Although most adoptions are successful, there are still times where an adoption ends in disruption or dissolution. “Disruption” refers to the circumstances that occur when an adoption process is stopped after the child is placed in an adoptive home but before being finalized legally. “Dissolution” occurs when an adoption ends after it has been finalized legally. Even with different meanings, the result is the same with the child reentering foster care or being placed with a new potential adoptive family. This section provides resources to help families navigate an adoption that is disrupted or ends in dissolution.
Discontinuity and Disruption in Adoptions and Guardianships
Adoption Disruption and Dissolution
North American Council on Adoptable Children
Offers information on ways to prevent an adoption disruption/dissolution; what types of supports are to be considered when adoption disruption/dissolution does occur; and how it impacts all parties involved with the adoption process, including the child, family, and workforce.
Adoption Dissolution From A Mother's View: Part 1
Answers questions that adoptive parents may ask before, during, and after adoption disruptions or dissolutions.
How to Explain Adoption Dissolution to Adopted Kids
Creating a Family (2019)
Presents the testimony of a family who experienced adoption dissolution and shares tips on how to manage its impact. This blog also includes advice from adopted people and an adoption therapist for families involved in adoption dissolution.
Failed Adoption Was Not the End of My Story!
Tells the story of a young person who experienced a disrupted adoption and was placed back into foster care. This account discusses how she overcame the challenges this presented and provides advice to others experiencing similar situations.
Unregulated Custody Transfers of Adopted Children
When Adoptions Fail
Johnson, Hamilton, & Hanlon (2020)
National Council for Adoption
Discusses the topic of adoption dissolution, the unique challenges that families deal with when an adoption disruption/dissolution occurs, and the importance for the use of a best-practice model that serves the best interest of the child who has been adopted.
When a Forever Home Isn’t Forever: The Reality of Adoption Dissolution
Foster Care Newsletter
Explains the frequency of and factors influencing adoption disruption. This newsletter also provides resources to help families struggling following adoption.