Older RAD adoptions vs an ugly word (re-homing)
There are few things that can set me off, but the illegal practice of placing a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) in a stranger’s home without legal protections in place for the child, is a major one.
Even the term that is used for this practice, “Re-Homing” is like someone scratching their finger on a blackboard. I absolutely loath that terminology. This practice hasn’t helped adoptions’ reputation, either.
When I became an adoptive parent, I like most adoptive parents, went into it with rose-colored glasses. I liked kids and always wanted children of my own, even though I was single with no prospective husband in sight.
When I found out that single people were adopting children, I jumped at the chance. I’ve had people, who knew about my daughter’s behaviors, ask me if it was worth it? My answer has always been a resounding YES. Do I wish it had turned out differently? Of course, but I learned a lot about myself and know I became a totally different person with a lot more empathy towards parents of children with RAD.
Would I have wanted to place her in a different home? Yes, I always felt she needed something I wasn’t able to give her, a father figure. Would I have felt it was okay to just give her to another family without any legal protections for her or me? No, I don’t think I would have even thought about changing our lives that way.
Now, with the knowledge I have about how successful re-adoptions of children with RAD are when completed legally with the new adopting families receiving all the information on the child so they know what to expect, I would have felt comfortable placing my daughter in a new family.
Education of people, who continue to use negative terminology applied to adopted children, is a major goal of my life. All my life, I have felt that adoption was a positive, loving gesture. That hasn’t changed for me.
I went to college, graduated with a Master’s in Social Work and have worked in adoptions for almost 30 years. I was a director of an infant adoption agency in Utah for nine years. I’ve worked with another agency in Utah for 14 years and for the last 11 years as a program social worker working with families of kids with RAD.
For more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
N. Ann Lamphere, MSW