Adoption in Media — Reuters Report on “Re-homing”

Important Letter from our colleague, Ellen Warnock, at Catholic Charities in Baltimore…

Dear Families,

Earlier this week, Rueters News Agency and NBC published an investigation about adopted children whose parents felt they could not longer parent them, and who chose to find new families for their children.  These cases led to severe child endangerment.  It is a terribly disturbing investigation into a relatively few number of cases, but horrific regardless of the numbers.

Please note that your children may have heard about this investigation through the internet, on television, or radio, even if they have not told you about it. It is incomprehensible enough for adults to absorb this information, much less children. Information like this may cause them to feel insecure about their adoption, or wonder if their adoption is permanent.  We encourage you to be proactive about this.  Watch this investigation yourself, and talk about it with your spouse or other close family member. Then, you may want to talk to your child about this issue, and then watch the video with your child.  Call Catholic Charities if you would like some guidance about this conversation.  You should make sure that your child knows no matter what their behavior is, you are committed to be a family forever.

Catholic Charities encourages any family who is experiencing insurmountable problems in parenting their adopted child to contact us. We know that several families have found their own legitimate out-of-home resources (residential care, respite care, psychiatric hospitalization, foster care), and we commend you for your commitment to your children. However, if those resources are not available to you, you should never find yourselves in the position of having to resort to finding a replacement home for your child without the assistance of your adoption agency. We can help find support for you, and if necessary, legal and ethical ways to find a safe and prepared new adoptive family.

The adoption community has published a response to the investigation, calling for further protections and services for adoptive families. (see the article below). There are links for you to connect with national adoption groups for guidance in contacting your federal congressional representative, calling for their support in making changes in the law, and in providing post-adoption services for all families.  Thank you for your attention and consideration to this important issue.

Ellen Warnock, LCSW-C Associate Administrator Center for Family Services Adoption Program A Program of Catholic Charities’ Child & Family Services Division 2601 N. Howard Street Suite 200, Baltimore, MD  21218