Adoption Voices

Failed Placements


Failed Placements

Group is for individuals who have experienced a failed placement whether recently or in the past.

Members: 94
Latest Activity: Oct 21, 2012

Discussion Forum

Moving Forward 5 Replies

Started by Tracey. Last reply by Suzanne Margarit Oct 21, 2012.

Broken hearted 16 Replies

Started by Holly Ward. Last reply by Andrea Sep 21, 2010.

Can't do this again 3 Replies

Started by Amy Klick. Last reply by Missy Romeis Sep 13, 2010.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Sad the US doesn't protect kids on May 2, 2012 at 9:18am

No one please ever do business with Bethany Christian Services Iowa.

Comment by Becky on March 30, 2012 at 9:33pm

Our adoption is open.  We keep a flickr site that our birthmom, dad, and grandparents all can check.  We comment on pictures.  We also have texted a few times after doctors appointments and things.  We have said if we are ever in her area we will let her know and we'd love for our little guy to see her and her family. :)

Comment by Mommy M on March 30, 2012 at 3:13pm

Michelle, I think that you asked a question about how open our adoptions are? Most of our adoptions are all very open but since there different family dynamics with all each is a bit different.

Our oldest (his is 5yo) is through a surrogate that donated her egg. She and I talk on the phone at least 2-3 times a week as well as email and Facebook, often daily.

Second son is 2 and is going to be adopted through foster care, hopefully by summer.  His birth-mother volutarily reliquished her parental rights and now we visit about once a quarter and text every few weeks.  It is still early in the process so we are still working that relationship out.

And our youngest was placed right from the hospital by his 15yo bm. She and I texted once or twice a month and visit once or twice a year.

I have my Facebook profile open to the public so they do not have to be my friends to view pics of the little treasures, but two of the three are my friends anyway. 

Hope this helps.  Best of luck!

Comment by Michelle A. on March 29, 2012 at 11:01pm

Renaie,  First, Congratulations on finally having your little miracle.  How funny..I tried to do elephants (because I love them), but I came up short in decor when I tried to find it. 

I also wonder how many of the women writing have open or semi open adoptions with their birthmothers and what perimeters have been made?


I am grateful for the time you took to share your story with me and give us some comfort in knowing there are success stories and many after a failed placement.  Sometimes I feel like it will never happen and sometimes I feel very optimistic.  The more stories that are told to me the more hope it gives me.

If we were already matched I'd insist that our agency especially being a small more private agency, that our worker would tell the birthmother of our experience.  I feel it would be somewhat dishonest for her not to know.  On the other hand, I can hear my adoption worker telling me that the birthmother doesn't need to be burdened with our failed placement.  Everyone wants to coddle the birthmother.  And I did too initially, but after this heartbreak, I am angry that our feelings weren't considered more until the actual end when it only became about us and our loss.

I did hear some good news if you want to call it that.  The birthmother's father (not the birthfather, but her father) who was supportive of the adoption and her choosing us all the way through and even after she revoked her consent wrote us an email.  He said that he was very sorry she took him from two wonderful people who would have showered him with love and he knew how much we had to offer him.  He told us that he will guard him and watch over him and make sure he is safe.  He also said that we can contact him if we want to know how he is doing.  I will write back eventually, but right now it's too much to hear.  I can't envision him anywhere else right now.  I want to hold on to the memories I had with him.  I can still feel his little body against my chest. 

I will continue to pray for that special birthmother, the right one for us.  Leaving it in God's hands, but I hope he works really fast.

Thank you Ranae.  I hope others will continue to share their stories.  It has helped so much to hear others have gone through this and came out on the opposite side and are now parenting their little loved ones.



Comment by Renae Nicholson on March 29, 2012 at 9:36am


I am so sorry you are having to go thru this.  I agree with the others to continue praying and to keep looking forward.

We went thru a devastating failed placement in August of 2010.  For the next 6 months we waited, prayed, cried, sought answers from God, etc.  in February we were chosen by another birth mom and in May, 9 months to the day that the other birth mom chose to parent, our daughter was born.  She will be a year in less than 2 months and her mere presence has soothed so much of the ache.  Also, our daughter's birth parents were made aware by our agency that we had gone thru an awful failed placement.  The agency warned them that we might be a bit more reserved.  I made sure that the agency had told the birth parents but I felt it was their responsibility to actually tell them, not ours.


As far as the birth mom still contacting you, I would refer her to your agency or attorney (whichever is appropriate).  You DO NOT have to have any contact with her.  Block her number, etc, whatever you have to do.  Right now is about taking care of you and your husband and allowing yourselves the time and space to grieve.  And definitely stop checking out the facebook page - occasionally now I'll go and look but it's been over 18 months and I feel like I can truly pray for her without dying a little inside.


We had an elephant theme and did the same thing - just shut the door.  Now and then I'd go in and sit and pray for the baby that would be ours.  Eventually my husband and I would both go in every night together and pray for whatever little life would come into that room.


Praying for peace for you!

Comment by Michelle A. on March 27, 2012 at 12:35am

Hi Becky,  Thank you for taking your time to share your story with me.  I am so happy for you knowing how this hard journey is for many others out there.  I am definitely not giving up.  It certainly has made us learn so much.  The best thing is that we have no doubts that we are ready to be parents and that we have so much love to give. 

I really would like this next birthmother to know some about our failed placement, but I feel if I tell her she may question us and wonder "why' she changed her mind? Was it us? or was it really about the little boy?  My agency is suggesting we present it like we "fostered" him without giving all the gorey details just and present all the good things that it left us with.  Would you suggest if you were us for the our adoption worker to inform her?  or let it be?  I thought maybe if we find the right birthmother and birthfamily for us, that we will an honest relationship so maybe then in time I can explain to her.    I have closed the door to the nursery after putting every trace of anything in there.  Fortunately, we have a penguin theme, and I think penguins can be neutral if we add a touch of some color if it turns to be we were meant to have a girl.  I know the things we had for him will always be special in my heart as he will be.  This birthmother has no scruples and has a mental illness which is and always has been my concern.  I am certainly an advocate for special needs since I was a special ed teacher for 15 years however, I also know what is not a good situation.  She has no couth either, she's got him plastered all over her facebook flaunting him.  I quit visiitng the page, I couldn't bare it.  I have hundreds of our own photos.  What do you do with those.  Pack them aways too I suppose.  I feel like I'm being unfeeling by doing that, but he's not ours any longer and to have them around is painful to look at.  Pictures or not, he's in our hearts and minds.   I know this family would have never given us peace so for that I am grateful for god's protection from them.  I am cautious and guarded moving forward and there is a birthmother in the wings we have to update our profile for.  It will be hard to do all this again, but I got a taste of what having a child will be like and it makes me want to be a mom all that much more!

Comment by Becky on March 26, 2012 at 9:58pm

michelle, your story brings back so many feelings for's crazy how this journey can make you cry in an instant.    My heart hurts for what you are going through.  But let me tell you do NOT give up.  My husband and I had two failed placements. One was very similar to the one you are experiencing.  We had our baby girl home with us.  We bonded with her birth family.  We even had a beautiful ceremony when they placed her in our arms.  They changed their minds and continued to string us along going back and forth for months after they took her back with them.  It was such a heart wrenching feeling.  I've never felt so empty and helpless.   After waiting close to a year and already going through another failed match we just didn't know if we could do more. We waited another year with no potential matches.   The day I was scheduled to go BACK to the dreaded infertility doctor because I just wanted a family and didn't think we could go through another failed attempt at adoption we got the call about Cayden's birthparents.  Now that he is home with us, he is almost 5 months old I KNOW why we went through what we did.  Our relationship with HIS birthparents is so much better.  He is the reason everything happened.  We didn't tell Cayden's birthmom and dad the details about our failed adoptions but our agency did tell them what we had been through.  I'm glad they did.  It made them so much more open with us KNOWING what we had been through.  The night before we were able to take Cayden home they wanted to spend time with him alone.  They asked us if it was okay and told us over and over again they were NOT changing their minds.  They actually told us that even though they knew we had been through hell (for lack of better words)  they were SO glad our other attempts had failed because without them failing they wouldn't have us to take care of their little boy.  They are two of the most amazing people I've ever met.  I still and ALWAYS will wonder about the 2 babies that are with their birthparents.  I know they will be okay and are loved.  The best advice someone gave me is it is okay to cry.  I shut the door to the nursery and we didn't change the decor until Cayden came home with us.  Poor little boy came home in a pink carseat....that is how confident we were in our previous match with the little girl.  I have SO MUCH pink in my attic now that I will probably never use but I still can't seem to let it all go.  Time does make things better.  Use this time to travel, do fun things as a couple.  Once your baby is home and it WILL happen he/she will be so incredibly loved by a couple who has been through such a hard road to find them.  Your marriage will be stronger and well just trust me when i say don't give up!  I almost did.  I wouldn't change ANY part of our journey, even the infertility.  Would I have thought that 6 months that point i thought i'd never be a mom.   I was convinced.  Hang in there!!!

Comment by Michelle A. on March 25, 2012 at 11:12am

Tracey, I thank you for your generous time and reassurance.  We know this will somehow make us stronger and we will persevere.  I could have never imagined the heartache of others until going through this experience.  We have to heal and hold onto the time we had with him.  Anger has no place for us.  We want to remember his little face when he was in our arms, watching him sleep, and all the little faces that touched our hearts.  I remember crying the first time he fell asleep in my arms and the first time I danced with him to a lullabye.  Those are the memories I will cherish and find peace in.

For the nursery, it is all tucked away.  We decided we would do much like you and keep it as is because we, especially me, put my whole heart in it to make it special for a child of our own.  We will add a few touches just to personalize it for that "right" special little one. 

The birthmother is still taunting me and trying to get information from the time we had him.  I want to help, but she reaked so much havoc on our lives, nothing I could tell her is going to help. She is a stranger to him, and shame on me, but I am happy that his crying is not from pain but, because I know he misses us. 

Where do we go now?  Do we put our efforts and move forward with our agency who has a birthmother to present our profile to. How do we caution ourselves from her that this won't happen again?  If I tell her of our experience it may backfire because she could never understand the full story of what we went through with the other birthmom and how she took us on the longest roller coaster ride. How we catered to her, how I gave my whole heart to her, never being dishonest, talked to her whole family per her request, met her aunt, on and on.  We should have been working to gain trust in her not hers in us.  How do you know?  What are red flags?  Where else can you find a potential birthmother.  I want this so much more than ever if that's possible.  I have an empty heart, a brick on my chest, and a home full of emptiness and I want to fill them all.



Comment by Tracey on March 25, 2012 at 7:22am

Michelle,  as many have said my heart aches for you.  Last summer we built a 4 month relationship with a bm and her 2 year old son.  She was 19 and said she wanted the best for this baby and to try to get her life together and have a better life with her son and for herself.  After 2 full days in the hospital where we had a room right next to hers, we all walked out together and hugged.  3 days later (2 days before her rights would have been terminated) she changed her mind and we also had to return our little boy.  As with you, our hearts were broken, we ached and we didn't know how to move forward.  We couldn't understand God's will and at one point I even had a hard time believing.  But we kept our faith and most importantly my husband and I were there for each other every step of the way.  It was day would effect me and another him.  We both had our ups and downs but at different times.  We questioned how we would match with another bm and survive the waiting - both emotionally and financially. 

So here comes the advice part, keep moving forward but take the time to grieve.  We were with him for only 5 days and I can't imagine how much harder that would have been at a month.  The right one will come along, but you need to keep you head and heart together so you will know when its right. 

The day after Thanksgiving we got a call that our son was being born in another state.  We had had a few calls before that and there were definitely some risks (health) with this one, but we both felt it was right so we jumped in the car and drove.  He turns 4 months old today, is absolutely perfect and is sleeping away upstairs in his crib right now.  Our final court date isn't until June but both parents' rights have been irrevocably terminated. 

Many asked us if our son made the hurt from the first one go doesn't BUT we know with certainty that this is the right baby for us and are now able to move on.  He's a precious gift from God and perfect for our family.  We will always remember and pray for the 1st one.  We do take a little peace from the time we spent with the first bm.  She was a good Mom to her older son and loved we know he is loved.  But, it will be a struggle for all of them and we pray that they do OK. 

As for the room, I think everyone will deal with this differently.  We kept our room.  We had lovingly picked and decorated the room and knew that it was the room meant for our child (boy or girl).  We've changed some details now to add some new personality.  At times, it was heard to see it but at other times it brought some peace.  You need to go with your heart on this one and do what feels right, but remember...getting rid of it all won't erase the pain.

I know that you will  find your child because as I read last fall when I was trying to find my way... the reality is that even though adoption is really tough at times it can always work if you stick with it.  I can absolutely say with a clear head and heart that our son now is the right baby for us and the end result was worth the journey (although I still would have rather had an easier journey).  

Peace to you and your husband.  Hang in there. 

Comment by Mommy M on March 24, 2012 at 6:13pm

Michelle,  the song that I was thinking of is by Kelly Clarkson, "What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger." It is about relationship loss but her message is still the same.  Truly, what does not kill us (or we don't allow to kill us) will ultimately make us stronger.

Starry Eyes is right, we usually can look back and have that 'aha' moment. Our first failed adoption the bm had some serious mental issues (lying about being pregnant the major one). The second failed adoption hurt more.  We had been on vacation and came home two weeks early, friends and family praying for us the whole time. Our agency went through the last failed adoption and felt that this was good and valid, she had already given birth. But she changed her mind, at the persuasion of her mother.  The birth-mother eventually gave up custody to her own mother who adopted her child, her own grandchild to raise as her own. These are some messed up families that we are glad we do not have to deal with for the rest of our lives.

As far as how are we now: After the first 13 years of marriage and the first failed adoption we had a sister-in-law offer to surrogate for us.  Our son just turned five. Three months before his third birthday, and mere months after our second failed adoption, we had a friend from high school call and ask us to watch his nephew for a 'few days.' His nephew was 11 days old and our friends sister had dropped the baby off at her drug dealer's house to admit herself into a mental hospital.  A week later children and youth stepped in.  Eventually both of his birthparents signed there parental rights away and we are just starting the adoption process now, two and half years later.  And when our middle guy was just 6 months old we were picked by a birth-mother just 90 minutes from our home. A sweet 15 yo girl that just waited too long in her pregnancy to terminate.  I was in the delivery room for our third son's birth and everything went just the way it is supposed to. His adoption was finalized last year.

So, it is difficult having two kids only 7 1/2 months apart, but now that they are older, still not potty trained:), we are getting there. I still feel anger towards those two woman, but understanding. Both were supposed to be having girls so I feel a little cursed in the girl dept, yes - we have all boys, but God has a plan for everything.

As for right now we are in a holding pattern.  I would like that fourth child.  I feel that she is out there or will be out there for us.  I know that I don't have it in me to do traditional adoption again.  The heartache is too great and now it would involve my son's and I won't let someone hurt them if I can choose something else.  I don't really know where our daughter will come from.  I stay active on here and by talking to friends and telling them we are still looking for our little girl, but I don't feel a rush or push to do it now.  I believe in an amazing Father in heaven who has a plan for us. I know if he wants me to do something for our family HE will let me know. So I just keep living my life the right way and hope that I am worthy enough to hear the answers to my prayers. In May we will be married 18 years. If we had a child our first year of marriage he/she would be moving out, instead in the fall we are starting kindergarten.  I KNOW I would not have been a patient mother in my 20's; I can sometimes barely hold it together in my late 30's, but I try, I cry, I repent, and I do it again.

Please keep praying. I will pray with you that all that Heavenly Father has in store for your family with reveal itself and that you can feel at peace with the challenges he throws your way.

One last thought: you mentioned that you are talking to a birth-mother now. Be honest with her.  Let her know what happened with Hunter and his birth-family. It will be best in the long run. Good luck and God Bless!


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