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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Adoption Failures: Disruptions Dissolutions #NAAM

What is disruption?

The term disruption is used to describe an adoption process that ends after the child is placed in an adoptive home and before the adoption is legally finalized, resulting in the child’s return to (or entry into) foster care or placement with new adoptive parents.

What is dissolution?

The term dissolution is generally used to describe an adoption in which the legal relationship between the adoptive parents and adoptive child is severed, either voluntarily or involuntarily, after the adoption is legally finalized. This results in the child’s return to (or entry into) foster care or placement with new adoptive parents.

The following are some of the primary factors that have been shown to be associated with higher risk of disruption:

Child Factors

Older age 
Presence of emotional and behavioral issues 
Strong attachment to the birth mother 
Being a victim of preadoptive child sexual abuse 

Adoptive Family Factors

Being a new or matched parent rather than the child’s foster parent
Lack of social support, particularly from relatives
Unrealistic expectations
Adoptive mothers with more education

Agency Factors

Inadequate or insufficient information on the child and his or her history 
Inadequate parental preparation, training, and support
Staff discontinuities (i.e., different workers responsible for preparing the child and family) 
Having more caseworkers involved with the case 
Not having sufficient services provided 
Additionally, a study by Smith et al. (2006) provides indepth, recent data about risk and protective factors for disruptions among children adopted from the Illinois public child welfare system, including:

Child Factors
White children had lower disruption rates than African- American children.

When two or three siblings were placed together, they had a higher risk of disruption; when four or more siblings were placed together, they had a lower risk of disruption.

Children who had experienced sexual or emotional abuse had the highest rates of disruption.

Children with physical disabilities and emotional or behavioral problems had a higher risk for disruption.

Each additional year of age increased the likelihood of disruption by 6 percent.

Children who entered the child welfare system due to lack of supervision or environmental neglect were more likely to experience adoption disruption.

The longer time children spent in out-of-home care, the less likely were their chances for disruption.

If children spent time in a residential or group home while in out-of-home care, they were less likely to experience a later disruption.

Family Factors

Children placed with relatives had a lower risk of disruption.

Agency Factors

Children placed through private agencies were less likely to experience a disruption.

Children who had been placed in residential or group care were at lower risk for disruption.

The chance of disruption decreased for every year of experience held by the case manager for the first adoption.

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