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For some people the words “terminating an adoption” send a shiver down their spine. How could you ever give up your child? Would you do this if said child was your biological child?
A recent blog by Anita Tedaldi addresses the issue of adoption termination from a personal perspective: she and her husband terminated their adoption of their adopted child “D.” The reason? She says:
D’s attachment problems were only half the story. I also knew that I had issues bonding with him. I was attentive, and I provided D. with a good home, but I wasn’t connecting with him on the visceral level I experienced with my biological daughters.”
Anita did not enter into adoption on a whim; she read extensively about adoption, passed the homestudies and felt well informed and prepared. She’d always wanted to adopt and have a large family and her son’s adoption was fulfilling her dreams, or so she thought. She had five biological daughters at home and a husband who was deployed part of the time. Perhaps this was far from an ideal situation. But it appears to me that Anita was more enamored with the “idea” of a large family and an adopted child than the reality.
Here's the reality. Adopted children, like biological children, are not perfect and perhaps, as in “D's” case, have some physical and developmental issues. "D" apparently lacked strength in his legs and had a flat head from lying in a crib for hours a day. He also suffered from coprophagia, or eating one’s own feces. When he didn’t attach within a few months to his adoptive family more concerns set in. But the reality is that as Anita concluded,
I didn’t feel for D. the same way I felt for my own flesh and blood.”
I've heard of adoption terminations in situations where older children have severe RAD (radical attachment disorder) and/or other severe and sometimes dangerous emotional problems. "D's" situation was different and brings up several troubling questions.
Should parents who have biological children be allowed to adopt because of the comparisons in feelings that might arise? Should parents be allowed to terminate adoptions or should they have to work through the issues at hand? Should people with as many as five children be allowed to adopt? There are countries that do restrict the number of children already at home if you want to adopt .
Anita is not alone with her problem; there are other adoptive parents who have had problems bonding/attaching with their children who did not choose termination. As an adoptive parent with three biological and one adopted child, this termination bothers me. Adoption is not the “purchase of a child returnable if not 100% satisfied with the product.”
Accoding to Anita, "D" ended up with a family that was willing to work with him and is apparently doing much better. Does this justify the termination?
I have little doubt that homestudies are going to have to be a lot more stringent in order to weed out people who are not good candidates for adoption. Perhaps one of the questions should be, “if you have problems with your adopted child would you consider terminating the adoption?”
Image Credit: flickr