Disruption/rehoming question?
So I've been asked for input on a situation and honestly don't have a lot in terms of legalities--thought I would throw it out and see what others have to say before I get back to them.

I've been put in contact with a father of six children, all of whom have been adopted. A few weeks ago the wife apparently decided she didn't want to be a mom any more and walked out on the family. The odds that she will come back or want anything to do with the children in terms of visitation/support are slim. The older 3 children already have emotional issues, and are acting out/in (either anger or depression) in response to the situation. The father feels the youngest three are at risk of being overlooked, at best, and victimized by the older children at worst. They are 6, 4, and 2 1/2 and they just finalized on the two youngest 7 months ago (they were adopted out of foster care, the 6 year old was adopted privately). There is no support from extended family on either parents' side. He is pretty isolated apparently, aside from some support from his church group, but nobody who understands the complexity of dealing with children with emotional issues--from what has been described I would guess at least one of the three older children has RAD (perhaps mom didn't just "walk out" but was driven out?). He has asked about the possibility of placing the 3 younger children in another adoptive family privately.

Does anyone know what legalities are involved in finding a private placement for children who were previously adopted, particularly through the foster care system? We are in UT if that makes a difference.

I know my input off the top of my head would be to be cautious about making any decisions this soon after a transition when the family is still in crisis...but if the kids are at risk staying at a home where there are older, emotionally unstable children it may be the best option!
Once children are adopted they are your children. He made a commitment to these children so if he "gives up" 3 of them then they all might be taken. Those poor children!
Wow, jumping on the judgement bandwagon already. Don't know if you have lived with a RAD child in your home, and mind you I haven't met this individual and his children in person yet (don't know if I will), but having BEEN a RAD child for years someone who is trying alone to single parent ONE RAD child has my respect. Let alone someone who is trying to single parent six children with one RAD child (or possibly more) who apparently is exhibiting behaviors severe enough that he is concerned the younger children will be physically at risk (to say nothing of the emotional damage done by living day in and day out with a sibling with severe attachment disorder)....yes, poor kids, but I don't think anyone should at this point be passing a judgement on an individual whose doing his best to try to find a solution to a problem I'm sure he never imagined happening in the first place. I don't know what the months before looked like for this family, and I don't know if they SHOULD have gone through with the adoption of the youngest--somehow I can't imagine that these problems cropped up within the last six months. But from my understanding of the situation he's stepping up to the plate in admitting he CAN'T do this by himself and trying to find a way to keep all of the children safe. I would not be surprised if/when I receive more information to find that this is a family who has been struggling to find support in dealing with a child with full-blown attachment disorder and have come to the point where triangulation ruined a marriage and has left the one remaining parent with no good options.
Parents are absolutely allowed to place their children for adoption. It is not seen as a problem, no matter how the children came in to the family, and no matter whether the parents place one child or all their children, and no matter the age(s) of the children.

But you are 100% right in counseling him to not make any quick decisions. In the middle of trauma is no time to decide something that can't be undone.

Perhaps there is someone (or a couple someones) who would be willing to take the younger children for a while, while the older ones are acting out?

I certainly hope everything settles down for him and his family.
It is possible to place any of the children for adoption into another family. There are several parents on these forums who are living with similar issues in that the older children they have adopted have never adjusted to family life and have had to be removed. Most are posting over on the special needs forum. I do not know the specifics of such an arrangement, but a consult with an attorney who knows family law would be the first step. It might be possible to do a disruption through CPS for the younger children. Such a sad situation. My heart goes out to him.

HRISME: I think you have hit the nail on the head. It really does sounds as though the older child(ren) have RAD and that has possibly caused this situation to occur. Again, it is such a sad situation.
I am absolutely NOT trying to flame anyone here, BUT i agree that maybe they shouldnt have adopted? Marriage/family problems dont just come up. And as an adoptee who was shoved into a group home for all of high school because my adoptive parents couldnt deal with me, "rehoming" can damage the child more than anything. Some good respite services, family therapy, etc could be the best situation.
This whole story just makes me so sad! I know it's not the same, but all I can see is a little Russian boy being put on a plane. The general public still has no idea what RAD is, but one story was enough to stop a whole country's adoptions. All we need is more people screaming "How do these people get cleared?"

I do commend the man's efforts to salvage what he feels is the best outcome for the kids. Placing the younger ones would be much easier than older kids with issues. But then again, if the older ones are really a danger, he could put them into RTC where they could get the help they need and concentrate on keeping a stable home for the younger ones.

That said, I do feel the ball was dropped for the children involved. I know divorce can happen to anyone, but these aren't just any kids. I hope they come out of this ok.
Fostering since 2010. Family has grown to 1 loving husband, 2 biological teens, 2 adopted boys, and a fostered Pumpkin.
I have no advice, but wanted to offer prayers. Is it possible for the father to get in touch with the SW that did the adoptions to see if she can help?
I don't have any advise, my thoughts and prayers go out to this family.

How old are the older children? You say the youngest were adopted seven months ago, have the older children been in the family since they were little?

RAD could be the main underlying cause, with a family being broken apart by divorce, there could have been a lot of other high stressors going on that are causing the older ones to act out with anger and depression. Because of your past and you raising a RAD child too bad you can't observe and/or talk to the children to get a real feel for what is going on. You could probably give dad some advise on how to handle certain situations he is facing.

It must be triggering abandonment issues for them, regardless if they were acting out before or not, I would be surprised if their behaviors didn't change due to mom leaving, that would be "normal".

Poor children, the whole situation must be so hard on them.

If he is thinking about moving the youngest he must feel like he can deal with the issues of the older ones and I definite applaud him for that, it can't be easy.

You say his only outside support is from church, what about school? Are there teaching who can offer support and suggestions during this time? Someone else who knows the children and could be another stable, there for them, adult during this time of change and uncertainty.

No matter what he decides is the best for his children, and the whole family, it is not going to be easy for them. I pray that they all get the support, counseling, assistance, that they all need to help them adjust to this unexpected change and as things continue to change over the next weeks, months, years.
Li'l Singer - adopted Nov 2013

Current Placement
Li'l Abner - Li'l Singer's Biological brother
TPR April 2015 - waiting for adoption date
I'm posting this link to another thread where poster tybeemarie makes an excellent post on the nature of RAD. For anyone who is unfamiliar with RAD, take a look at her post and then read some more about it wherever you can. It is what is happening within the home that causes the issues parents can no longer deal with. Just trying to offer some insight into what may be going on in the family the OP has posted about.

Found out today that shortly before Christmas one of the older children attempted to burn the house down, resulting in evacuating the entire family in subzero temperatures in the middle of the night. My guess is at this point the father actually fears for his younger children's lives if they remain in the home. Still haven't talked to him personally, so I don't have the full story.

There are numerous RTC options in Utah, but they run thousands of dollars a month in most cases that this family probably doesn't have. To get a child into the state hospital here they have to be an "active threat" to themselves or others, and there has to be beds open. There usually is not. Post adoption support is obviously very limited. There is apparently more in the county I am in than the county they are--at least there is a decent respite care program here. Trying to see if there is any chance of getting the younger ones into a crisis nursery for a couple of weeks. Down here it's possible--up there they don't offer 24 hour care.

I don't know if he feels like he can handle the problems the older children are presenting, probably more of a logistics decision. Who is going to willingly take a 13 year old with RAD vs three young children with apparently no major issues? Not to say they won't develop after this kind of trauma.

And to clarify, while I have had symptoms of RAD myself I have not raised a child with RAD. Only done respite for a maximum of two weeks. Quite honestly, I don't think I could do it without landing in a psychiatric facility myself. My situation wasn't that severe compared to some, but enough that I have some idea of where these kids are coming from. Even then, I can only take so much manipulation and triangulation before I give up myself!
You can place a child for adoption at any time. There is no risk to your other children. CHASK.org is not an adoption agency but they do assist in replacement of children from one home to another.
PinkStar412 said...
I am absolutely NOT trying to flame anyone here, BUT i agree that maybe they shouldnt have adopted? Marriage/family problems dont just come up. And as an adoptee who was shoved into a group home for all of high school because my adoptive parents couldnt deal with me, "rehoming" can damage the child more than anything. Some good respite services, family therapy, etc could be the best situation.

I have to go with Pink on this one. If they were dealing with RAD issues with the older kiddos, then choosing to adopt MORE probably wasn't a great idea.

However, whats done is done. My first advice to that father would be to ask for help first, ie. therapy, respite, counseling, etc. Give this option maybe up to 6. If it isn't helping, then he needs to contact an adoptive resource/agency to see about getting the younger kiddos into another home.

On another note. If that mom tries to come back in the picture, she should get a giant boot to the @$$! Shame on her and her selfishness.
Kat-L, thanks for mentioning CHASK. i couldn't remember the name of it. Caddo, same for tybeemarie. she's an awesome mom dealing with a very RAD kiddo. very, very RAD.

ever live with a kid with RAD? if not, you just do not understand.

my son has mild RAD. the vomit. the sneakiness. the crazy lying. the spit. the gallons of pee. the pain visited on his little sister. the abuse to the pets. the random violence. the gorging. the stealing. the rages. the extreme business. the lack of need for sleep. the inability to NOT be the center of attention. parent shopping. did i mention the gallons of pee?

and like i said, he's on the mild end. and he's getting better.

sometimes kids DON'T get better. sometimes they get worse. sometimes they get better until they get worse again. sometimes little things trigger them--and adding kids to the mix is not a little thing.

blaming the parents isn't helpful to anyone. don't you think we've already said it all to ourselves--and more? don't you think we have tremendous guilt about the what ifs? we have and we do, but after all avenues are exhausted--heck, after YOU are exhausted--sometimes there are no other choices. and we parents of RAD kids are just people. we make mistakes, we try again.

and sometimes NOTHING works. our kids are just too damaged to live in a family home sometimes. and sometimes, our kids are just too damaged to live with US. some kids with severe RAD never had an attachment to their parents and leaving may not even phase them. they just move on to the next situation. and that's sad.

the older kids in question may be just these kids. to keep them in a home where they are not getting better and are a danger to the other kids isn't noble or good or even smart. should they be released for adoption? i do not know. but i would bet money on the idea that the parents are trying to find the right solution for the kids, not trying to just give them away and forget.

i wish i had advice. i do know that it is possible to release kids for adoption at any time. i also know it's not always easy to find a new home for a child of a disrupted adoption. sometimes help can be found through churches--especially the ones who run programs for tough kids--and those are often available for little or no cost. but please implore your friend to do the research before sending his kids someplace. make sure that there is treatment for the issues they have.

God bless him. this is so hard.
On another note. If that mom tries to come back in the picture, she should get a giant boot to the @$$! Shame on her and her selfishness.

This is a very sensitive and personal topic for me. I could easily be that mom.

When a woman is in an abusive environment, she is encouraged to get out of it. Unless, of course, it is her children that are her abuser. Why is that?

My daughter was trying to burn my house down to kill me. I did not want to live like that. I did not believe that my other children should live like that. I suppose I should be shamed and called selfish. Apparently a "a giant boot to the @$$" is called for.

RAD children target their moms. There is no way to know what this mom suffered through. If you haven't lived with RAD, you cannot even begin to imagine. I can only imagine the hell that she experienced to drive her to do this.

It is not easy to give your older child up for adoption. You do not simply call an adoption agency and relinquish rights. In most states, with an older child you must be proven unfit. And yes, they can take your other children as a result.

It is also not easy to get mental health services. The RTC where my daughter is placed costs about $15,000 a month. And it was a fight to get her there. And its been a fight to keep her there. She will be discharged shortly and she is no better. I have lost the fight.

Do not blame the parents. In my book, the dad is not noble for doing this. He chose disordered children over his spouse. His wife had to be a loving mother or she would not have gone through what she did. Very sad, but that seems to happen a lot with marriages of RAD parents. These children are such great manipulators and triangulators. You think you have a strong marriage - don't be sure. I read somewhere that 80% of all marriages where the couple adopted an older RAD child fails.

This dad needs to determine who can be saved and focus on that. He can't save them all.
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