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Moving Forward after a Failed Adoption

iStock_000000930817XSmallA failed adoption is a devastating experience for potential adoptive parents. If you’ve already adopted or it’s your first connection, it’s always the same heartbreaking experience. When prospective adoptive parents apply for an adoption, their goal is to create a family, and when a planned adoption fails it’s normal to feel devastated. Here are ways you can get through this difficult time and hold on to your dream of adopting a baby.

1. Don’t make any rash decisions.

What you’re feeling is intense, and you may feel angry, betrayed, and confused. This is usually why people make spur-of-the-moment decisions and decide to write to their agency or a birthmother. Let’s be honest, that’s not going to make your feelings go away. If you want to write a letter, do so, but wait a week before you send it so you can read it again and decide if you really want to send it.

2. Take some time.

Before you’re ready to move on with your everyday life, you may need a little break. Take some time so you can allow yourself and your partner to grieve. Grief is the process that happens naturally after devastating news. You need to go through it to heal and have the courage to move forward with the adoption process.

3. Don’t blame yourself.

“I’ve answered all the questions fully and honestly, but there must have been something wrong with my answers.” Thinking like this can only lead to negativity.  Rather than blame yourself or others, set your eyes on the next steps.

4. Receive help from friends and family.

Sometimes, after a failed adoption, you just want to be alone. This is normal, but it can’t last forever. Your friends and family will be there for you, so talk to them when you feel ready. Accept their invitations to hang out. After a nice day in the park you might feel better.

5. Join a support group.

It is always a good idea to share your experiences and talk about your feelings. Join a support group to talk with others who have gone through the same obstacles through adoption. It will benefit you to learn healthy coping strategies to move forward and heal. Searching for personal blogs and articles on this topic is also a great way to find online support as well.

6. Think about what you want to do next.

When you feel ready to make some major decisions, talk with your adoption professional about your next steps. It may be hard to be optimistic, but if you really want a family, the worst thing you can do is to give up. Maybe you’ll need some time to move forward after a failed adoption, and that’s normal. Most importantly, don’t ever lose hope. When you feel ready to proceed again with the adoption process, keep your entrusted team close to you for education, empathy, and support. They value your best interest, and know that achieving your family dreams can take resilience, but it is completely worth the emotional investment when you welcome your baby home.