August 3, 2007, Newsletter Issue #109: Turning Down a Referral

Tip of the Week

Referrals may be turned down by prospective adopting parents for various reasons. It is important for adopting parents to remember to gather all of the facts before making a decision about a child.

If the child has medical complications, the adopting parents may want to have the child's medical information reviewed by multiple physicians. Some agencies may also be able to link the parents with other adoptive families who have children with similar conditions. If the parents still feel that they are unable to care for the needs of the child, they may turn down the referral.

It is important for the adopting family to know their limits, capabilities, and even insurance coverage when deciding whether or not to accept a referral. The adoption agency should be supportive; they have had other couples turn down referrals before. The adopting couple should be aware that they probably will grieve over the loss of this child. In some ways they have most likely become attached to the child that could have potentially been theirs. They should expect to feel a loss and seek the support of people who understand that loss.

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