Our Failed Adoption

There is always a chance your adoption may fail. Read these stories of failed adoptions to learn how other parents coped with heartbreak, and moved forward.

A lonely shoe, metaphorically representing a failed adoption

Our first adoption fell through. A baby was, literally, taken out of our arms. There is not a word to describe that period in out life, short of saying we were devastated, at least until the time our son came home. They say everything happens for a reason, and never could I imagine having any other child, biological or through adoption, that could mean more to us than Bryan. We thank our lucky stars every day. —Nancy

I knew from the start that I wanted to adopt from overseas. Before I chose an agency, I asked a lot of people in online chat groups, and ended up with an agency that worked in several former Soviet Union countries.  I started out adopting from Ukraine, but they closed adoptions to single mothers. On the advice of my adoption agency, I switched to Kazakhstan. —Melody

A week before I gave birth to my daughter, I wanted to back out of the whole thing. I wasn’t ready to be a mother. It wasn’t until she was about two days old, when the pediatrician stuck a needle into her heel for a blood sample and she wept, that I fell for her. About a year later, my best friend turned up at my apartment in the middle of the night. She was eight-and-a-half months pregnant, and guess what? She wanted to back out. Twenty years later, we are shuttling our beloved girls, the lights of our lives, to and from college, and we look back and laugh. We didn’t fall in love with our babies right away, but when we did, it was forever. When I later adopted my other children, it was a blessing to remember those days of uncertainty. They were about parenthood, not about children. –AF reader

We had just begun to recover from a very rare infant adoption disruption case, in which we had to place our eight-month-old baby in a special-needs home after just five months at home. We had decided, only weeks prior to "the call," to throw our hearts back out there and hope to be chosen by a birth mother for an open adoption. I was standing on a ladder in our family room, preparing our four-year-old's bulletin board for new projects from her pre-school, when the phone rang, and our case worker asked us to both get on the phone. Our hearts stopped.

Our immediate thoughts were fears that the special-needs baby from the previous adoption had become gravely ill. We were wrong. It was "the call" that a birth mother had chosen us for her healthy newborn baby. We were completely shocked and incredibly excited! How could we be so blessed! We immediately began a series of phone calls among our agency, our lawyer, our pediatrician and our family, making arrangements and spelling out our fears based on our previous experience. We packed our bags that night and left in the early hours of the morning for a three-hour trip to the hospital, where we met our daughter's birth mother and held our daughter for the first time. These are moments that will be forever a part of our souls — the call, the meeting, and the first time holding. We play those moments over in our heads with incredible joy and appreciation, none of which would have been possible without the selfless act of love from our daughter's birth mother — to choose an adoption plan for her child. —Maureen & Matt

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