Separation and divorce are realities faced by many families. Yet in the case of foster and adoptive families, only a small number of studies have looked at the way such experiences affect them. This article seeks to fill this gap by exploring the nature and consequences of separation and divorce among foster and adoptive families in Australia and the United States. A thematic analysis of primary and secondary data collected by the authors identified three dominant themes: (1) that divorcing foster families experience variable responses from service providers; (2) that some adoptive parents perceive that relationship breakdowns compound adoption-related losses; and (3) that some adoptees challenge the assumption that the nature and experience of separation and divorce among adoptive families is unique. The article concludes by advocating for the provision of clear guidelines for foster and adoptive families experiencing separation or divorce, and highlights the need for supportive community responses to help those affected.
- Foster care