‘Replacement’ adoptees

In light of the recent ‘disruption’ of a korean adoptee that had been adopted by a diplomat family, a fellow KAD found this on an adoption agency’s website.  I thought it deserved a second look (my thoughts are in parantheses):

When Adoption Can’t Be Forever

Adoption Disruption is an Option

(Also see Indicators of Adoption Disruption” and “A Story of Adoption Disruption“)Contact us regarding Adoption Disruption

When adoptive families start the process of adoption with an agency, they have the good intention of bringing a child into the family permanently. There are times, even with overwhelming love and intervention for the child and family, when the adoption just can’t survive – an adoption dissolution is an option….. (A “forever” family is not necessarily forever in the adoption world!)

…Through a replacement, (WTF????  Replacement?  Lessee…we replace THINGS, not children!) your child may be able to go to a family that can better meet his or her special needs. The new adoptive family may be a better match. There are numerous factors that lead to adoption disruption:

  • The child is an inappropriate match to your family (In other words, you were so fucking impatient in buying a child, you didn’t really do any research regarding the child itself)
  • The adoption agency failed to prepare you for the special needs of the child (B ecause the agency was only interested in the amount of money you could conjure up, they failed to mention that adoption can be extremely traumatic to children!)
  • The child had poor preparation for the adoption process (Yeah, no one told the child that they were going to be taken away from people who looked like them, thrown into an all-white family in an all-white town, and thrust into an entirely different culture.)
  • There are unrealistic expectations of the child or the adoptive parents experience (“Well, we buy stuff on ebay all of the time, and we’re always satisfied with our purchase!”)
  • Your parenting style conflicts with techniques the child responds to the best (He/should have just fit right in.  It’s his/her fault that I lost my temper and banged their head against a wall.  I mean, what kid doesn’t like mac & cheese?”)
  • Lack of a strong support system for your family or you have relatives that disagree with your adoption (It is very stressful when your mother doesn’t understand why you had to buy a china doll when there’s perfectly good white babies out there)
  • Lack of support from your adoption agency (HAHAHA)
  • Failure to assess services for the child that may be needed
  • The child has emotional or attachment issues or past abuse that were unknown to you or were not disclosed at the time of placement by the adoption agency (Sheesh, no one thought that a child dumped by their biological mother would NOT have attachment issues?)

What to tell the child

Honesty is always the best way to handle to emotional process of telling the child about the replacement. It is not the child’s fault but rather factors that have occurred in the family system up to this point. The child must come to understand that just because they are being replaced, that they are still a lovable person. You, as the adult, must accept the responsibility for the replacement, regardless of the perceived situation that precipitated the replacement. In order to help your child transit, you must give them permission to be happy somewhere else. You must not blame the child for the disruption or they will carry it with them into the next placement making the adjustment even more difficult.

A few phrases that maybe appropriate are listed below:

  • “It’s not your fault”
  • “Maybe we weren’t the family that was meant to be your forever family. Maybe we were meant to get you out of (foster care/ the orphanage) and help you get to your forever family”
  • “Our family isn’t the best family for you, you deserve a family who can take care of you the way you need to be able to be taken care of”.
  • “I/We love you and we want what is best for you. We can not meet your needs”.
  • “We have found a counselor who has looked the world over and he/she found a family that is right for you”

Time to grieve and heal

Your family will need time to deal with the replacement emotionally. The loss of the child can be devastating. You may need to start individual, couple, or family counseling to deal with the child’s removal as well as tackle other issues that may have arisen during the crisis. It is important to remember, it’s no one fault.

 This last statement is just so funny.  No one’s fault?  The only one not at fault is the child.  The agency is at fault for not doing the right thing by telling a PAP that raising an adopted child is different than raising a biological child.  Adopted children come with baggage that occurred the moment they were given up.  But agencies don’t really care about the children they are selling; only about the money.


Maybe we should cut off a finger of the agency rep for each disruption.  Hm….they’d either start doing a better job or go out of business.  Either way, it’s win/win for everyone involved.


It’s the PAPs fault too.  Who goes into a planned, supposedly lifetime commitment without doing some research?  Instead of believing that god wants them to have an adopted child, instead of planning yard sales, instead of asking for money on ebay or craig’s list, how about PAPs actually talking with adoptees, reading books, and demanding pre- and post-training?  Nah….too hard for those who only want what they want.


The whole thing sickens me.  I hope it does you too.


~ by eunmi38 on December 15, 2007.

2 Responses to “‘Replacement’ adoptees”

  1. As vintage Domestic Product of the Closed Era, I usually do not wade into International Adoptee territory…as there are plenty of TRA’s to voice their concern and outrage. I mean, I’d much rather hear YOUR point of view on something like this because I have no idea what it’s like to be a TRA or to be a TRA forced to hear about disruptions. There are way more disruptions than I suspected. Then again, I shouldn’t be surprised. They must be selling those Rose Colored International Adoption Glasses at Costco by the bins which are then worn by people stricken with Must-Have-A-Baby-Any-Baby-Now! fever…which can lead, not surprisingly, to massive disappointment or the surprise of one’s life. I liked your post.

  2. I read later that a newspaper interviewed a neighbor/nanny of this diplomatic couple. His point of view was that he sensed the AP was not treating her daughter too kindly.

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