Parents Give Adopted Kids Away When They Decide They Don't Like Them

Say What!? 79

All over America, there are people giving away their children on the Internet. And I'm not even talking about the twisted ones who loan out their kids to pedophiles. I'm talking about parents who've decided their kids are too much trouble and want to "rehome" their children like one might do with a pet (which I am also against, btw). Unless you hang out on these specific Internet boards (and let's hope you don't), you probably don't realize that reportedly there are parents all over this country who are handing over their "troublesome" kids to complete strangers, hoping they can do a better job of it. Or at least just wanting to be rid of said troublemaker. As one mom put it about her 12-year-old daughter, "I would have given her away to a serial killer, I was so desperate." What?!

An investigative probe by Reuters and NBC News delved deep into underground "adoptions" that are really no more than people posting on the Internet that they don't want their kids anymore and are looking for someone who does. Most of the time, but not all of the time, these kids were adopted from foreign countries. The children usually range in age from 6 to 14. Over a five-year period, Reuters found on average one child a week being "rehomed." (The actual term these people use -- I guess "abandonment" doesn't sound so nice.)

The parents usually want to rid themselves of kids who came with unexpected behavioral issues -- and the adoptive parents usually give up and don't want to deal anymore. The ads sound like people's listings for bothersome pets -- only they're talking kids. Wrote one "mother": "I am totally ashamed to say it, but we do truly hate this boy!"

More from The Stir: Mom Who Lost Custody of Daughter to Sex Offender Should Just Kidnap Her

Others take a different tack and use more enticing advertising. One ad read:

Born in October of 2000 -- this handsome boy 'Rick' was placed from India a year ago and is obedient and eager to please.

Naturally, the kids then often fall into the hands of abusers, pedophiles, and molesters. All of this apparently goes on either with little government oversight or illegally. Sometimes the kids are tracked down and returned to their adoptive parents. Which doesn't sound like the best idea either.

I sympathize with parents who find themselves with children they didn't quite sign up for -- ones who can be dangerous to the rest of the household, or who eat up immense amounts of emotional and psychological energy, or finances.

But when you sign up to become a parent, you don't always get what you want. A kid isn't a toy. A kid isn't some fantasy ideal. Deciding to become a parent is a lifelong commitment -- whether you birthed that child or not. And if it doesn't turn out the way you pictured it, then seek help. Handing over a kid to a stranger on the Internet is just crazy. DON'T become a parent if you can't take on a lifelong responsibility that may not be the one you pictured.

What do you think of this?


Image via Spirit-Fire/Flickr

child custody, in the news


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

Mrs.D... Mrs.Duncan85

These children aren't just having a bad day, they have severe mental issues. We are not talking ADHD or Autism; they can be true dangers to themselves and others. Often these issues are not disclosed to potential adoptive parents. And the metal health support in this country for children is a joke. To house a child in a group home, where in they can receive treatment, is thousands of dollars a month. Not many people have the financial resources to do so. And in the mean time, how do they protect their other children, themselves, their pets, etc. from the child who is a constant threat to themselves and others? It is very sad that these parents are resorting to this, but I think it is a rare occasion where in they simply "don't like" the child.

jrphelps jrphelps

NO EXCUSES.  Just because you adopted them doesn't mean this is an ok way out.  Would you do the same thing if you gave birth to a troubled child.  Disgusting.

nonmember avatar Lizzie Borden

This is why safe haven laws should encompass ALL children; I'd rather parents have a legal, safe alternative when they feel they can no longer care for the child than leave the child at their mercy. People may be quick to judge a parent who gives up a child but it's better to recognize that one can't do it than to hold on out of fear of being judged by society, because then something can go dangerously wrong.

Craft... CraftyJenna

what is wrong with rehoming a pet? Better to find a loving home if your circumstances change than to take them to the pound to get destroyed. That being said, children are not pets- no one should be giving kids away like that-, but there should be resources available for adoptive parents who find themselves with out of control children. 

MrsRo... MrsRoberts413

A huge part of the problem is that most of these kids are adopted internationally, and internationally adopting parents are not given nearly the amount of training and resources on how to handle the behavioral and psychological problems that may come with adopting a child, especially an older child with an established history (as opposed to an infant who hasn't had the opportunity to develop those issues yet), such as children from famine-struck African countries who develop eating disorders and children from institutional orphanages who have attachment disorders.  Parents who adopt from foster care are often given such training.  Many, many parents find themselves in an idealized state of mind about "rescuing" the child and bringing them to America and the child is just so happy to be there with them, and then that bubble gets popped big time.  They are then left without the toosl and skills they need to cope, and then they feel guilty and ashamed about it and won't seek professional help.  It's a losing situation for everybody!

kisse... kisses5050

 I know a lady who brought four year old twins into their home adopted them with their eight year old daughter... the kids had so many emotional problems they couldnt come out in public.. theur daughter was afraid of them... they finally had to send them back to foster care for the sake of their daughter.

Nelli... NellieAthome

Any parent unable to cope with their children should have the option to give up custody.

How hypocritical is it of the writer and some posters to scream bloody murder when an overwhelmed parent abuses or kills their child while simultaneously saying there is no excuse to ever give the child to someone who can cope with them, or at least take them out of potential harm's way

nonmember avatar erica

Wow. I've had passing thoughts of putting my kids on the curb with a "free to good home" sign when they were being an especially huge pain in the butt, but I'd never actually do it. I had no idea this was so common. I agree that safe haven laws should apply to kids up to 18.

nekoy... nekoyukidoll

sad beyond words.  I'm adopted and I have been blessed with wonderful parents who never gave up on me despite all the problems I've had (I have Generalized anxiety disorder and severe depression).  I have wonder what damage it does to the child "rehomed", it has to be devastating to the child to be tossed out like a unwanted toy, to be basically told "we don't want you anymore."  The agencies, or whoever does the adoptions, should help these families if these problems arise; just giving up on a child is not the answer.

Maddo... Maddogsmommy

There is no excuse for just giving the children to someone off the internet. I work with kids in foster care and understand how difficult some kids can be. But if it gets so bad the parent (at least in TN) can take the children to the courthouse or DCS and the child will be put in custody if they are not willing to take them back, still very sad, but at least they would be safe. There are no repercussions for the parent except that they pay child support until their rights are terminated (if they totally abandon the child they will terminate rights)

1-10 of 79 comments 12345 Last