Couple Holding HandsAt American Adoptions, we do everything we can to prevent and protect you from disrupted adoptions. However, there are still occasions when a prospective birth mother decides not to move forward with an adoption plan.

For hopeful adoptive families, an adoption disruption is devastating, disheartening, and emotionally draining. If you are in this situation, there are some important things you can do before you determine your next steps.

Don’t Assign Blame

Many adoption disruptions occur when a prospective birth mother decides to parent her child. However, there are all kinds of reasons that you or a pregnant mother might have to change an adoption plan. If you are dealing with an adoption disruption, it can be easy to feel angry at someone else or yourself. You might find yourself asking: What could I have done differently? What did I do wrong?

The truth is that in most cases, an adoption disruption is nobody’s fault. Do not let blame and anger dictate your next actions, but do not try to swallow negative feelings, either.

Allow Yourself to Grieve

Although your adoption was not completed, your love is real and powerful, and it is normal to feel a sense of loss. Everyone grieves differently, and it may or may not take you a while to know what to do next. During this time, consider some of the following:

  • Seek support from loved ones – Friends and family can be a crucial source of emotional comfort.
  • Consult a professional – Grief is complicated in nearly all situations, and sometimes it is better to talk to someone with professional experience.
  • Let your partner grieve in his or her own way – You and your partner may not respond in the same way or heal at the same pace, but that is okay.

There is no right or wrong way to feel in the aftermath of an adoption disruption. What matters is that you address your feelings as they come so you can start looking forward when you are ready.

Decide How to Move Forward

After an adoption disruption, some families are immediately ready to begin looking for a new opportunity. Others may need to take a break and reevaluate their goals. You may also need to decide what you are going to do with items that you had purchased for adoption purposes. While some families may choose to simply put these items in storage, others might find it more therapeutic to give it away. Just as there is no wrong way to grieve, there is no wrong way to cope and move on.

If you have faced an adoption disruption and are seeking support, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-ADOPTION to talk to one of our Adoptive Family Specialists.