A rich and heterogeneous body of knowledge about adoption breakdown has accumulated in recent years. The goal of this article is to review the existing research literature on the topic. Terminological and methodological difficulties are discussed before the main findings about the incidence of adoption breakdown are presented. A detailed examination of the child, parent and support and service characteristics associated with the breakdown experience follows. The review ends with the analysis of some policy and practice implications, as well as with suggestions about how to increase and improve the study of adoption breakdown.