Upset woman experiencing a disruption in adoption

What is Adoption disruption?

Adoption disruption is a term used to refer to an adoption plan being disrupted. Commonly, birth parents will be matched with adoptive parents prior to the baby’s birth, and the expectation is the birth parents will follow through with their stated adoption plan and the adoption will go ahead and complete as intended.

Disruption, in the realm of infant adoptions, most often refers to a situation where a birth mother, or sometimes birth parents, who have made an adoption plan decide they will go ahead and parent their child. It is less common for adoptive parents to be the cause of the disruption. Of course, whenever people, and emotions are concerned every individual is unique and every situation is different. Therefore, it is impossible to state a definitive list of reasons why disruptions occur as there are so many variables.

Why might Birth Parents Disrupt?

For many birth parents, adoption is a chosen solution to a crisis pregnancy and is often made out of a sense of desperation. In cases where a birth mother is matched with adoptive parents early on in the pregnancy, she may not be fully aware of the implications of the decision she is making as the baby may not feel real to her. As pregnancy progresses, the baby becomes more tangible to the mother and a bond with her unborn child forms. Unless a birth mother is fully committed to the adoption she may have second thoughts as the pregnancy progresses, and adoption disruption may occur.

Why might Adoptive Parents disrupt?

Adoptive parents may disrupt if they were given false or misleading information about the birth parents’ history. A common cause of disruption occurs when a birth mother states she has not used illegal or prescription substances during her pregnancy, and the baby is later born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). NAS is when the baby shows signs of withdrawal from substances the birth mother took during her pregnancy. In these cases, adoptive parents may have second thoughts about adopting the baby as it may be impossible to tell whether the child will have lasting effects from the substances. Some Adoptive Parents are willing to take the risk, while others are not. Those who are not willing to take the risk will likely disrupt. At this point, a search must be made for new adoptive parents.


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In some cases, adoptive parents who have experienced fertility issues sometimes become pregnant after they have given up on having a biological child and have committed to an adoption plan. In these cases, Adoptive Parents may either cancel the adoption plan or postpone the adoption plan to a later date. If the adoptive parents have been matched with a birth mother the adoption plan will disrupt, but the birth mother will be re-matched with another set of adoptive parents if she is agreeable.

What can help prevent Adoption disruption?

Openness and honesty are good ways to prevent disruptions. If all parties were to be completely open and honest about every aspect of the adoption, disruptions would be substantially reduced. Oftentimes, birth parents are so desperate for the financial assistance they will claim they want to make an adoption plan when really this is not their intention. In these cases, the disruption will usually occur at the hospital shortly before or after the birth. It occurs at this point because the pretense cannot continue for obvious reasons. In addition, if birth parents were to be completely open and honest about health information and openly disclose all known facts about their own, and their family’s health, and mental health history, a birth mother could be matched with adoptive parents who are willing to deal with any health issues which may occur with the baby later in life.

adoption disruption

Supporting the birth mother emotionally throughout her pregnancy is another way to prevent disruptions. When adoptive parents and birth mothers form a close bond, the chances a birth mother will go through with the adoption are greatly increased. After all, a birth mother is going to be trusting the adoptive parents with the most precious thing she has, her child. A bond and trust are very important if she feels committed to the adoption.

In addition, a birth mother should have the opportunity to have counseling to enable her to work through her emotions, thoughts, and feelings. She should have the opportunity to process her emotions and be prepared for the adoption so that she can feel committed to the decision. She should be encouraged to share her decision with those closest to her, friends and family, and she should be encouraged to surround herself with people who will support her decision without judgment.

What does Florida Adoption Center do to minimize Adoption disruption?

The Directors of the Florida Adoption Center recognized the major reasons for disruptions and created a program designed to minimize them. Our program is different from most in that we have developed a Crisis Pregnancy program that helps birth mothers whether they choose an adoption plan or not. This eliminates the need to state adoption as the intended parenting plan. We also match our birth parents with adoptive parents much later in the pregnancy when the birth mother is more committed to the decision. In addition, we offer counseling to all our birth mothers throughout their pregnancies, to enable them to process their emotions and come to a committed decision. We want our birth mothers to have the opportunity to be fully committed to their adoption plan, for the right reasons.

There are many other things we do differently in our program, and we would love the opportunity to share this information with you. If you have questions we would really like to hear from you. We would also like to hear about any experience you may have had in your own adoption adventure.

Our Crisis Pregnancy Program

There are many other things we do differently in our program, and we would love the opportunity to share this information with you. Contact our adoption team today to see how we can help with adoption disruption.

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