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What Can Parents Do When an Adoption Goes Wrong?
The case of a 7-year-old Russian boy who was returned to Moscow by his adoptive U.S. mother has highlighted the challenges families face when an international adoption goes wrong.
About 1,600 Russian children found adoptive families in the United States last year, according to the National Council For Adoption. Most of the adoptions have been successful, but the few children who live with an array of psychological and behavioral problems can tear families apart. One family, requesting that its last name not be used to protect the privacy of its sons, went so far as to terminate their parental rights.
ABC News' senior health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser cautioned that cases like this are atypical.
"Eighty to 90 percent of adoptions remain intact and successful," Besser said, although disruption rates among special needs adoptions and older child adoptions are higher.
Tips for Successful Adoption
Talk to Other Adoptive Parents
Identify Community Resources
Learn as Much as You Can About That Child