Blog// LGBT Adoption

Grieving After a Failed Adoption

If you have been waiting to adopt and your adoption falls through for one reason or another, it is important to take time take time to grieve and heal. It can be difficult to deal with a failed adoption. You will need to take time to grieve and overcome your heartbreak, so you can move forward with the healing and take the next steps in your adoption process.

Healthy Grief

First, take the time you need to grieve. Grieving after an adoption falls through is entirely expected and normal. You may experience denial, anger, bargaining, and depression before getting to acceptance. If possible, take time off work. If you don’t feel like responding to questions about the situation when you go back to work, be sure you have a friend inform coworkers.

When an adoption falls through, you are likely to be emotionally devastated. During this time, you might need comforting from others. If you are invited out to eat with family or friends, try to go along. You might feel better if you vent about your disappointment, or you might just want to discuss something else altogether. Either way, lean on your support system -- this is what they’re there for.

It is important to understand that people grieve differently. Your spouse might be ready to return to work, but you might be stuck in your grief. You might feel the loss horribly, and you might not even be able to be with your friends because you are so overwhelmed. On the flip side, you may not feel overly affected by the situation. That is also fine, as long as you’re able to acknowledge any feelings you do have.

Don’t Dwell or Bottle Up Your Feelings

If the option is available to you, you may benefit from talking with a mental health professional. Try to find a mental health specialist who focuses on grief, infertility, loss, or adoption. You may also benefit from starting a journal about the situation.

Unfortunately, there is no way to know what is going on in someone else’s mind, so there is no need to spend time trying to analyze why the adoption didn’t work out. There are many reasons that adoptions fall through. Talk with the adoption agency or your attorney. If you have questions of a residual nature about why the adoption failed, ask them. You might use this as a learning experience, but be careful that you don’t fall into the trap of dwelling on the past instead of looking forward.

In the end, there are a wide range of ways you might feel, and it’s important to acknowledge that. You might be nervous about proceeding with the adoption process. You might be bitter, and you might have resentment about the process starting over. While it can be scary, and another failure could happen, you must heal and move forward if you are really wanting to adopt. Don’t be in a rush, take your time and move on when you are ready.

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