7 Core Emotional Issues in Adoption | Choosing Change Blog | Adoption
Adopted children were significantly likelier than birth children to have behavior and learning problems; teachers reported they were worse at. A multitude of issues may arise when children become aware that they have been adopted. Children may feel grief over the loss of a relationship with their. Parents, teachers, and child care providers needs to be prepared that . Often adoption issues are the cause of relationship issues, but.
Some believe that their behavior was the cause of rejection or abandonment. Some believe that they do not have value and were not good enough a or cute enough. This is too heavy of a burden for anyone, especially a child, to bear in my opinion. Guilt and shame can contribute to low self esteem and at times self-destructive behaviors.
Feelings of guilt can also play out by demanding perfection of oneself. Enduring feelings of guilt may lead to the experience of guilt even an inappropriate situations.
In some situations adoptees may try to give away possessions or large sums of money. Identity "Where do I fit? Even in same-race infant adoptions, children seem to innately understand that genetics contributes to who they are and what they will become.
When adopting across country borders or racial lines or at an older age, the question of identity becomes even more complicated. Adolescence brings about the psychosocial development identity crisis. Teens first define who they are not by cleaving to a peer group or clique and rejecting other groups, before determining what makes them unique from their peers. This end stage of differentiation is complicated when one has felt different for much of his or her life and is thus more motivated to fit and be like someone.
3 Common Adopted Child Problems | Adoptions With Love
It is not uncommon for an adult to present without confidence in personal identity or beliefs. Without these things, one may find it difficult to take action, make changes, or be content with life.
According to Erikson without healthy identity development intimacy may not be possible. Intimacy Many times it is relationship or marital issues that cause adult adoptees to seek out counseling services initially. Often adoption issues are the cause of relationship issues, but sometimes they simply exacerbate the concern. One reason for this is that it is often not until late 20s-mid 30s depending on a variety of factors when we are neurologically developed enough to fully process all the complexities and impacts adoption has had on one's life.
Struggles with identity and fear of being rejected or abandoned again can contribute to intimacy difficulties. If there has been any trauma in a parental, sibling, or romantic relationship in the past, that can also interfere with intimacy.
Control Major, life-altering decisions were made for the adopted person, often without his or her consent or awareness. His or her world may have been entirely turned upside down with no warning. It is no wonder that those who were adopted often have a need to control certain things.
This can play out differently for different people and may be recognized in anxiety disorders, dysfunctional relationships, eating disorders, etc. It may be another contributor to perfectionism and attempting to control grades, food, workouts, etc.
According to the great psychologist, Eric Erikson, adolescence involves a search for self identity. While this search is difficult for most teenagers, it presents special problems for adoptee.
Long-Term Issues for the Adopted Child
Assuming they never met their natural parents and family and have no idea of their genetic background, they are left with a gigantic gap in their search to answer the age old question, "Who am I.
In all of the cases above, a huge gap existed in this information. Except for the Asian young woman, all were denied any information, mostly because the adoptive families, either wittingly or unwittingly, did not provide necessary facts. Missing genetic information is important for obvious medical reasons. It is important for everyone to have knowledge of the medical history because it can provide clues to genetic diseases. For example, in case D, the patient entered psychotherapy unaware that he had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
His family was unaware of this as well. If more had been known about the birth parents, it might have been possible to predict his childhood problems at home and at school. It was only after entering psychotherapy that he was evaluated and diagnosed with ADHD and appropriately treated for this. The information was relieving to both him and his adoptive parents because everyone now knew that he was never "bad" or "dumb" but afflicted with this disorder of the brain.
Many adults who were adopted struggle with fears that they will be disloyal to their adoptive parents if they search for their natural parents. In my experience, the only real exception to this is when adoptive parents make the very deliberate and conscious effort to inform and encourage their child to do a search and to let them know how important that is. Unfortunately, as illustrated in cases A and C, there are people who discourage such a search and even lie to their adopted child about their origins.
In the end, lies and distortions never succeed and often result in feelings of anger at the adoptive parent, sometimes causing a breach in the relationship. Why do a few adoptive parents hide the truth? There are cases where the adopting family lives in a state of fear that, somehow and someday, they will lose their child. This fear of loss, often irrational, is a powerful motivation to keep the adopted child as close as possible.
The truth is that, adopted children who search for their natural parents, have no reason for shifting their loyalties and feelings. They set out on the search because their is a deep-seated need for most of us to know as much as possible about our history, both racial, cultural, personal and genetic.
Much has been learned by past adoption experiences that now make some of helps ease the way for families and adoptee: In this situation, the birth mother and adoptive parents legally agree to have the birth mother involved in the development of the child.
This may take the form of monthly visits all the way to weekly and even daily visits, according to what feels acceptable to all parties. People adopting children from other cultures or racial groups agree to raise the child with knowledge and experience in the background of the adopted child. I know of cases where adoptive parents see to it that their child is raised knowing and practicing both the language, customs and religious rituals of their birth parent.
Enlightened adoption agencies now keep all records on file of the children put up for adoption and make those records readily available when and if the adopted person wants to learn of their background. They will even arrange meetings with the birth parents.
Today, adoption is common place and no longer carries with it the dark features of shame that colored it dating back to the 19th century and earlier. This is a positive change in making it possible for everyone to feel more open and assured about the adoption process.
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Were you adopted and are you struggling with some or all of these issues? Here are some suggestions that might help: There are many support groups for those who were adopted and need help in coping with their feelings, fears and frustrations. An Internet search can lead you to these types of groups. Psychotherapy is extremely helpful in reducing guilt, anxiety, depression and fear about being adopted.
It can also remove some of the internal stumbling blocks to doing a search, if you wish.