The Missing: Unadopting A Child

A reader writes:

I agree with the reader who wrote that parenting is not for sissies, and that anything and everything can go wrong, regardless of how your children come into your life. But I want to address a little-discussed aspect of adoption - the parents who give their adopted children "back".

My husband and I had to sign an enormous number of forms stating that we would not hold our agency responsible if anything was "wrong" with our daughter. When I asked about this, I was told this was in response to the people who had tried to "unadopt" because their children who, though appearing healthy at the time of adoption, had gone on to develop cancer, learning disabilities or other problems. A friend of mine who is a lawyer has referenced cases she has worked on regarding this as well, including a case where the parents and the child flew to the child's birth country, checked in to the hotel, and the parents abandoned the child on the streets and returned to the States. Their reasoning? She was turning into a difficult teenager.

It seems like so many people now have this idea in their heads about what their lives will be like, and when things don't turn out that way, they bail. I'm not trying to minimize the families who dealt with unethical adoption agencies - everyone needs to be honest at the start. But no one can control what will happen in life. Our son, who is not adopted, might end up inheriting my mother's cancer genes. I can't control that. Our daughter, who is adopted, may end up in a car accident and on a feeding tube. But that's life, and that's what happens when you deal with human beings.

Any time you deal with humans, you toss the dice with Fate. That's how it is. And we all know who is going to win.

Another writes:

I am white and my late wife was black. We had two children and wanted to adopt another. A three-year-old girl was placed with us, instead of with her white preschool teacher, who knew her well. Four months later, things collapsed. She had many difficulties that were papered over initially, then described as due to our inadequate parenting style. In the end, we couldn't keep her without damage to our other two kids. Needless to say we weren't interested in risking this trauma again. Twenty years later, I still think of her with sadness.