When there is a failed placement, the adoptive couple may feel like they have lost a child and are grieving because of it. I have heard many people say that it was never their child, so they shouldn't grieve the loss. I have mixed feelings on this. I do feel like the child before placement is NOT the adoptive couples child-and as we all know, technically isn't theirs until finalization. Having said that, does that mean that there will not be feelings of loss, especially after bonding with the expectant parents? No. Should we comfort those that are grieving after a failed placement? Yes! Just remember to be respectful of the expectant parents decision to parent; they have the right to do so and it is in fact their child. Please know that the expectant parents may also be hurting if they chose to parent because they feel they are hurting the adoptive couple that they have become close to. I hope these expectant parents know that although it may hurt for a time, adoptive couples learn and grow from these experiences and their child/expectant parents will find them one day.
The second part relates to the first-it is when an adoptive couple chooses not continue with an adoption placement or says no to a potential match. I have also heard people saying "they should be happy with what they get." Well, if we all believe what the first point was about, that in fact, this child is not theirs until after placement, then the choice to say no or back out of a situation is rightfully theirs as well. I feel like every situation is so different; please don't generalize an expectant parent or adoptive couples decisions with regards to placement.
So to sum up--on both sides before placement there is choice-whether to parent or place, whether to move forward with the adoption or to not. And whatever decision both parties make should always be respected or at least not judged. We never know fully what someone may be going through. I know, easier said than done, but I hope that this one gets us all, me included, thinking more about loving more, not judging others, and just giving someone the benefit of the doubt...or at least maybe just a kind word-because we could all use more of those.