FOR FAMILIES WITH NO HOPE
Many of the families who find their way to ATN are in crisis. They are adoptive (or foster) parents who are parenting children with very difficult behaviors and emotional damage. Some knew before they opened their homes to these children that there would be special needs; others were caught totally unaware, either through lack of agency disclosure or through the parents’ own inability to “hear” the risks.
Regardless, ATN is here to help. We believe in the vast majority of these families, when parents are given the right support, education and access to therapies/interventions, they are able to make great strides in the healing of traumatized children and those with attachment disorder. This is why ATN exists – to link parents with support and educational resources, including other families, therapists and professionals.
However, we would be turning a blind eye to many struggling families if we did not acknowledge that sometimes removing the child from the home is necessary. Sometimes placing a child in a residential treatment center or long-term facility or seeking to disrupt or dissolve an adoption are the only viable options. Safety of all family members is always the primary concern.
We encourage all parents to seek the following prior to pursuing a course of disruption/dissolution:
Post-adoption support services/education through your adoption agency (to the extent that these programs exist).
Parent support group(s) such as the online groups ATN offers, or the local resources in our database.
Therapeutic interventions by professionals experienced in dealing with children with attachment disorder, trauma and adoption/foster issues.
Medication and/or other interventions as recommended by therapists and doctors familiar with the child and with attachment disorder and co-existing conditions.
Legal advice on dissolutions and disruptions from an adoption attorney who can advise you as to the specific legal and financial ramifications of this decision for you and your family.
Respite. Often families need a “break” from living daily with a severely emotionally damaged child in order to “think through” their options in parenting this child.
ATN maintains a crisis phone line, 888-656-9806. It is a “warm line” as opposed to a staffed “hot line”, so you may have to leave a message. But your call will be returned within 24 hours. You may also email us. Our phone and email support are staffed by parents of traumatized children who can provide you peer support and suggest the resources we know of that may help your situation.