The writer, an adoptive parent and social worker acknowledges
the fulfillment and wide-spread happiness adoption has brought to
millions of families. However as adoption becomes a widely accepted
part of American life, Adoption Regret Phenomenon, is coming to

This article is offered with the hope of illuminating this rarely
talked about and highly sensitive topic and bringing forth
meaningful discussion, services, research and support for those who
find themselves in this uncomfortable and painful situation.
There exists for a percentage of adoptive families the
phenomenon of Adoption Regret in which one partner regrets

Adoption Regret is distinguished from Post-Adoption
Depression Syndrome described by Judy Bond in her seminal work of
1995 in that it does not stem from depressive disorder.  Rather its
foundation lays in the disappointment and regret with adoption
itself.  It may effect those ambivalent prior to adoption who
acquiesced, those who perceive a “breach of expectations” in either
the “marital contract,” (prior commitment to childlessness), or
“breach of expectations” such as a placement which evolved into a
special needs.

It is hoped that the adoption community will address Adoption
Regret in pre and post counseling and in support services; in
adoption training programs that include this subject in the
curriculum and that researchers begin inquiries into the derivation
and remedies for this phenomenon.

It is with these recommendations we hope to stem adoption
divorce and dissolution, which we hear of from time to time, and
insure satisfying family life for all parties–the children and their

Written Bt Roberta Kalmar LMSW of

Roberta Kalmar, LMSW specializes in adoption home studies.  She has worked with adoptive families for over 25 years.