When a child doesn’t want to be adopted

In my last post I mentioned that we had started reviewing information online about children who are available for adoption. In the videos I have watched, they ask many of the children if they have thought about adoption and what they think of the possibility of being adopted.

We have, of course, come across many different children who have many varied opinions on adoption in general, and on whether they would like to be adopted themselves. There were a few children who were bold enough to say that they have no desire to be adopted. They each have different reasons for making this statement; some of their reasons are perfectly understandable, and some of their reasons aren’t.

I’ve always thought that family was so important; I guess I failed to realize that not everyone feels the same. Honestly, I don’t know how I missed that. When dealing with children who have had mostly negative experiences with family, I can imagine how they might think that family isn’t so wonderful and that they would be better off on their own.

During our home study interviews, we were asked how we felt about the possibility that a child may never attach. They wanted to be sure that we were aware that it is a possibility, especially when adopting older children. We are aware of that possibility, and we are okay with that; all we can do is try and hope they come around.

I guess even though we knew it was possible that the child would never attach, we didn’t really think through the scenario where the child actively refuses to even consider adoption as a viable solution. The scenario where the child wants to just remain with her foster family until she ages out of the system; the scenario where the child believes that no family will be right for her, or good enough; the scenario where the child is old enough to remember and want to return to her biological family, and has not accepted that she will not be allowed to go back.

Now we’re left having to consider whether we want to take on a child who simply doesn’t want adoption. I’ve always believed that no relationship can work if both sides aren’t trying; relationships can’t be forced.

There are a number of reasons that we could have a child placed with us who just does not want to be here. We have already been approached about one such scenario. I’m a little conflicted, and I’m unsure what to do and how to respond. We might be able to show this child how wonderful family can be. And it’s equally possible that this child will be entirely unwilling to give us that chance.

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About Ellen Cabot

Ellen is a wife and mother of three in the Tampabay area. She has been married for 15 years, and she and her husband are in the process of trying to adopt children from the foster care system. Ellen grew up believing that family is the most important thing, and that your family members are the only people who will always be there for you no matter what. Upon learning that there are children in the foster care system who never find a home simply because they are above the age of 7, she and her family decided that they wanted to provide at least one girl (maybe more!) in foster care with a warm and loving home and a family to call her own forever. Besides adoption, Ellen is passionate about (almost obsessed with) religion, and she enjoys spending time with her family, watching movies, and reading. She is excited to have the opportunity to blog about the adoption process for the community at Families.com!