To the person who landed on my blog after using the search term “giving adopted kids back” on Christmas Eve, I want to say I know things must be pretty rough for you to be thinking about that today of all days.

I also want to say you’re not the first adoptive parent to think this. Many times a week people find my blog using the very same search term. And what they find is a blog I wrote a while back in which I was pretty adamant about the topic.

I never wanted to give one of my adopted kids back but I really understand what might make someone feel that way. Sometimes kids are so damaged they aren’t able to accept new parents. Sometimes parents just don’t have the skill to deal with children with extreme mental health problems. Most of us are thrown into parenthood – either biological or adoptive – with just what we know about parenting from having been raised by our own parents. Often, that’s not enough gear for the challenges adopted kids can bring (well, any kids, for that matter).

My message to you is this. Try to slow your train down and find some help. And by help, I mean three things. First, find a way to get support from your peers. You would be surprised how similar your situation may be to other adoptive parents. If you worked through an agency, call them to find a support group. If you started off being pretty tight with a group of other adoptive parents but you let things slide while your situation got worse, host a meeting at your house. Trust me, there is a lot of suffering in silence out there in the adoptive world because no one wants to step up and say they’re hanging by their fingernails. You can help other parents by being the one to blow the whistle, create a half time for everyone, blow off some steam, and get some loving support from people in the same situation.

Second, find professional help from someone who is adoption-savvy. Therapists and other helpers who don’t understand adoption are useless in difficult adoption situations. So again, call your agency or another adoption resources group in your area (if you have a 211, that’s a great place to start). Many organizations have a big stake in helping adoptions be successful. It’s a matter of finding them early and using what they have to offer. Don’t wait until you’re packing up junior’s things and putting them on the curb.

Third, if you find yourself irretrievably committed to disruption of the adoption, then do it by legal means. Do not kid yourself that it’s okay to find other parents for your adopted child yourself; don’t decide that any place else is better than having the child continue to live in your home. If you are at that point, call the child welfare officials in your area and pursue a legal disruption of the adoption.

Your child, whether he or she is an infant, a toddler, a child or a teen, came to you because of your promise to take the best care of them you possibly could. If, in your opinion, the best care is surrendering them to someone else, then do it in a legal way that has protections for the child and you going forward.

You must be hurting or you wouldn’t be looking for information about giving adopted kids back. I understand. I truly do.

All I’m saying is please be careful in what you do next. That’s all. Be careful.

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