In my career I have been involved in numerous cases of failed adoptions where adoptive parents or relatives could not manage the behaviors of the children in their homes. Like the current situation in Tulsa, I worked with relatives who tried to provide a home for an 11-year-old niece who tried to burn their house down. When the child tried to burn the house down, the relatives worked with Children’s Protective Services to get their niece treatment in a residential treatment center.
The aunt and uncle stayed involved in the treatment process. When their niece completed her treatment in the residential treatment center, the aunt and uncle tried to bring their niece back home. The niece escalated her behaviors again and was not safe to live with her aunt and uncle. The niece has remained in residential treatment centers and her aunt and uncle have continued to be involved in her life, but she is currently not able to live in a family.
The aunt and uncle provided a safe and loving family for their niece, but it wasn’t enough. Their niece had experienced so much trauma at such a young age that she continues to need significant treatment.
The aunt and uncle did not fail their niece, but they recognized they could not meet her needs. For every situation like this one, there have been numerous situations where families felt they had exhausted their resources and the state of Texas brought in additional resources to help the family. The families committed to do the work it took to make the placement work.
With a commitment from the families and the children and professional help, some difficult adoptive situations can work.