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When Adoption Falls Through

When adoption doesn’t go as planned—especially after you have poured your heart and soul into the process, it’s devastating. Although adoption plans change for various reasons, one of the most common is a birth family choosing to raise their biological child. 

There are endless emotions involved in the adoption process—they often converge and intensely. Two families have come together to make a monumental decision regarding the betterment of a human life. There are many reasons why a birth mother, or birth parents, may decide not to complete the adoption process, but it’s essential to understand that it likely has nothing to do with you. It is common for prospective adoptive parents to feel a sense of intense pain and betrayal while struggling to make sense and process the entire situation. 

If for some reason, an adoption plan no longer goes through, the road to recovery begins. We discuss the importance of support services through the adoption process, and this situation is no different. If your adoption plan falls through, that is part of your process, and you need and deserve ample support to work through it.

If this happens to you, here are a few things to consider as you rebuild and regroup:

  • Give yourself time to grieve. Plain and simple, this is a loss. It’s okay to treat it like one. 
  • Talk it through with your agency. Process what happened, and work through expectations and goals for a future adoption plan.
  • Join a support group. Whether it be online or in-person, find a community who has navigated this same journey. Engaging with people who have had similar pain can help you move forward  
  • Research and enlist a therapist. Psychology Today has a database to find therapists specific to your needs in your state. 
  • Don’t give up. This is not the end of your journey; it is the start of a new one. 

The loss will feel immense, but it’s also essential to focus on what you learned and experienced as you prepare to try again. Take inventory of all the fantastic things in your life. You believe in your home and your ability to raise and nurture a child—that has not changed.