It was after writing an article to encourage hopeful adoptive parents to make sure they’re in the right place, emotionally, before adopting a child, that I began to learn more about adoption dissolution.
Thanks to a well thought-out comment on that article, I can now share with you the shame, horror, complete heartbreak, and hope for help and change from an adoptive mother who has experienced dissolution.
In Shelby’s words: Adoption dissolution happens when an adoption of a child is completed and then at some point thereafter the adoption is legally dissolved and the child is no longer legally a member of that family. My daughter will always be my daughter in my heart, no matter what—I don’t need a piece of paper to tell me she’s my daughter.
To many of us, adoption is very black and white. We love it, and we want the world to know how wonderful it is. Especially when it helps a traumatized child find acceptance and feel nurtured and loved. For those of us who see the picture in this way, we sometimes find ourselves in judgement of parents who ultimately choose to relinquish their parental rights to an adopted child.
Having never experienced it, many adoptive parents can’t seem to understand anything that couldn’t be conquered with love. They are quick to condemn these good parents, who were placed in an impossible situation and forced to make impossible decisions. This condemnation simply perpetuates the problem.
It’s up to each of us, individually, to educate ourselves and become part of the solution instead of inadvertently contributing to the problem through our ignorance. As we do this, we’ll come together as a community and everyone will benefit.
Regardless of your current stance, take a few minutes to read Shelby’s experience. Her hope is that by sharing, more help will become available for children with RAD . . . and also for parents who desperately want to help their children.