Trigger warnings: abuse, violence.

Adoption is a wonderful thing to consider, and adopting a child can bring great joy to the family and child. Unfortunately, sometimes adoption can be even more of a burden.

Adopted children generally come with a great deal of emotional trauma thanks to their difficult family and home situations. Kids are so easily influenced by their environments that adoption can present a second set of challenges for both parent and child.

To learn more about that, Redditor toomanystars asked:

"Parents who adopted a child and then regretted it, what's your story?"

Here were some of those answers.

Horrid Backpay

"A neighbor lost her only child in a car accident when child was 17. Adopted a 6 year old girl, Greta, from a foreign country a few years later when neighbor was 50."

"Greta had some emotional & behavioral problems which later turned into psychological problems, neighbor tried various therapists, doctors, drugs etc. Greta ended up running away the first time at 14. And again a few months later. Her main excuse was that she was trying to get back to the family that neighbor "stole" her from. Greta really loved using that as a reason to torture neighbor."

"Greta disappeared at 16 for over a year and then neighbor is getting a phone call from a hospital 5 states away. . . .Greta had given birth and seven hours later walked out without the baby but did leave neighbor's name & contact info."

"So neighbor is 67 and raising an infant. Greta comes back a year later and basically blackmails neighbor (give her money or she'll steal the baby like neighbor stole Greta). Greta then disappears for a couple of years only to leave another baby in another hospital. Both babies were born addicted to drugs as a special added touch. So neighbor is now in her 80s and is raising two kids who have behavioral & emotional issues."

– jaimystery

Why Would You Say That?

"I'm the adoptee. My adoptive mom had some kidney problems that prevented her from carrying a child. Or so she thought. She was told later that she could have. She told me that had she known then what she knows now that she wouldn't have adopted me and would have had "her own" children instead. I was about 12 at the time and it was devastating."

– spyrokie

Back Back Back

"A woman I worked with had been fostering a ~13 year old girl for over 2 years and had started the adoption process. Girl had a history of trouble with her previous fosters, but had been doing very well with them for the whole time they were fostering her. She was seeing a therapist regularly and everything was shaping up to be a clean adoption process. Then she started acting out suddenly. Hiding things, blaming my coworker and her husband for separating her from her brother, saying she deserved to live with her real mom. She started getting in trouble at school, being disrespectful to her teachers and that sort of thing. They had several emergency sessions with her therapist but the girl shut everyone out."

"The final straw was when she accused my coworker's husband of assaulting her. There was an investigation and she admitted to lying, but obviously they didn't want to risk having someone who would lie like that in the house. It could have ruined her husband's life. The adoption fell through and she went back into the foster care system."

"Her therapist said that it's fairly common for children who come from unstable homes to freak out at the prospect of stability once they have it, and begin acting out. Sad situation all around really."

– doggoismyfriend

For The Right Parents

"Before adopting me, my parents adopted a baby who they quickly learned was deaf. They didn't feel like they could raise the baby properly so they worked with the adoption agency to find deaf parents who were thrilled to have her instead. At first I thought it was kind of messed up that my parents would "return" a baby, but it really worked out better for everyone in the end."

– gerdinots

Involvement In More Than You Bargained For

"We adopted twins and the experience destroyed our family. Psych admissions, drug use, school expulsions, threats on our lives, starting fires, involvement with gangs, wrecked cars, etc. I could go on. It's the one thing in my life I wish I could undo. We're not alone. I knew one mother in town who deadbolt locked her bedroom door and slept with a knife under her pillow out of fear of her adoptive daughter. Another family had to send their adopted daughter off for a year of residential treatment."

– Ulven53

The Final Straw

"My parents best friends adopted a son from Russia as a 2 year old. He is the poster child of fetal alcohol syndrome effects. Violent, learning issues, the shortest temper, the works. His poor (adoptive) parents tried everything. They are great parents and had already raised 3, (two of their own and 1 foster kid). This boy gave them every issue. He was violent and disrespectful towards them, towards teachers, toward fellow students, he couldn't be controlled. They cried over him a lot. Legally disowned him at 17 after he stabbed their other kid with a kitchen knife."

– Dontdothatfucker

Danger Danger

"It wasn't me, but my neighbors when I was about 10 years old adopted a girl that was my age. They already had 3 other adopted children and 1 that was actually their own. This poor girl was 10 years old and they changed her name from something that she went by her whole life. She had a whole slew of issues, but what topped it off was when she started developing a crush on one of her adopted brothers. The mother and the son caught the adopted daughter watching him sleep multiple times. And there was a few times where she would hold him down and tickle him inappropriately. He was only 8 years old. I think the cherry on the cake was when the mom found a journal the girl had been keeping saying how much she was in love with that little boy. They sent her back to her foster home after only a few months of her living with them."

– coconutmilk-1

Behind The Maturity Curve

"My ex was adopted and I got the feeling his parents regretted it."

"They struggled financially and moved around a lot. He was very entitled and immature. Not a cute scene."

– msmctoaster


"Not, me but my ex- co-worker. They spent 8 years of paperwork and classes to be able to adopt, when they finally got the money sorted, all the baby clothes, a stroller etc ready, and flew down to the country she was in - the mom had been there the day before and picked up the baby because she had regretted putting it there."

"My coworker is now considered too old to start a new process, and is sadly without any children. Something that is very sad for her."

– Gullsko

It All Turned Out Okay

"I grew up with a girl who was adopted from Africa, from what turned out to be a super shady agency. They were told they were getting a newborn, she arrived almost a year old and extremely malnourished and neglected. She was terrified of adults, and because of the malnourishment dealt with a lot of pain getting healthy again. The first year was hell, and too much for her adopted dad and he split. By the time I met her she was in kindergarten and a pretty normal, well adjusted kid with a loving and devoted single mom, but I know from my mom that her mom wouldn't have done it if she knew she would be alone with that unhealthy, unhappy baby. She got remarried when we were in second grade and they adopted another kid a year later, a little girl from China through an agency several parents at our school had used."

– actuallyasuperhero

Sounds Like An Unhappy Life

​"I'm adopted. All I'm going to say is that sometimes infertility is God's way of telling people they aren't meant to be parents."


It Just Did Not Work Out

"I’m not the parent. But the sibling of the adopted."

"We adopted him when he has 5. Right away there was some behavioral issues but that is to be expected. I mean this kid is getting thrown into a new family and needs time to adjust."

"As time goes by, he starts to steal things from me and my biological brother. Lies a lot, and then does some real red flag things like hurting our cats, hit my mom in more than one occasion."

"My parents did everything they could for him, therapy, rehabilitation centers, even kept in contact with his biological sister and set up meet ups for them to stay connected. He was just a terror to my parents, I can’t even explain how much it destroyed me to see my parents be put through everything he did."

"In his teens he ends up getting arrested for robbery and destruction of property. When he gets out, Somehow the court systems awards custody to his biological mom and has my parents paying child support to the biological family because legally he is still my parents responsibility. This broke my moms heart."

"We(the siblings) are all now adults in our 20s-30s and my dad unexpectedly passed away and when it was time for the funeral, we offered to pay for my adopted brothers flight and he said he would rather have the money that the flight costs then come."

"The whole situation is sad. My parents were/are awesome, giving people who completely were dragged through hell emotionally by this kid who doesn’t care."

"My dad did admit to me later in life that he does regret adopting him due to the stress it put on him and my mom and how his behavior took away from me and my biological brothers childhood by constantly having to deal with problems he got into which lead to a lot of attention needed to be directed toward the adoptive brother. And my mom won’t admit it, but you can see she has definitely come to terms that he just can’t be saved and he doesn’t want to be."

"If I’m being honest, I can’t stand the guy. Haven’t talked to him in 7 years and don’t ever care too."

– KelsasaurusRex21

The Jealousy Started It All

"My parents adopted my brother after 5 years of marriage since they couldn't conceive and really wanted a kid. They adopted him when he was almost a year old, that was mid-80s back when nobody even thought that babies need to be picked up and held to ensure correct mental development. Some time after that they got pregnant and I was born."

"So my brother (3 yo at the time of my birth) had some developmental issues and having a sibling made it much worse. He became jealous of the new baby and started bullying the little me. Bullying was only the start and he quickly grew into a classic example of an abuser. We have endured 25 years of mental and physical abuse, and all the while my parents did nothing, just took it like martyrs, because they thought that they picked him so they have to stick to that decision until the end."

"My brother's behavior was one of the contributing factors to my father's heart attack and death a few years back. My mother tried coping by developing a drinking problem. One of my grandmas died of a stroke the same day he went over to torment her."

"I have left them all to rot with each other and moved out a long time ago. I don't want anything to do with a family that sentenced me to a life of abuse because of their decisions and stubbornness. I think that man belongs in an isolation ward and not a family home."

"I'm sure after all the pain he caused my mother regrets ever adopting that child."

– HandsOnAutoPilot

The Pretending Didn't Help

"A family member adopted a boy when he was 2-3. The process took forever so he was a bit older by the time everything went through. They were dead set on a white boy so they ended up going through an international adoption agency and ended up going to an orphanage in Russia. I am fairly sure between trying IVF multiple times and the cost of adoption they put themselves in some serious debt. After the adoption it was obvious that much of the paper work was falsified, history of the mother was falsified, so basically a stereotypical Russian movie adoption experience."

"Physically he is healthy but it became obvious he had developmental, speech issues, anger issues, and autistic tenancies. He is 12 now and my family member has done everything possible to pretend that he is fine because he refuses to have a child labeled as special needs. I am fairly certain they've switched schools when teachers recommend putting him in a program."

"My family members wanted a perfect child and did everything in their power to give off that impression to the detriment of the kid. With the right support early on he could have had potential, but their regret and denial essentially setup the kid for failure."

– LeKy411

The Cards You've Been Dealt

"My girlfriends dad openly admitted to her that it probably wasn't the best idea for them to adopt her when she asked him about it. They very rarely see eye to eye and the whole house is full of different personalities. Even her mum and dad are extremely different and probably shouldn't have got married but most likely only married because they were desperate. Her mum has some mental health issues ranging from anxiety to some personality disorder. Her dad is very quite and can easily temper and likely has Asperger's or something. My girlfriend was adopted by them when she was 7 and had a very hard life before that, which would, I feel, entitle her to be with more caring emotional adoptive parents. Alas you deal with the cards you've been dealt and she has been dealing with it very well!"

– Im_You_From_The_Past

Parenthood isn't easy and certainly isn't for everyone. Do you have similar stories to share? Please let us know in the comments.

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