February 4, 2014

Nightlight’s Position on “Re-Homing”

Recently the media has raised public awareness about children whose adoptions have been dissolved and the methods used to find news homes for these children.   The media has dubbed this practice as “rehoming.”    Sometimes these adoptions are called “disrupted adoptions,” but the technical term is dissolved if the adoptive family has already legally adopted the child—either here in the US or abroad.   In cases where a formal adoption did not take place, this is called a disruption.  When people use the term “rehoming,” nearly all children being placed in new homes come from dissolved adoptions.  “Rehoming” –the term for placing a child in another adoptive family—has become a pejorative term,  so some people prefer to use the term  “replacement family” or “readoption to a new family.”

This more intense and serious discussion regarding rehoming was instigated by Reuters’ five-part investigation and report called the “Child Exchange.” Negative terms abounded in the discussion, and some of the adoptive these families were said to have “unwanted” children.  In these stories, we are told of families who found the behaviors of their adopted children too difficult to manage and sought to seek new homes for these children.   Not knowing where to turn, some adoptive parents have posted their desire to find another home for their children on the internet or on rehoming group list serves.

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