Are You a Good Candidate for an Adoptive Parent of a RAD Child?

Isn’t that a dumb question? Parenting children is all about love, right? With a RAD kid, love flies out the window. Everything a loving person tries is rejected.


Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) rewires a child’s brain, so what’s right is wrong and what’s wrong becomes the behaviors of these children. A first-time parent of a RAD child is often confused because they’ve never experienced a child like this.

As a first-time parent of a RAD child, I can relate to how these kids can drive a parent crazy. I’m an advocate for parents of RAD kids and the kids themselves. I have seen miracles happen with RAD kids.

Children running

So many families dealing with a RAD kid’s behaviors, don’t believe there is any hope for their children. This always makes me sad.

I want to yell at the world these kids have been damaged due to their biological parents’ neglect, the foster care’s reunification plans and being shifted from pillar to post, while the juvenile court runs its course.

How would you feel if you had to walk in the shoes of a RAD kid? What would your response have been if it had happened to you before you were 8 or 9 years of age?

Is it better to leave a child in an Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) or find a different living environment? What always bothers me is hearing about parents leaving their child in an RTF or boarding school until the child reaches 18 and then they won’t let the child ever return home.

Listening to a father tell me the “power-people” are telling him his child needs to be in an (RTF) until he’s 18, is so heart-breaking to me. This father wants something better for his son. I totally understand.

Kids and parents

Working for the last 11 years with parents of RAD kids has given me hope. I believe there are parents out there that could be a different option for RAD kids.

I have seen RAD kids do a total 180 turn around in different families. There are success stories all over the place. There have been a few who didn’t want to cooperate with a new family and their behaviors continued unabated.

Believe it or not, at that point, placing that particularly difficult child in a single parent home changes the whole dynamics and the child settles down. We have seen similar results with same-sex couples.

Every once in a while, nothing can help these children. I wish it weren’t so, but it happens. The early damage is just too over powering for the child to come back and live a normal life.

I wish I could help all the parents and their children who need a new environment. All parents of RAD kids need support from their families, communities and power people. They have my unconditional support no matter what.

Thank you for reading my blog.

N. Ann Lamphere, MSW

If you want to hear more about options for parents of RAD kids, please email me at

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