Failed adoptions are never easy, and often, we don’t discuss the necessary steps it takes to heal, process, and move forward.
Recently, I spoke with a family who went through a failed adoption, filled with uncertainty about their ability to continue the process. The fear of another loss burdened them. I reminded them that the adoption process is full of risk and fall-throughs are perhaps the biggest risk of adoption.
Unfortunately, we are seeing more failed adoptions now than ever before due to COVID. This is a tough reality we all must be aware of, yet there are still countless adoptions happening. We have never had a family who has had a failed adoption not find a way, whether emotionally or financially, to move forward and adopt.
So I reminded this family that they could get through it because they have already come so far. They have proven to themselves that they could get up and move forward. The couple grappled with, on one hand, feeling open to continue their journey and expand their options, and on the other hand, wanting to remain closed off as to protect their hearts.
We spoke about ways to move forward through this, including the adoption tax credit and our adoption non-profit, Back to the Roadmap Fund. In addition, we talked about the importance of expanding your adoption criteria.
Hopeful adoptive parents often pigeonhole themselves when they are hyper-specific in their racial or gender preferences, mental health history, or even by being completely closed off to in-utero substance exposures. I reminded this family that if they are open to everything, they will inevitably see more potential adoption situations.
It’s also crucial for hopeful adoptive parents to be willing to let others, sometimes even strangers, into their lives. We often work with adoptive parents who are very private and initially not open to letting someone into their lives.
Yet, embarking on the adoption journey and working with an adoption consultant requires hopeful parents to be open through and through. Without knowing what could be causing a family to put things on hold, we have no way of being able to support them. Often it’s just a matter of managing expectations and putting things into perspective by connecting hopeful parents with others who have been in the same space.
I reminded this couple that our online Facebook community (this one is open to ALL hopeful parents), will provide SO much support. 90% of our families, if not higher, have said that the community is what helped them the most through their adoption journey.
Adoption and the aftermath of a failed adoption can feel lonely, scary, and stressful. I have seen how families who do not engage at all or choose not to go on Facebook tend to go down a negative spiral of questioning why they are not getting picked. And that is likely because they don’t realize everyone else is experiencing the same thing.
Our online community has really created a safe space and fostered a sense of camaraderie for hopeful adoptive parents on their journey, especially for families who have perhaps gone through a failed adoption.