Parent-to-Parent: How to Get Through a Failed Match or Placement?

We asked our readers what advice they would give to a hopeful adoptive parent who just had an adoption situation fall through. Read the answers.

parents share best advice for those going through failed adoption match

On our Facebook page (, we asked readers, What’s the best advice you would give to a prospective adoptive parent who just had a potential adoption situation (expectant mother match or foster placement) fall through? Here’s what you said:

After we’d gone through three failed matches, I told a friend, ‘I don’t know if we can keep doing this.’ She replied, quite simply: ‘What else are you going to do?’ I mean, we lived life. We would live life waiting forever, if that’s what it took. Luckily it didn’t. Number four was our lucky baby. Don’t. Give. Up.” —JACKIE

It’s devastating. You simply grieve and move through it. When the right baby or child comes, the pain will fade and you will give yourself fully to your child. The human heart is amazing!” —DEBRA

“‘Your child will find you.’ It helped us twice and it couldn’t be more true of our son. It’s tough to understand while it is happening, but, when time gets between the hopeful parents and this situation, it gets a bit easier. Those that fell through weren’t meant to be our children.” —RENÉE

It’s OK to not be OK… Please don’t give up… I love you… Let’s go do something… In my case, that last one was a big one. I was depressed. I went to work and went to bed and did a pretty good job of hiding how miserable I was. But I had a couple of friends who invited me to various activities and outings. I didn’t have to talk about my stuff, and we had a lot of fun.” —REBECCA

I learned that an adoption placement fell through just before a dentist appointment. I went even though I was distraught. I laid down in the chair and sobbed and sobbed until the hygienist took pity on me and sent me home without charging me for a missed appointment. I look back at that memory and remember how much pain I was in, and felt no one else other than my husband understood. But now, as a mom to the two most amazing children, I realize it was a part of the journey, one I had to take in order to be matched with my forever babies. We were meant for each other, in a unapologetic karma sort of way. And I wouldn’t have had it any other way.” —SARAH

We were interested in a set of triplets and it just didn’t work out. A few months later, we took our new son to his first real baseball game. There, among thousands of people, were the very same triplets with their new family, two moms in this case. In my mind, it was God’s plan that those kids end up with two moms, not a mom and a dad. We also saw that we really wouldn’t have been ready for triplets as first time parents!” —KATE

Grieve, and remember that grief isn’t a process with a finite end date. Give yourself permission to have space and take the time you need. Please seek out the support of organizations and individuals who can help you process the loss and care for yourself.” —ROBIN



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