The vast majority adoptions are successful. Unfortunately, some adoptions do end in disruption or dissolution. "Disruption" refers to the circumstance that occurs when an adoption process is stopped after the child is placed in an adoptive home but before the adoption is finalized legally. The term "dissolution" describes an adoption that ends after legal finalization. In both cases, the child returns to or enters foster care or placement with new adoptive parents. In this section, find resources for families to help them cope if disruption or dissolution occurs.
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Child Welfare Information Gateway
Download (PDF - 437KB)
Common Reasons for Adoption Disruption (PDF - 474 KB)
A Family for Every Child Matching Assistance (2015)
Explores the stages of adoption that commonly lead to dissolution. This resource also provides a list of questions parents should consider before taking steps to dissolve an adoption.
Supporting Children and Families When Adoption Dissolution Occurs
Bergeron & Pennington (2013)
Adoption Advocate, 62
Describes challenges in working with families going through adoption dissolution and identifies the need for a best-practice model that seeks the best long-term interests of the adopted children involved while addressing the needs and limitations that exist within the adoptive family.
What to do When Your Adoption Is Failing: A Parent’s Guide to Adoption Disruption & Dissolution
Laws & Ashe (2003)
Answers questions that adoptive parents may ask before, during, and after adoption disruptions or dissolutions.
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.