Could You Give Back Your Adopted Child?

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AdoptionAnita Tedaldi adopted a special needs baby from South America. After spending 18 months with the child, she felt that she and her family failed to bond with him and gave him back.
One day (I’m still not exactly sure what was different about that particular day) I was on the phone with Jennifer, our social worker, who merely asked “what’s up” when I blurted out that I couldn’t parent D., that things were too hard.

What are your thoughts?

Read about her experience in her own words as published by the New York Times and reprinted by the Today Show: Link (image credit: Today Show)

Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

I admire this woman for her good heart to try to adopt in the first place. She wanted to do a great service for this child, but then discovered it was above her abilities. I find that many of her critics have never adopted a special needs child themselves. Do you notice that the person who does nothing- does not go through the immense sacrifice of the adoption process, does not sacrifice any of their time to try to love and care for a special needs child- gets no criticism. People are paid lots of money to care for special needs children that are not their own. This woman not only did not get paid for her time, she probably paid out a lot of her own money for adoption expenses. All she did throughout the adoption process is give. If the child was going to be happy with a different family than she did what is best for the child and for her own family. She saved two families with that decision. Why is it that if a child-care provider quits after 6 months there is no uproar? Even if the child was with the child care provider 10 hours a day? But if someone ADOPTS the child then no quitting is allowed! The baby doesn't know the difference. Our society likes to gang up on good people, and leave people alone who do nothing. This baby is too young to have any recollection of these events. Everyone needs to leave this woman alone. She has gone through enough.
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I wish my adoptive mother had given me back. We never bonded and it was a very painful childhood for me. On the other hand, I do know a man who was given back after adoption and re-adopted. He's a great man who is a person to be admired. I think if this family isn't working out, the child should be offered the option of a better life elsewhere. That's just my opinion. Tim G. has a different one, for instance. At one point in my life, I would have said the same thing of the mother but now I'm older and wiser.
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To answer the title question: no, I couldn't. However, I am familiar with heartbreaking stories of disrupted adoptions, involving older children who abuse siblings or start fires. My heart goes out to those parents. I've also heard about adoptions which are disrupted because a biological parent came forward or some corruption in the process was found. Doubly heartbreaking.

However, I read this story at its original source a few weeks ago, and there were things that disturbed me. I can't put my finger on what the author is trying to accomplish by posting the story. It does not make her look good. Is she trying to justify her decision? Was it really necessary to point out the coprophagia? What adoption agency approved this family with so many existing children and a father who was often called away? And how can she show so little concern about the sisters' attitude toward their brother? I can't pass judgment on such an elusive story, but it doesn't quite add up.
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Maybe this would be a good time to review how babies and children are adopted. Did this person go though any psychological background check? And more importantly perhaps was there any follow-up by agency?
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