What Is Real Love for Parents of RAD Children?

I have strong feelings about helping parents, who through no fault of their own, have decided that in the best interests of their child and the rest of their family to try to find a different family for their child.

Ann and Kara

Adoption is such a flash point for positive and negative comments.  The internet is rife with people expressing their opinions about something they know little about. 

Angry outbursts of other adoptive parents are what most adoptive parents struggling with a traumatized child, fear the most. The condemnation is so hurtful. Without knowing the full story, people feel they have the right to rake the adoptive family over the coals of hatred.

What is the full story?

All of us adoptive parents go into the adoption process with love of children. Some feel that God has called them to adopt, others want to be parents, but physical problems prevent them from having biological children, and others feel that they want to share their lives with children living in poor countries and give them a better life.

None of us have gone into adoption to be parents of early childhood trauma kids. We want to believe that after an adjustment period, the child will settle in and grow to love us as much as we are programmed to love them. The majority of children do just that. They assimilate into our homes and learn to love us and nobody questions the parents about their adoption struggles.

When a child, a victim of Developmental Trauma Disorder (a term I prefer to Reactive Attachment Disorder), is adopted, the new parents are not usually aware that they have a holy terror in their home. They try everything they know how to do to change the child’s behaviors. Nothing works.

How many years does it take for families to recognize that their child’s behaviors are beyond them? Most families are aware they may need to do something drastic when the child doesn’t respond to any traditional parenting or therapies or has never bonded with their parents, especially the mother figure.

Defiant kid

Because of the stigma attached to finding another family with different triggers, the family becomes overly concerned about placing the child into a different family environment. Instead, they try Residential Treatment Facilities (RTF) or Residential Boarding Schools with the hope the child will do well and stay there until they reach 18.

What happens when the child turns 18? Where do they usually wind up? Would you like to venture a guess or are you a parent that feels you no longer want to parent that child?

Children learn more difficult behaviors in an RTF. They don’t usually learn survival skills or job skills in the RTF. They are just warehoused in those facilities.  They do not learn what it means to have a family they can depend on.

The question I have for the families that abandon their children, but can’t let go enough to have them adopted by another family that might just be a better fit for their children. What do you benefit from that? Do you feel you’re protecting society?


I can honestly say, you’re putting society at risk because setting a child out of a safe environment with no skills and little understanding of the real world is putting the child at risk for drug abuse, criminal activities and prison time.

I think it’s time for the negative commenters to learn what really happens if a traumatized child does not have a safe environment to grow up in. They also need to STOP condemning families who love their child enough to give them a chance for life with another family. THAT’S WHAT REAL LOVE IS!!!

Thanks for reading my blog. Constructive comments are always appreciated.

My email is lamp1685@yahoo.com

Check out my FB page: My Adoption Life

N. Ann Lamphere, MSW

Published by annla1441

Adoption Social Worker. Lived in Utah

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