Tanya, whose identity is being withheld, was adopted at age 7 but returned to the foster care system six years later. She and her former adoptive mother disagree on what caused the break-up, but both say the pairing did not work.

Growing Concern Over Broken Adoptions

For more than a decade national child welfare policy has encouraged timely adoptions as way to stabilize the lives of kids in foster care. But the system is challenged when a child's new home proves to be a bad fit.

Jeremy Kohomban runs one of the largest residential treatment centers in New York state. Kohomban says estimates that 20 percent or more of the boys who have "grown up in the system" were once in an adoptive home.

Adoption Numbers in Question

Sixteen years ago the federal government put new pressure on states to facilitate adoptions. But it never bothered to track how many of those adoptions fail.