Thursday, May 6, 2010

Voluntary Adoption Disruption is Not The Same As Involuntary Termination of Rights......

I feel the need to say out loud that an adoption disruption (or a voluntary termination of parental rights) is not the same thing as DHS removing a child from a family due to neglect or abuse. The sad reality is that many families find they are unable to parent their children - biological or adopted - due to situations beyond their control. It breaks the hearts of these families who have to have to face the reality that their child might be better off somewhere else.

Pause for a moment.......

I know that many people reading that last sentence will say NEVER! and send me over notes about parenting being a 'forever' commitment but here are a few situations to consider before anyone starts criticizing those who walk this hard road.

I have known a mother who relinquished parental rights because she was a single parent, dying of cancer - what was her choice? Several other families were unable to ensure the safety of their other children due to the violence and predatory nature of an older child (biological by the way and never abused that anyone knew.) Others parents have became homeless, overwhelmed by desperation and faced years in prision based on what they needed to do to survive.

The truth is that other than these, the majority of family disruptions which I have walked friends thorough did involve adopted children - they were always seriously abused children who were placed without disclosure and brought the abusive habits with them into the adoptive home.

Knowing that each situation is unique, no one should lump a voluntary disruption (or termination of rights)into the same pile as an involuntary DHS intervention and termination. One is because a family realizes that they can not parent a particular child well, the other is based on an outside decision and action that a child needs to be removed for their own safety or welfare.

There that's off my chest - I feel better now.


Jamsco said...

The NEVER people should read the book.

GB's Mom said...

You are right. Nobody has any business judging what another family has decided is in the child's best interest.

e&e said...

I know a family that had to go through the heart- and gut-wrenching decision to voluntarily relinquish their newly adopted child. Knowing the details of their situation, I believe they made a wise decision, but many others in their life who were not privy to that information rained down the judgment. It was a barrel of salt on an already bloody wound.

Thanks for pointing us to compassion again.