Wednesday, May 12, 2010

All adoptions have perils

First there was the woman who sent her adopted son back to Russia from the US because it wasn’t working. That caused rage among Russian authorities. Later came coverage of Russian orphanages and the system, along with the problems inherent in both.

Next, at least one newspaper ran stories about others who had adopted children, any children, but ultimately decided it wasn’t working.

Adoption involves so much time, adaptation and (here comes that word again) work on both sides – often more than the people involved expect or are willing to invest. That also seems to be true with adoption of animals.

Raise a kitten or puppy from babyhood: that’s one thing. Adopt a kitten, pup, cat or dog: that’s another situation altogether. Things have already happened in that animal’s life that can affect how he or she might make out in a new home with a new family, no matter how well-meaning they may be.

I’m sure not the only one who has experienced an animal rescue rep or someone from a shelter pushing for adoption and in the process, possibly forgetting to share crucial information or notice drawbacks to the match. These people sometimes seem to be more interested in placing the animal than giving solid thought to the whole situation.

And if a prospective adoptive family is in a rush to do good or to “replace” a companion animal who recently died, they can contribute to the problem. The result: general unhappiness and a possible return of the adopted animal. When that happens, everyone loses, and the animal in particular is even worse off than before.

How do readers suggest avoiding this situation, which we’ve probably all seen, if not also experienced? Please share your thoughts on this issue in a comment!

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