We Four in Egypt

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The Dutch family and adoption dissolution

Yesterday I mentioned a Dutch family in Hong Kong who dissolved the adoption of their seven year old daughter. Jae Ran at Harlow’s Monkey discusses this girl in a compelling post today.

Jae Ran writes as an adult transracial and transnational adoptee and an adoption social worker. She shares her frustration with underprepared adoptive parents, the kind who don’t want to hear about the bad stuff. She says,

Sometimes I think we’ve gone about this whole thing all wrong. The kids who are in need of adoptive homes – are NOT ordinary people. They have, in their young lives, gone through enough loss and sorrow to render them extraordinary. My profession likes to call these kids “special needs.”

So why do social workers look so hard for “ordinary” parents. Maybe we need to look for “extraordinary” parents. Maybe average parents aren’t good enough and we should be looking for parents with “special abilities” to parent “special needs.” And by average parents, I mean that being white, middle class, and having a house with a picket fence and a two car garage just isn’t enough to entitle someone to adopt a child.

This is powerful stuff. And I love the idea of seeking out “extraordinary parents,” not because I think Mr. Four and I are extraordinary, but because I think all kids deserve parents who can parent them well. I encourage folks to read Jae Ran’s full post. And then let me know what you think.

(Jae Ran also noted a mistake many people, include me, have made: an adoption disruption happens when a family changes their mind before the adoption is final. In the case of this Dutch family, the proper term is dissolution, because the family finalized the adoption long ago.)

13 December 2007 - Posted by | adoption


  1. “I think all kids deserve parents who can parent them well.”
    I completely agree. This is actually why I for one don’t have a problem with PAPs requesting age and gender when adopting.

    This story has been all over everywhere on the adoption boards/forums. I don’t believe we know what was really going on in that family. Is it possible that that this family is a heartless, self-centered, and/or naive as the reports make them sound? Sure, and if they are, then they do deserve all the severe criticism. But I think that it is likely that something else is the case. Perhaps she has severe RAD… can happen even with adoption at 4 months… and tried to kill one of the younger children. Who knows. I don’t think we’ll ever really know the truth. I do think it is disturbing that they never got her Dutch citizenship.
    It is also quite possible that this family has done this little girl a huge favor. Perhaps now she can find the best family for her.

    Comment by Dani | 13 December 2007

  2. my heart goes to the girl. She can have severe RAD but that’s not enough reason to give up the child. Biological children can have problems too. Developmental disorders such as autism are diagnosed not at birth. But most parents do not give up their child because he/she has special needs.

    Comment by peony | 20 December 2007

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