Providing post-adoption services to combat adoption disruption

The provision of post-adoption services to combat adoption disruption

Adoption disruption has severe mental, emotional and financial consequences. Adoption occurs in two stages: initially, a child is assigned adoptive parents and moves into a home, followed by the legal recognition of the adoption. Adoption disruption refers to the reversal of the adoption in the first stage, and a dissolution in the second. An estimated 20% of adopted children in the United States require relocation to foster care, care homes or placement with new adoptive parents. This study seeks to examine the impact of a cost effective and convenient post-adoption service in collaboration with an international NGO. The provision of such an operational tool will provide insight into how relationships, well-being and satisfaction can be improved within the adoption service.



The challenge

According to UNICEF, 153 million children are considered orphans worldwide. Despite this, the adoption process is one that is often overlooked, and a result, an incredibly low proportion of orphans are adopted annually.

According to Child Welfare Information Gateway, the cost of adopting a child can be between $5,000 to $60,000, depending on the service and whether the adoption is domestic or international. Studies of different populations throughout the United States have shown that the disruption rate for adoption is between 10-25%. When there is no option for placement in a new home, the cost of disruption becomes the responsibility of the care system.

Children’s Rights posit that young people who “age out” of the foster system are often faced with lower educational achievement, homelessness and unemployment, with an estimated cost of $4.1 billion for each new group. Numerous studies have concluded that there is a lack of and need for post-adoption services within the adoption process.

The intervention

This study will be done in collaboration with an international NGO that works to eliminate health and social disparities. Through a carefully designed program, families will receive education, support, and advice in areas such as attachment, discipline, trauma, communication and child development. 

The potential impact

An effective post-adoption service can have meaningful global impact when implemented within the adoption process, providing valuable support and resources for families globally, and hence significantly reducing the cost of adoption disruption. Benefits for children and adoptive parents can include information and educational support, counselling to address challenges, support groups that are critical to the sharing of experiences, improvement in quality of life and development, and more. As a result, orphans can experience greater educational and career opportunities, which can contribute to overall better outcomes in society.