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Facts About Failed Adoption

Answering Your Failed Adoption Questions

Adoption is an emotional and financial investment. You deserve the chance to protect both if a failed adoption occurs.

Failed adoption stories are not something we enjoy hearing. So, with the help of this guide, we will answer some of your failed adoption questions and explain why adoptions fail in the first place.

You can get more free information online now or call 1-800-ADOPTION to talk directly with our adoption specialists.

Why Adoptions Fail

Adoption disruptions are instances when a planned adoption isn’t completed. It can occur at any part of the adoption process until the prospective birth mother signs their legal consent.

A failed adoption can happen for various reasons, such as:

  • An expectant parent chooses parenting, another family or another agency

  • Inadequate birth parent counseling

  • Unexpected changes to the pregnancy

  • Pregnancy loss

  • Lack of support from an untrustworthy adoption professional

  • And more

Experiencing an unplanned pregnancy is incredibly stressful. Having someone to work with and help them understand their options can be invaluable.

But, depending on the adoption professional they work with, counseling may not be accessible. Counseling should also be with a trained, licensed professional. If a staff member is not a licensed social worker or counselor, then they should not be counseling.

Along with a birth parent changing her mind, another reason why adoptions fail is inadequate support from untrustworthy adoption professionals.

Here’s an example: Many unlicensed adoption professionals operate on a two-year expiring contract. Upfront, they will tell the family that they’ll never have to worry about that because of how fast they’ll adopt.

However, these promises are usually untrue. Then, a family will reach the two-year mark and face a decision: Repay all of their fees (usually close to $20,000), or accept that their adoption journey has failed.

Please contact American Adoptions so we can discuss the support and services you and the birth parents need to experience a successful adoption.

“Trust in your birth parent specialists to vet the prospective birth mother throughout the process,” Paul, an adoptive parent who worked with us, said. “They have your best interest at heart and will be looking out for all those warning signs. You don’t have to do it yourself. Let the professionals do it.”

A lack of counseling is not the only reason why some prospective birth parents change their minds about adoption. Although American Adoptions provides birth parent counseling from licensed social workers, it is possible that a failed adoption will just happen.

How Often Do Adoptions Fail?

10-25% of adoptions don’t work out in the U.S.

Some hopeful families may never experience a failed adoption, but others may face multiple adoption disruptions. Paul and Mike, an adoptive couple that worked with us, went through three adoption disruptions — all during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Because we’ve gone through multiple disruptions, each one was harder than the last,” Mike said. “But, we still found a way to bounce back and be hopeful and optimistic. It really taught us that we can be chosen. It’s just about the right match [at] the right time.”

With our team’s help, Paul and Mike eventually welcomed their son, Quinn, into their home.

“When looking at all of our adoption agency options out there, one thing that we didn’t really take into account when it came to cost structure was the level of engagement from the agency,” Paul said. “Our adoptive parent specialist Melanie— the level of engagement and passion and kindness and efficacy that she provided was worth every drop of the agency fee that we paid for her alone.”

What Happens if an Adoption Fails?

Feelings of grief and loss following a disrupted adoption can be difficult to overcome.

If your adoption disrupts, then take the time you need before considering your next course of action. Talk with your adoption specialist about your options for postponing your adoption plans after a failed adoption.

We put families first, which is why we offer you financial freedom with our Risk-Sharing Program. This adoption disruption insurance gives you the confidence and security you need after a failed adoption. We return 100% of the funds directly back to you.

This financial protection has saved families more than $4.6 million since 2009.

If you work with another adoption professional that offers a refund, then it is typically a rollover policy. This form of refund means the organization will keep your money but put it toward another adoption opportunity.

But some hopeful families decide it’s best not to continue with the process after a failed adoption. The rollover policy will not allow you to do this without losing all the money you’ve already put into the failed adoption. Here at our agency, you don’t have to worry about that.

Our Final Thoughts

A failed adoption does not need to be the end of your journey. Although there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of a failed adoption, like working with an adoption professional that properly screens expectant parents, there is still a chance of disruption.

Whether you want to take a break or move away from the adoption process altogether, we are here for you.

If you have more questions about our adoption disruption insurance program or how we limit failed adoptions, then you can get free online adoption information now.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do we need to retain our own attorney?

No, American Adoptions has established relationships with some of the best adoption attorneys in the nation. Because adoption laws vary from state to state and between counties, it is important to utilize the services of an adoption attorney who specializes in the state where the adoption will finalize, which is unknown until you match with an expectant mother. You have the right to retain your own attorney, but doing so may be an additional, unnecessary expense.

Can we choose the gender of our baby?

American Adoptions does not allow gender specificity in adoption. Any family who wishes to be gender-specific in their adoption should contact us at 1-800-ADOPTION and ask about the possibility of an exception waiver before taking any other steps toward adoption with our agency. Any families who do receive an exception to be gender-specific may also incur an additional fee, which helps cover the additional advertising costs of such a request.

Please note that gender specificity will likely increase your wait time significantly.

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