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Woman Adopted Son, Gave Him Back

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Anita Tedaldi adopted a boy from South America. After 18 months, she felt he wasn't attaching with her ... nor was she attaching with him ... so she gave him to another family.

Anita Tedaldi, whose husband is in the U.S. military and is frequently deployed overseas, has five natural daughters, but wanted to adopt one more child.

They adopted a one-year-old boy from South America.

She was ecstatic at first, but then says over the following year she felt unable to bond with him.

"I loved him and I cared deeply for him," Tedaldi told TODAY's Matt Lauer Thursday in New York. "I tried to do the same exact thing I did with my biological children, but over time it became clear that our family maybe wasn't a good match for him, that we were unable to meet some of his needs."

Her son was eventually placed with a new family, and Tedaldi has come to grips with her decision.

Many people (us included) just cannot understand how a mother can just return her SON ... like a shirt that didn't fit.

Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and author of "Adoption Nation," told Lauer such cases as Tedaldi's are thankfully rare. "It happens, and the one message we shouldn't take away from this is that adoption is a rental where you try it out. It's not. It's permanent and it's loving, and it's like every other family, but that doesn't always work," he said.

What do you think of Anita Tedaldi's controversial decision? Comment below.

next: Khloe and Lamar's Endless Eye Candy
22 comments so far | Post a comment now
Mic October 1, 2009, 12:51 PM

Initially I thought WTH? You can’t return your bio children, but, I am sure she thought this out for a very long time & was a very hard decision & did what was best for the child.

Kristen October 1, 2009, 1:04 PM

I think this women is FAR more responsible than your average parent. She was able to see that it wasn’t working and she felt he deserved better. I don’t think she did anything wrong. There are LOTS of biological parents that really should give up there own children for adoption but they don’t, they let that child live in squalor and abuse. At least this women is actually thinking of the best interest of the child!

chris October 1, 2009, 1:05 PM

This is a sad story. I’ve heard of mothers (both “real” and adoptive) who have had a hard time bonding with thier children. I think most mothers would be ashamed to admit this out loud to another person, so I give her credit for that and I credit her for making the right decision for the child. Children should always feel loved and wanted and I don’t think she could have given that to him. I pray that his new parents are able to give that to him.

Chrissy October 1, 2009, 2:24 PM

She loved and cared about him deeply - so what’s real deal?
Was he mentally or physically handicapped , and she couldn’t meet his needs? Bit that not mentioned.
And lets get real biologically parents don always meet the needs of their own children.
And since the husband wanted “one more” child - where is he in this decision?
Did he bond with the child?
Too much information is lacking.

blueberryice October 1, 2009, 3:35 PM

She should have given up her 5 other children. They would be better off. I bet she saw the poor baby as a fashion statement.

Children are not disposible

Rachelle October 1, 2009, 4:14 PM

I’m sorry, but there are no return services for children. When you adopt someone, you have been given as much of a history as possible on the child, and/or met them, depending on the age & place of adoption. If the child was a year old when they adopted him, they HAD to have been notified of any detachment issues. They wouldn’t have just shown up after they brought him home. So this is pretty pathetic. If it was one of her biological children I bet she wouldn’t have given up so easily. If we weren’t talking about adoption here, what’s the first thing someone would think to do if they were having trouble bonding with their child?? Ummm, see a doctor maybe? Or a psychiatrist? Get professional help for the child? They are only contributing to the child’s detachment problems by giving up on him 18 months after adopting him. That’s one of the extremes that kids can go through, who have come from orphanages with little human interaction, or who have been passed around from family to family. They have no one to rely on or trust or bond to but themselves. They learn very quickly to keep to themselves because however they reason it in their little baby minds, they fear/know that if they attach to someone, they are going to lose that person and feel pain. So I say shame shame shame on that woman!!! She should not be allowed to adopt again. Whose to say she won’t return the next one, if he is also not to her liking?

vini October 1, 2009, 4:43 PM

this same mother wrote an article CRITICIZING another couple who returned the daughter they adopted from Korean, the article has since been taken down, since this story broke…she wrote it earlier this year and acted like she was this role model adoptive parent…how sickening…

Bec Thomas October 1, 2009, 6:54 PM

This is exactly the reason people should put alot of thought into having or adopting a child before they actually do the deed. Children are not acessories that you can just put on the shelf when you don’t feel like being a parent anymore. I really wonder over the wisdom of adopting a child when you already have 5. Having 5 is alot of work and probably contributed to her not being able to dedicate enough time to the new baby to make attachment happen.

zeureeka October 2, 2009, 7:51 AM

What she did cannot be popular, and it definitely generates a lot of complicated feelings for everyone (including me), but it was brave.

Yeah, children are not disposable, and may not be “returnable,” generally speaking, but she realized it wasn’t working and did her best to provide him with the best chance he could get. No fault for that.

And for those of you saying you can’t “return” your own kids, technically, you can in some states, provided you take them to the correct place and, under some statutes, if they are under a certain age. A lot of people have been doing it, too. Again, though, because you’re supposed to love your kids unconditionally (and some people just can’t), it’s not publicized.

anon October 6, 2009, 10:33 AM

Ok. I have been watching this all over the web, and a few things are missing here… This child was from South Africa, not South America. Also, the woman in question had three children at the time of the adoption and had two more biological children during the 18 months she was not ‘bonding’ with this poor boy. She bit off more than she could chew and made poor choices all around. She should have definitely not had this child in the first place as she did not give him the same respect as her own children.

Read more:

MerrieWay October 22, 2009, 3:03 PM

May the child find the love he deserves…he is the most important part in this equation.

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