Attachment, Adoption and Termination of Adoption Based on Attachment

This morning I was watching “The Today Show” and a story was shown about an adopted mom who terminated her adoption after 18 months because she did not feel “attached” to the child.

Here is the link to the story-

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/33116911#33116911

Just in case you can’t watch it, I will sum it up for you:

Anita Teldadi has five biological children. Her and her husband decided that they wanted to adopt another child. They went through the screening process, the counseling and the paper work. The agency called and said that they had a child ready for adoption. According to Teldadi “Baby D” (as he is referred to in this story for protection) “was found on the side of the road, but the doctor estimated he was younger than one year. He lacked strength in his legs and had a completely flat head from lying in a crib all day, but the physical or developmental issues were not the real problem, five or 6 months after his arrival I knew that ‘D’ wasn’t attaching. I tried really hard, maybe even harder than with my biological children to find a connection and I didn’t feel that we were making that connection.” After 18 months Tedadi decided to find “Baby D” another home.

This story intrigued me, especially because it has been the topic of our discussions in class. Upon further research I found the letter that Teldadi wrote to The New York Times giving more detail of the story. That link is-

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/26/terminating-an-adoption/

What we have learned about attachment is that it a child like “D” is probably in the ‘clear-cut attachment’ stage (I say probably because they did not know his exact age when adopted).  By this age ‘D’ would be able to form recognizable attachments to caregivers. Unfortunately for ‘D’ he was not given this chance due to his circumstances. We know that neglected children can be developmentally, physically and emotionally delayed and need a lot of time to catch up, but they can catch up, given the chance.

According to our book there are four things that influence attachment security

1)Opportunity to establish a close relationship  2)quality of caregiving  3)the baby’s characteristics  4) family context, including parents’ internal working model (pg 430)

It is sad for baby ‘D’ that we was not given these things at first. Hopefully with his new family he will be given patience that he needs to become attached to his adopted family.

-Melissa Broderick

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~ by Melissa Broderick on October 1, 2009.

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