Secondary Adoption Placement:


A secondary adoption placement (also referred to as disrupted adoption) occurs when an adoptive family comes to the decision that it is in the child’s best interest to be placed with a different family.  Mark R. Iverson has the experience and sensitivity supporting families confronting situations where secondary placement is necessary for the child and the family.  

When Is A Secondary Placement Necessary?

It is important to understand that no one is at fault when a secondary placement is necessary.  Adopted children are sometimes initially placed with serious psychological and emotional issues due to abuse or neglect by their birth parents. The child sometimes places blame upon the adoptive parent (usually the adoptive mother) for all that has occurred prior to the adoption placement. Sometimes the child acts out violently or inappropriately toward other siblings in the family and it is necessary to protect the other siblings. Sometimes the adoptive parents are simply not able to meet the needs of a child with behavior or mental health issues.  The decision to place is an excruciating and courageous one. 

What Is Involved In A Secondary Placement?

In a secondary placement it is necessary to find a second placement which can be challenging.  There are, however, agencies that can also assist in matching placing families with second placement families. Once a match is made it is important to plan a transition to the second home.  It is also important for the placing family to provide any and all medical and psychological records to the second placement families.  Each family should be represented by an attorney.  If the child and second placement family reside in different states it will be necessary to receive permission from each state for the child to move to the second placement home.  

Are Secondary Placements Successful?

Yes.  If done with sensitivity it is certainly possible to make a successful transition to a second home.  The child may experience a “fresh start” and often does not blame the second placement family for neglect or abuse experienced prior to initial placement with placing family.  A child that was violent or inappropriate to siblings may do very well in a home as an only child.  A child that has extensive special needs may benefit from a second placement where the parents in a second home have more time or are in a better position to address the needs of the particular child.

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For more information on secondary adoption please contact us.