Adoption dissolutions or disruptions are a tragedy for everyone–the child, the parents, and the family. What can we do to prevent them from happening, how do we know when they are inevitable and what to do if an adoption failure becomes inevitable? In this course, we talk with Dr. Richard Barth, Professor at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, and a researcher in the area of adoption and adoption dissolution and disruption; and Stephen Hayes, an adoption attorney with more than 35 years experience specializing in adoption and foster care. He is a member of the Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys and has been recognized in Best Lawyers in America and Wisconsin Super Lawyers.  

This course covers the following topics:

  • What is the distinction between adoption dissolution and adoption disruption?
  • Failed adoptions. Displacement vs. dissolution.
  • There is not a lot of research in the area of the adoption dissolutions and the research that does exist often does not distinguish between adoption disruption and adoption dissolution. What does the research show about how common are adoption dissolutions?
  • Is adoption failure more common with older child adoption?
  • Why do families struggle post-adoption to the point of considering dissolving the adoption?
  • How can we help families manage expectations and to form realistic expectations?
  • It’s easy to “blame” the child, but what can parents do to prepare in advance for adopting an older child?
  • Physical issues are seldom the cause for an adoption failing. Emotional issues are a far more common cause.
  • Educational struggles. Parents having unrealistic expectations of how their child will perform in school.
  • Impact of trauma.
  • Attachment issues.
  • Issues between children already in the family with the new child.
  • Lack of adequate resources and a family’s ability to pay for them.
  • Lack of insurance coverage for mental health.
  • Marital strains caused by parenting a child who has challenging behaviors.
  • Where can families go for help if they are struggling?
  • How can families know when they have given it enough time?
  • If you believe that an adoption is going to fail, what steps should a parent take to make it less damaging to the child?
  • Who should the families first contact when they have made up their minds?
  • How to dissolve an adoption legally?
  • Parents worry about being found negligent and/or paying child support. How realistic is that fear?
  • What if parents want to dissolve the adoption to get help in paying for the treatment that their child needs but would still like to remain in the child’s life?
  • How can we support families before they give up?

*This course includes a 1-hour conversational audio lesson, a 10-question quiz, and a certificate of completion with the successful completion of the quiz at 80%. 

Your course will remain active for 180 days from purchase date.

This course aligns with the following regulatory requirements.

Virginia Compliance


*Important Information for agencies on Virginia core competencies.