Disrupted Adoption of 5-Year-Old

While scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook today, I saw a post by Second Chance Adoptions shared in a group of which I am a member. The post was advertising the rehoming of a little girl adopted from China who has been in the United States for less than two months.

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Starting with the very first sentence, this post makes me so angry. Children are not a commodity that can just be discarded, and the wording that this living girl is an “Asian baby doll” perpetuates the infantilization and commodification of adoptees.

In the Parents for Ethical Adoption Reform Facebook group, several members reported seeing posts from the couple who adopted this girl, saying they no longer wanted her once they found out that her medical issues had not been resolved, but they were encouraged to finalize the adoption and disrupt once they were back in the United States. This means that the couple left China with this girl, never intending to raise her.

She has been with this couple (I will not use the word her “family”) less than one month, and they are choosing to rehome her, citing that her needs, therapies, and individual attention are overwhelming. She has been home ONE MONTH! Not only does she have medical complications, she is newly traumatized having to get used to a new country, new people, new sounds and smells and everything around her. Adoptive parents sign up to handle a child’s traumas when they choose to adopt. Moreover, people give up control when they have children – through birth or adoption, not knowing what needs, personalities, and love might come their way. If the couple had conceived a child biologically who had special needs, chances are they would not have placed that child for adoption. But because this girl was adopted – special ordered – and the “product” they received was not what they had imagined, she can be disposed of easily.

The post asks people to “please write if you’d like to be considered for her forever family through adoption.” What does “forever family” mean to a little girl who has a family in China, who likely relinquished her because they couldn’t afford her medical treatments – to a girl who had a second set of people adopt her and promise to be her “forever family,” to love her as their own, to care for her through adulthood, and then less than a month of being together relinquish her. To this little girl, why would a third set of caregivers become “forever family?”

The people she is currently living with will consider Evangelical Christians who are committed to teaching her about the love of Christ as her next potential adoptive parents. Perhaps they should be more concerned with finding a loving home for her who will actually keep her, which their “personal relationship with Jesus” couldn’t even do for her.

*** Edit: The Second Chance Adoptions page removed the wording where they called the girl a “little Asian baby doll,” which is perhaps the only positive movement in this story. The administrators of the Second Chance Adoptions Facebook page have, however, been promptly removing critical comments on their post, silencing the voices of adoptees and those who oppose adoption disruption, which effectively negates the initial step forward.


27 responses to “Disrupted Adoption of 5-Year-Old

  1. These re-homers make me positively ill, and my heart goes out to the traumatized child. She does not deserved to be passed around like a hamster or other inconvenient pet. Lining the parents from this “family” up in front of a firing squad would be too good for them. These people should never be allowed to adopt any sentient being ever again, for they’ve proved overwhelmingly that they are spineless and lack the commitment and compassion it takes. I say this as an adoptive parent of 13 years.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Welderbeth: In some cases, a disruption in adoption is based on resources and finding what is best for the child despite how much it hurts the family to do so. One bad apple does not make the whole batch that way. I am not particular about this case, but there are cases where a child needs more than the family and community can provide. If another family/community can provide long term and the process is intense to ensure the child’s (not anyone else’s) interest is best…:that is the goal to ensure that child does not have any failures or falls thru the cracks. The system and doctors are famous for dismissal.


        • If a home study and interviewing are properly done, adoption agencies should not be licensing prospective adoptive parents who are unable to meet the needs of the child or who are unable to find the resources for that particular child in their community. Due to unknown factors, some placements may disrupt, but adoption disruption and dissolution should happen much less than they do currently. The adults involved need to remember that each additional disrupted placement is an additional trauma to these children and truly reflect on this before accepting placement of a child.


  2. This is so terrible and SO MANY PEOPLE don’t realize that this shit happens. I think your analysis about the consumerism of adoption is spot-on (“This parenting thing isn’t what I thought it would be so can I get a refund?”) Every once and a while I’ll go onto the Second Chance Adoption site and stare in horror. Once, there was a child that had been adopted at 2 from a Central American country who was being re-homed at AGE 11. Oh, it’s infuriating. Agencies have got to get better about preparing parents to understand what they’re committing to. You don’t get to rehome your biological kids if things come up. Why on God’s green earth would you get to because the kid is adopted? This is why we need to #flipthescript. Thanks for sharing this.


    • Some adoptive parents have said that agencies encourage parents to finalize the adoption just to get kids to the U.S. even though they don’t want to raise the child. That is so misguided and fraudulent. And the whole religious piousness of it — if people want to do unscrupulous deeds or suddenly decide that they can’t handle a situation that signed up for, can they please just admit to it and not call it a “part of God’s plan?”


  3. Wow wow wow. This is so sad… and it happens all too often. These are human lives, I just don’t get it. Thank you for sharing this and continue to spread awareness of this.


      • I understand it’s easy to judge this couple but look at the silver lining. This girl is going to get a loving family who wants her and is capable of caring for her. The older the child overseas the less likely she would be adopted and have a family. For the second adopting family this child will be an answered prayer, loved and wanted!


        • Isabelle, I wouldn’t exactly call that a silver lining in this situation. Second adoptions through unregulated internet custody transfers are oftentimes dangerous for adoptees. Many end up in homes with people who would not be able to get past the pre-adoption screenings required by adoption agencies, who are not prepared for medical challenges, and who, in the worst situations, are physically, emotionally, and sexually abusive and exploitative of these children. I encourage you to read this Reuters investigation on the practice of rehoming adopted children: https://www.reuters.com/investigates/adoption/#article/part1

          Additionally, I wrote this brief paper on rehoming as a part of an application to a research fellowship that exposes some of the concerns with rehoming and why we cannot think of a situation that involves rehoming as a silver lining. https://redthreadbroken.wordpress.com/2019/04/17/life-update-rehoming-paper/


  4. This makes me so angry. The homestudy social worker either didn’t do a good job at checking out these families or the families were good liars. Never in a million years would i have thought of disrupting any of my 4 adoptions and there have been challenges. How many losses can these children handle? I can’t even stand the name of the group…Second Chance Adoptions.


    • Absolutely, the social worker should have asked them questions like, “How will you handle things if this child has more special needs/ undiagnosed special needs than the referral indicates when you already have two special needs children at home? What resources — emotional/ financial do you have in place so that you will be able to respond to caring for her appropriately should that be the case?” And I’m sure there was lying on the AP side, since they articulated they didn’t want the child while they were still in China.


  5. Having grown up with a special needs brother, and having adopted special needs children it is better that Second Chance finds her a home that works then she flounder in a home that is unprepared to take care of her. It is one of those times, unless you have walked the walk…. dont judge someone who is, and trying to do their best…. And yes. Parents do give up their bio kids all the time because they have needs… I am raising three such kids.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There seems to be a misunderstanding among some adoptive parents and agencies these days. Finalizing an adoption with the intention of moving a child to a different country with no intent to raise that child is beyond fraudulent — it is literally child trafficking.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: “Forever families” returning adopted children – Harlow's Monkey·

  7. This breaks my heart. If a child has seizure disorder, part of that is that seizure can recur (even if previously well controlled) at times of stress and growth in a child (or adult’s) life. Seizures are kind of like diabetes that way – they can be controlled but they don’t generally just “go away.” To adopt a child because you think they are NSN (non-special need as a-parents used to say) and then reject them once you discover they truly have a special need is cruel. Where is their research into this special need? Where is the support plan they should have been required to make prior to adopting a child with a special need? A few doctor’s appointments and therapy is too much? It boggles the mind.


    • This couple certainly should have been required to show the support network and resources they have available. And you’re right about research, too. No one adopting from China these days should be surprised by getting a child with special needs/more severe needs than originally stated, and the agency should have prepared them for that. Errors on all sides in cases like these.


  8. This poor child. My heart goes out to her. Why take her to the states and do this?

    I will say that I know of families that had to relinquish rights. Sometimes a child needs intensive residential treatment and the only way to get it is to relinquish rights to the state you are in.

    We adopted kids with some complex issues. People thought we’d relinquish when it got hard (we didn’t) and it was so hurtful. I blog about complex trauma and adoptive parenting.

    I’ve never heard of a 2 month relinquishment. I have heard of desperate families looking for help. It’s a shame they all get lumped together.


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