Advice from Adoption VeteransAdvice from Adoption Veterans

Although American Adoptions has some of the lowest adoption disruption rates among adoption professionals, some families have still experienced the unfortunate and heartbreaking feelings that come with a disrupted adoption. And some couples experience disrupted identified adoptions (adoptions that they arrange themselves) or disruptions with other adoption professionals before they come to our agency.

After a disrupted adoption, adoptive families may run the gamut of emotions: shock, anger, sadness and disappointment. We encourage most of our families to take a step back to grieve, but the majority return to our active list and complete a successful adoption!

“Probably the scariest thing was to go ahead after what we had been through. I think that was always on our minds, always. But we knew that the only way we’d have a chance was if we tried again. Otherwise, we’d have to close that door again. And I don’t think we were ready to do that. We just knew that we couldn’t get what we have now, if we weren’t willing to take that risk, so we both just decided that we’re willing. We know what we’re getting ourselves into. We talked about that a lot too- if we were really ready for that- and we just said, I think we would just always wonder if we hadn’t tried.”  -Karin

“We had a little bit of a philosophy with our (older) son. If he falls of his bike, you tell him to get back on. And it was a little bit of the same. It was not ideal, but waiting didn’t make it any better. So we signed up again.” -Dan

“It sure felt like the world was ending when (the first adoption) didn’t work out. But our girls were so meant to be ours. And even though the first time, I would have told you the same thin– you have to go through and kind of put your heart out there again. I had friend tell me right after we got the girls, ‘Well just hold a little part back, Dawn. Don’t got all in. You went all in with your emotions last time.’ And I’m just like, ‘You can’t do that. That’s not fair to them. It will work out.’ And it did!” -Dawn

“Our excitement was really different this (the second) time around. The first time around, we were just really excited. Nothing seemed to really matter. We kind of knew that a disruption could happen, but that wasn’t ever really on our minds, and then this time it was.” -Karin

“Stay focused on the positive outcome. It’s a setback, but it’s not the end.” -Dan

“Going through infertility- it’s hard to say it’s a loss because it’s not specific like losing a child- but it’s a loss of something that you’d hoped for and wished for. And then to go through a disrupted adoption, I think I was like, ‘God, please don’t take anything else away.'” -Kathryn

“After a disruption and moving on to another match, both adoptive parents must be on the same page. You can’t let a previous disruption affect another match you are about to go into. It is OK to talk about it, but it shouldn’t come out to the birth parents. You have to be open to it as much as you were the first time. I know I would do those disruptions a million times over. They were tough, but I am so happy they happened because I ended up with the right baby. I know that in my heart.” -Mary

“As much as we both felt that ‘If it is meant to be then it is mean to be,’ it is just horribly difficult to then get yourself excited for the next match. But you can’t help it. I think for at least the next month, we didn’t go out; we didn’t want to see anybody. We didn’t take our names off or say we needed more time because I wondered, ‘Would we ever get back in the saddle?’ We knew we had to keep going for it, and luckily we did.” -Tristen

“I think God was really clearing a path for us to have Ali (our daughter). We learned so much from the first one, and we were really much better prepared for Ali because of our experience with the first baby.” -Karin

For further reading on disrupted adoptions, have a look at the following articles:

  • Coping with a Disrupted Adoption This blog post covers the steps of the grieving process and includes tips for supporting your spouse and for finding support in family and friends.
  • How We Minimize Financial Loss This article details how American Adoptions’ Financial-Risk Policy helps to protect you in the event of a disruption.