Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

13.34 Adoption Disruption

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter 13-Adoption Services
13.34 Adoption Disruption

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Legal Authority/Introduction


The decision to remove a child from an adoptive family prior to the legalization of the adoption is made with the same seriousness and forethought that is given to removing a child from his birth family.


The SSW: 

  1. Provides services to the child if disruption issues arise and focuses on the following:
    1. Providing counseling for the child to understand the reason the adoption disrupted, including allowing the child to enter feelings and information about the disruption in their lifebook;
    2. Alleviating self blame and working toward increased self-esteem;
    3. Helping the child to identify any growth experiences as a result of the placement; and
    4. Assessing the child’s readiness for another adoptive placement and the type of adoptive family the agency should seek for the child;
  2. Notifies the Adoption Services Branch manager at central office in writing within four (4) working days, upon consideration of the issue of disruption, to plan a conference for addressing the following issues:
    1. Issues of concern in the placement;
    2. Resources that have been used;
    3. Other resources that may be helpful;
    4. The pros and cons of continuing the placement;
    5. If the placement continues, identifying additional services and resources to be used;
    6. When disruption is the plan, discussing the placement alternatives and updating the presentation summary to reactivate the child in the family and child matching process; and
    7. When siblings are involved and separation of siblings is being considered by anyone, policy regarding separation of siblings is followed (SOP 13.9 Sibling Relationship Decisions).

Practice Guidance

  • The planning conference includes the following participants:
    • Adoptive parents;
    • Recruitment and certification (R&C) worker or private child placing (PCP) provider if a PCP foster parent adoption;
    • R&C supervisor;
    • Service providers, if applicable;
    • Service region administrator (SRA) or designee (optional);
    • Former SSW (optional); and
    • Child, when appropriate.




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