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  • Dan Vallaro

REHOMING: The Costs to Children are Great

Dear Readers,


When I did a Google Search of the word “Rehoming”, the following definitions were the first to pop up. It appears that rehoming has previously, and maybe exclusively, referred to pets that were adopted and then readopted into another home for one reason or another.


**Longman’s English Dictionary of “re‧home” is “to arrange for a pet to have a new owner and home, especially a pet that has been looked after in a shelter”.


**WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY defines “Rehoming” as follows: Pet adoption usually refers to the process of taking guardianship of and responsibility for a pet that a previous owner has abandoned or released to a shelter or rescue organization.


**The Oxford Dictionary gives this definition for “rehome” verb [with object] – find a new home for (a pet): every stray animal is neutered before being rehomed


Unfortunately, “Rehoming” has taken on a new meaning these days. The definition now includes children. How can this be?


Investigative reporter for Reuters (National News Agency), Megan Twohey, reported on the extensive underground network for rehoming children without any oversight by a licensed and accredited social service agency. It’s appalling how children are being shuffled around by parents who have just given up on them. ADOPTION IS FOR KEEPS, exactly as if the child was born into the family. What can a family in crisis do when they are at their wits’ end? GET HELP. Help is out there.


If you have not heard or been exposed to Ms. Reuters’ investigative reports or read any news reports about children being rehomed, you can view one or more of the links I have provided here for your use. If you wonder “What can I do?” consider the following: offer assistance to a family that is struggling with parenting their children, encourage your legislators to make it illegal for families to privately “rehome” their adopted child, and encourage Facebook to close down internet sites that advertise the private rehoming of children. This can be an invitation for child sexual predators. Read more at Voice for Adoption.


Adoption is a beautiful thing and ECFA is proud to have been involved in placing children into Christian homes for more than 63 years. When biological families choose to make an adoption plan, we are very thankful that Christian families step forward to open their hearts and homes to these babies and children. After all, Jesus stands in the gap for us so we can be adopted into God’s family. Can we do less? But what about rehoming?


There has been much said in the news lately about “rehoming” based on some investigative reporting. We are appreciative that the majority of adoptions involve children being placed into loving and appropriate homes. However, we also recognize that if even one child is placed into an unacceptable home or is “rehomed”, that is one child too many.


We need to be aware, mindful and educated on what negative practices are occurring in regard to children so we can be part of the process for positive change. If rehoming occurs because families are ill prepared for the challenges of parenting in general, or parenting older children or children with special needs, then let’s take responsibility to educate the parents. Some adoptive applicants should be directed against adopting children and others simply need additional training. Maybe you know of a family that is struggling in parenting a specific child (adopted or biological or foster). How about giving them a hand? Let’s not be shy about offering assistance to parents in need.


If you are a struggling family, have courage to ask for professional help. Available resources could include one or more of the following:: 1) agency that assisted with the adoption, 2) home church or other churches have some support groups or orphan care ministries (Willowcreek in Barrington, Wheaton Bible Church in West Chicago to name a few), 4) consider contacting groups such as CAFFA (Chicago Area Families For Adoption). They have great training opportunities for adoptive parents, 5) Counseling may be indicated for the child(ren) and/or the parents. There are post-adoption counseling services available in most communities and in some cases funding may be available for counseling. 6) ECFA offers counseling and we are sensitive to and knowledgeable about adoption concerns.

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