Mom and child on a hike

How Often do Adoptions Dissolve? 

Just as no one marries with the plan for divorce in the back of their mind, no one spends hours and hours preparing for an adoption with the idea to dissolve it “if things don’t work out.” But the fact remains that sometimes adoptions do dissolve after finalization. Many in the adoption community frequently ask: just how often do adoptions dissolve after they are finalized and the children are home?

Sadly, that’s a very difficult statistic to find. No single entity or governing body keeps track of this number. There is no national database on adoption failures. Therefore, we have to rely on representative samples within the adopted population.

Those statistic also vary based on the age of the child at adoption. In one study by Dr. Trudy Festinger, of about 200,000 children adopted from foster care, less than 1% dissolved after adoption.

For more information on this study and others, listen to the Creating a Family radio show on Adoption Dissolutions: How Common, What are the Causes, How to Prevent. Also, check out this Creating a Family blog on How Common Are Adoption Dissolutions.

If you are interested in learning more about how to support a family through adoption dissolution, NACAC has this resource to can help you understand the challenges for families and kids and this resource for what happens when an adopted child or foster child returns to the foster system.