Parenting Techniques to Prevent Adoption Failures

Adoption re-homing is in the news. Adopting children who have experienced abuse and neglect is hard and some of these adoption dissolve or disrupt. What can parents do to prevent their adoption from failing? Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility & adoption education and support nonprofit, interviews Dr. Richard Barth, Dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Maryland School of Social Work and a prodigious adoption researcher and author.

Hit the Highlights
  • How common are adoption dissolutions or disruptions?
  • What are some of the risk factors for adoption failure?
  • How much does the age of the child at adoption influence the risk of dissolution?
  • What else has been found to increase the likelihood that an adoption will dissolve?
  • Are international adoptions more at risk of failing?
  • Do we know how many are informally dissolved in a process that is being called “rehoming” vs. going through legal channels?
  • How can parents determine in advance if a child will be a good fit for their family?
  • What are some specific questions to ask the social workers, therapists, etc. to determine if the child is a good fit for your family (e.g. going beyond “is he good with other children; to ask more specific questions like, would he be able to share a room; can he be alone with other children . .. etc)
  • What are warning signs that you might not be prepared to parent this particular child?
  • How do parents truly (self)assess strengths and needs of a family going into adoption and ongoing, and how to know what needs can be met with support and what needs cannot.
  • At what periods of time are adoptions most at risk for failure or dissolution?
  • Is the first 6 months to one year the most crucial time for post adoption support?
  • What are some techniques that parents can use to smooth this transition period and set themselves up for success?
  • Parenting kids who have experienced abuse and neglect can be very hard. What are some parenting techniques that work?
  • What type of child restraint measures are acceptable and allowed, and what type will end up getting the adoptive parents in trouble and having children removed from the home? Can you leash your child? Can you somehow “cage” them in order to protect them and the other children in the home?
  • Post adoption support services are sorely lacking for many people. What has been shown to work?
  • What types of post adoption services and support works to help families stay together?
  • What kinds of supports should parents have in place prior to adoption (for example, a counselor for the parents, respite resources, etc.)?
  • Importance of respite care.
  • Does respite care interfere with attachment?

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Image Credit: Sarah Ross