutions of adoptions. That is when someone adopts a child and then they un-adopt that child. It is often referred to as disruption, though technically that term means disrupting the adoption process before the actual adoption takes place. Christine has blogged about disruption here. Go and read her post as well as her other posts. I also urge you to go and read Always Ours, the blog of a family who refused to give up their adopted son battling a serious mental illness. Please also read Annie's post, who didn't disrupt, but raised a child who experienced disruption not once but twice. Don't just get my POV on this.
As an early commenter I managed to stir some emotions in that post--Sorry, Christine, didn't want to cause trouble--and that is because I feel like disruption is being viewed lightly by many.
When one adopts a child, they make a commitment. That child should become like any biological child of the person in every legal sense. It is reflected by the fact that on the birth certificate issued after the adoption the new adoptive parents are listed as the parents of the child without any mention of previous parents. In many countries this actually happens. At the point of adoption the parent loses any extra benefits that come from fostering a child, but receives all the benefits and resposibilities that they'd have if the child was born to them.
This is not so in some countries. In these countries adoptions can be disrupted without the consequences that come with older child parental right termination. And that is wrong. Once you adopt a child, you are committed to them and once--for whatever reason--an adoption is disrupted, the family should be followed closely by child protective services, any and all disruptions should be in any potential adoption dossiers, and yes, I believe that people who disrupt should never ever be able to adopt again and the country (if international adoption) of origin of the children needs to be notified immediately. Several Christian agencies just lost accreditation in Russia because disruptions weren't reported within 5 days. There is a reason why Russia and some other countries require reports on all disruptions, and people don't like it. They feel threatened that Russia will shut down for international adoption, or, more particularly, to certain countries.
Many times the child is abusive and parents think that is the best for the child to be removed from the family. There are various options for that, without disrupting. Yes, they cost money. Lots of money, most of the time. Families often claim they can't afford it. Yet, they can afford another adoption. The math doesn't add up there. I also keep wondering if these very same people would be willing to give up the parental rights to their biological children if they turned out to be abusive of their siblings? My personal experience says no. They'd fight for their child, they'd take out a secon mortgage, they'd sell their car or sacrifice all they have.
Another odd thing is that while at adoptions in most countries the children involved are asked if they want to be adopted, yet they have no say in front of the judge if they want to be removed from the family. At least I was never asked, and my disruption took place in Sunny SoCal and I was definitely old enough to be asked. It is purely the parents' decision. And there are very very very few instances when it can be justified. A tiny teeny percentage of all disruptions actually benefit the child.
Adding insult to injury is the disrupting parent who says "X will always be my son!" "I'll always be Y's mom!"
No. You won't. And by saying this you insult the new parents and the child you give up.
Parents often say "I didn't sign up for this!" or "I was never told that s/he had problems like that!" Now here is the thing: kids available for adoption will have issues. Be prepared that the angelic little kid the orphanage will have issues one never dreamt of. And the parents have to be able to handle them. It's the same when one get's pregnant: you never know what issues the child might have and the parents have to earn to handle them.
Therefore many--too many--adoptions end in disruptions. There are even forums where people offer and seek kids in disruptions! Human trafficking at its ugliest, some say. So much for "forever family", the ever so popular--and rather annoying--term adoptive families like to apply to themselves.
And yes, it is annoying and false, because families only last as long as the effort is made. Since many times I read this expression in Christian adoption forums I keep wondering: What will you do when your kid doesn't want to be Christian? What will you do when your kid turns out to be gay? What if your child will never ever share your values? What will you do? Will you still love them? Will you let your gay child come to your home with their partner? Or will you shun their love and put your child in the middle, or worse yet, will you abandon your child emotionally? Will you try to pray the gay out of them or will you love and accept them as they are, as your messiah taught you? Will your "forever family" will be forever after your rebellious child turns 18? Will you want them to be grateful for rescuing them from the life that was waiting for them in whatever land you adopt them from? I wonder if Christian conservative parents have ever considered these possibilities and questions before they set out to adopt, and if they were honest with their answers to themselves.
Adoption is a wonderful thing. Disruption is a nasty thing that is extremely difficult for everyone involved, but it is worst for the child, who, once again, is passed on to someone else: their "forever family" failed the commitment. What message does that give to the child? And what message does it give to the other adopted children in the home? Are they discardable as well? Many children adapt well to their new families and grow up to be healthy, productive people. Many don't. Of course, there is no one to blog about those kids who eventually end up in the system. It is very hard for the parents who disrupt, but I refuse to view them as martyrs for the good of their child.
I admire those, who adopt from disruption. As someone, who is the product of a disruption, I don't think I'd ever be able to do that. I'm too scarred by it and I don't think I could help a child in this situation. Luckily there are people like Christine and John who, with true Christian compassion for all people involved, assist these families, love and pray them through this difficult time.
To those of you, who think karma bites and I will end up in a situation when I'll have to disrupt: I don't believe in karma.