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.
Adoption Disruption (PDF - 49 KB)
MN Adopt, Minnesota Department of Human Services
Provides steps adoptive parents and caseworkers can take to prevent a disruption as well as strategies for parents and children after they have experienced a disruption.
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Child Welfare Information Gateway
Download (PDF - 437KB)
Adoption Disruption: When Love Isn't Enough
Illustrates some rare cases of disruptions and stresses the need to reach out for support services.
Disrupting Our Adoption
Tells one family's experience, in the mother's words, with adoption disruption.
Disruption and Dissolution: Unspoken Losses (PDF - 500 KB)
Macrae & Anderson (2004)
Discusses considerations of letting an adoption go, including support services, workshops, counseling, and the emotional impact on the adoptive parents, child, and family. Therapeutic parenting of the postdisruption child and therapy for the postdisruption family are discussed, a mother's story is provided, and techniques for coping with grief and loss are described.
I Want to Disrupt This Adoption. How Do I Do That?
North American Council on Adoptable Children
Encourages adoptive parents to seek support when considering an adoption disruption and provides resources.
A Parent's Guide to Adoption Disruption and Dissolution
Provides information on before, during, and after disruptions and dissolutions for parents who are considering them, as well as resources.
When a Child Leaves the Family: Displacement, Disruption and Dissolution
In Brothers and Sisters in Adoption: Helping Children Navigate Relationships When New Kids Join the Family
Discusses reasons that cause adoption disruptions, key considerations when contemplating disruption, and issues experienced by typically developing children during and in the aftermath of an adopted person leaving the family, and suggests answers to questions siblings might have.