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s/o The "other" side of Adoption: When the baby grows up

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The Darker Side of the Adoption Story

This month’s theme has to do with the effects of adoption on the adoptee and the adoption issues that most people in the adoption community don’t want to talk about. Sadly, adoptee Adopted child syndrome; do adoptees have more problems? Common Psychological and Emotional Effects of Adoptionissues are real, and the tragedy comes when adoptive parents do not understand what they are really facing as they make the all-important decision to adopt a child.

Like everyone else, I enjoy the hardcover adoption magazines full of adorable images, arts and crafts, and “my baby is the cutest” photo contests. But every time I look at one of those magazines, I have to think to myself,

“Please tell the other side of the adoption story.”

Adoption can be full of happiness and joy, but it can also be full of loss, grief, and in some cases indescribable anger and dangerous behavior.

 

Common Psychological and Emotional Effects of Adoption

Some common issues observed in adoptees are:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Reactive attachment disorder (RAD)
  • Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Identity development
  • General feelings of grief, loss, and rejection

 

Statistics on Adopted Children and Adults Show Adoption Always Affects the Adoptee

Many research studies have shown that adoptees and birth mothers suffer more from depression, and that there is a higher rate of suicide among these populations. Because adoption issues often show up during the teen years, unresolved issues can manifest themselves in dramatic and destructive ways that adoptive parents may not be prepared for.

There are a handful of disciplinary correctional schools, residential treatment centers, and adoption ‘camps’ that are designed to deal with adopted teenagers whos parents have decided that they don’t know how to handle the behavioral problems of their adopted child. These adoptee camps take in adopted children with all kinds of issues: substance Adopted child syndrome; do adoptees have more problems? Common Psychological and Emotional Effects of Adoption and drug abuse, sexual misconduct, violence and anger towards parents, siblings, pets, or even themselves, the list can go on. There is even a camp referred to as “The Last Chance Ranch,” that specializes in teens from Russia. Sadly, some of these teens are actually re-relinquished to the camp by their adoptive parents.

Despite the fact that adoptees make up less than 2% of the US population, they represent 25-35% of teens in these correctional camps and institutions-

I find that statistic so incredibly sad and alarming.

 

Resources to Help Adoptive Parents Understand the Psychological and Emotional Effects of Adoption on their Children

There are many resources available today, that did not exist years ago. There have been many wonderful books written about the impact of adoption, three of my favorites are,

  1. The Primal Wound by Nancy Verrier
  2. Lost and Found by Betty Jean Lifton
  3. Raising Your Internationally Adopted Child by Patty Cogen.

There are also adoption therapists who specialize in helping adoptees heal and overcome their psychological and emotional issues.  Here is a very important point to remember: there are many therapists who attempt to help adoptees, but unfortunately have no real understanding of adoptee issues. I was fortunate to find a child therapist who was herself adopted, and she was enormously helpful throughout all of my years of raising my three adopted children. The therapist does not need to be a member of the adoption triad, but they need to have some special training about these crucial child development issues.

This month’s edition of the magazine will talk about all of these adoption issues and more, including adoptee suicide. It will also feature a very special 24 minute video of a young man who suffered from severe attachment issues, and talks about it in a truly real and compelling way, I promise you will be mesmerized by his story, and the hope he gives all of us.

 

So… Do Adoptees Have More Problems?

Every adoptee has a completely unique and separate experience but I think one of our anonymous Message in a Bottle submissions best summed up a great answer for general adoption questions…

“Adoption isn’t all unicorns and rainbows.”

Thank you to whomever submitted this message! To submit a Message in a Bottle of your own, use this form.

Adoption is not always unicorns and rainbows.

 


by on Oct. 24, 2013 at 11:36 AM
Replies (21-30):
vic270
by Bronze Member on Oct. 24, 2013 at 4:33 PM

so you think it would be better if they were aborted or left in foster homes until they are grown. i cant help it but i think all kids should have a fighting chance and love goes a long way whether you are young or old.

Ms.KitKat
by Platinum Member on Oct. 24, 2013 at 4:42 PM

 

Quoting A-nony-mous:

 

 

Quoting stormcris:

Everything that touches a person affects them. You are affected by your biological parents in a similar manner. To say that is like saying a person breathes and then negatively spin it as contributing to global warming. This is how this article comes off.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 The article cites that adoption always affects the adoptee- NOT that they are always affected by depression. There is a diffference.

But think about it: say you were raised by wolves- that fact there will always affect you.

Sure, you might become a productive member of society and learn language and become educated and contribute positive ways to society, but the simple fact that you were raised by wolves will always shape who you are.

Quoting stormcris:

I think always is a bad term to use when they speak of that study. A great deal of the US is depressed. Depression comes from many places it is not simple to say that an adoptee was depressed or had issues because of the adoption because many many biological status kids have the same issues. I was adopted and yes there were issues in that family but it was better than had I been raised by my biological parents. 

 



Out of curiosity, why are you so defensive about this? If you were adopted and happy then that's fine, but I'm not sure this is the topic for you. Or at least this isn't a place to constantly insist that just because you have your happy experience that other experiences are all wrong. 99% of the world's topics on adoption are positive and happy. There umpteen numbers to go and rave about it. It's frustrating to see people who are shutting down any conversation about the other side of the issue by insisting that someone is wrong for posting something in that vein or trying to open up that discourse, as you are now doing insisting that adoption has nothing to do with depression or other issues and that the OP is wrong in posting what she did. 

 Thanks Anon-, but, I'm used to it. There is always at least one who has to post the questionasking me  why I hate adoption so much. {{[shrugs}}}}

stormcris
by Christy on Oct. 24, 2013 at 4:42 PM

I am not insisting anything of the sort. I am insisting that the piece in the OP is contentious and making assertions that are problematic. I am merely commenting on the piece. 

Are there problems with adoption? Surely we have seen such and there are many examples but to contend that adoption affects everyone is just redundant and it is negative shading. I have no ability to shut down the conversation but to say always with a point that is true of all not just adoptees is not helpful to the discussion of the negative and often tragic side of adoption. I feel it is a disservice to the actual problems associated with such. I am insisting that adoption is something entirely different with issues that are ignored and disregarded by this piece. Other people will not get the truth of what adoption can and will create in a child through what is presented here. Depression and the mention of such is not the truth of what most adult adoptees go through. It is just shuffled off as such for a diagnosis. What they go through is mourning and sense of loss of self. That being shuffled toward depression is a band aid mechanism. That being shuffled off as any mental disease or illness is inherently wrong to me so thus I disagree entirely with this piece. Mourning and loss of self are not merely feelings that need some sort of medicine. They are emotions that are correct for the effect to the person and they need something more than to throw some medicine at it. My feelings on adoption are extreme and varied and I contain my comments at times because literally I could write extremely long replies on this subject but this piece ticks me off and it gives crappy understanding to those who should get information on such.

Quoting A-nony-mous:



Quoting stormcris:

Everything that touches a person affects them. You are affected by your biological parents in a similar manner. To say that is like saying a person breathes and then negatively spin it as contributing to global warming. This is how this article comes off.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 The article cites that adoption always affects the adoptee- NOT that they are always affected by depression. There is a diffference.

But think about it: say you were raised by wolves- that fact there will always affect you.

Sure, you might become a productive member of society and learn language and become educated and contribute positive ways to society, but the simple fact that you were raised by wolves will always shape who you are.

Quoting stormcris:

I think always is a bad term to use when they speak of that study. A great deal of the US is depressed. Depression comes from many places it is not simple to say that an adoptee was depressed or had issues because of the adoption because many many biological status kids have the same issues. I was adopted and yes there were issues in that family but it was better than had I been raised by my biological parents. 

 



Out of curiosity, why are you so defensive about this? If you were adopted and happy then that's fine, but I'm not sure this is the topic for you. Or at least this isn't a place to constantly insist that just because you have your happy experience that other experiences are all wrong. 99% of the world's topics on adoption are positive and happy. There umpteen numbers to go and rave about it. It's frustrating to see people who are shutting down any conversation about the other side of the issue by insisting that someone is wrong for posting something in that vein or trying to open up that discourse, as you are now doing insisting that adoption has nothing to do with depression or other issues and that the OP is wrong in posting what she did. 


Ms.KitKat
by Platinum Member on Oct. 24, 2013 at 4:43 PM
1 mom liked this

 Where is that stated?

Quoting vic270:

so you think it would be better if they were aborted or left in foster homes until they are grown. i cant help it but i think all kids should have a fighting chance and love goes a long way whether you are young or old.

 

Ms.KitKat
by Platinum Member on Oct. 24, 2013 at 4:45 PM

 What a great dad you have! and now a proud Grandpa!

Quoting MomTiara19:

 

 

Quoting paganbaby:

I don't know about all adoptees, but my 14 year old dd is very happy and well adjusted. I've had people tell me she's going to have a hard road ahead of her because not only is she adopted but she's also bi-racial being raised in a white family.  

*Shrugs* So far, so good. I've been rasing her since she was a month old. Her Bio mom has in been in her life off and on from the begining and she writes her her bio dad occasionally on FB.

I think our situation is unique because she grew up knowing her bio mom. There wasn't this big fantasy about her. In fact DD doesn't really like spending more than a few hours with her,lol. As for her bio dad, she's never really shown an interest in him.

I am black and my dad who is white married my bio mom and adopted me at 9.

My mom died 14 years ago and my dad has always been there for my family.I never had any interest in meeting my bio dad.

I think being adopted is better than a child being raised from foster home to foster home.Every child needs a family and a place to call home.

My dad with my daughter below:)


 

 

beesbad
by Bronze Member on Oct. 24, 2013 at 4:45 PM
4 moms liked this
I think the point of the article posted is that adoptive parents need to realize that once the papers are signed it isn't over and done with. Adoptees all have issues to one degree or another, they have feelings of abandonment and "otherness". If these issues aren't addressed in an open and loving way then a lot of psychological damage is done. These kids come with baggage and adoptive parents need to be aware of these issues so they can properly parent their children. It's just not the same as parenting a natural child and sometimes just loving your adopted child isn't enough. Being aware of and anticipating issues before they occur isn't a bad or negative thing.

Quoting vic270:

so you think it would be better if they were aborted or left in foster homes until they are grown. i cant help it but i think all kids should have a fighting chance and love goes a long way whether you are young or old.

DSamuels
by Gold Member on Oct. 24, 2013 at 4:48 PM

As an adoptee, almost all the posts I've seen of yours were negative towards adoption. That's my opinion.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 Huh. I don;t think this is negative at all. This gives a picture from the persepctive of the adoptee. After the birthparents, it's the adoptee who seems to be forgotten in the triad of adoption.

Educating oneself about the risks and potential issues is not negative. It's realistic.

However to answer (sortof) your question of why I posted this. I posted this as a spin-off from the surrogacy thread in which there was a discussion about the affects on the child when not raised by the mother who birthed him/her.

Quoting DSamuels:

Just curious, why do you post so many negative articles about adoption?

 


Ms.KitKat
by Platinum Member on Oct. 24, 2013 at 4:48 PM

 (in red) Are you a a triad member?

Quoting stormcris:

I am not insisting anything of the sort. I am insisting that the piece in the OP is contentious and making assertions that are problematic. I am merely commenting on the piece. 

Are there problems with adoption? Surely we have seen such and there are many examples but to contend that adoption affects everyone is just redundant and it is negative shading. I have no ability to shut down the conversation but to say always with a point that is true of all not just adoptees is not helpful to the discussion of the negative and often tragic side of adoption. I feel it is a disservice to the actual problems associated with such. I am insisting that adoption is something entirely different with issues that are ignored and disregarded by this piece. Other people will not get the truth of what adoption can and will create in a child through what is presented here. Depression and the mention of such is not the truth of what most adult adoptees go through. It is just shuffled off as such for a diagnosis. What they go through is mourning and sense of loss of self. That being shuffled toward depression is a band aid mechanism. That being shuffled off as any mental disease or illness is inherently wrong to me so thus I disagree entirely with this piece. Mourning and loss of self are not merely feelings that need some sort of medicine. They are emotions that are correct for the effect to the person and they need something more than to throw some medicine at it. My feelings on adoption are extreme and varied and I contain my comments at times because literally I could write extremely long replies on this subject but this piece ticks me off and it gives crappy understanding to those who should get information on such.

Quoting A-nony-mous:

 

 

Quoting stormcris:

Everything that touches a person affects them. You are affected by your biological parents in a similar manner. To say that is like saying a person breathes and then negatively spin it as contributing to global warming. This is how this article comes off.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 The article cites that adoption always affects the adoptee- NOT that they are always affected by depression. There is a diffference.

But think about it: say you were raised by wolves- that fact there will always affect you.

Sure, you might become a productive member of society and learn language and become educated and contribute positive ways to society, but the simple fact that you were raised by wolves will always shape who you are.

Quoting stormcris:

I think always is a bad term to use when they speak of that study. A great deal of the US is depressed. Depression comes from many places it is not simple to say that an adoptee was depressed or had issues because of the adoption because many many biological status kids have the same issues. I was adopted and yes there were issues in that family but it was better than had I been raised by my biological parents. 

 



Out of curiosity, why are you so defensive about this? If you were adopted and happy then that's fine, but I'm not sure this is the topic for you. Or at least this isn't a place to constantly insist that just because you have your happy experience that other experiences are all wrong. 99% of the world's topics on adoption are positive and happy. There umpteen numbers to go and rave about it. It's frustrating to see people who are shutting down any conversation about the other side of the issue by insisting that someone is wrong for posting something in that vein or trying to open up that discourse, as you are now doing insisting that adoption has nothing to do with depression or other issues and that the OP is wrong in posting what she did. 


 

Ms.KitKat
by Platinum Member on Oct. 24, 2013 at 4:49 PM

 And again, I do not see this article as being negative in the least {{{shrugs}}}}JMO

Quoting DSamuels:

As an adoptee, almost all the posts I've seen of yours were negative towards adoption. That's my opinion.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 Huh. I don;t think this is negative at all. This gives a picture from the persepctive of the adoptee. After the birthparents, it's the adoptee who seems to be forgotten in the triad of adoption.

Educating oneself about the risks and potential issues is not negative. It's realistic.

However to answer (sortof) your question of why I posted this. I posted this as a spin-off from the surrogacy thread in which there was a discussion about the affects on the child when not raised by the mother who birthed him/her.

Quoting DSamuels:

Just curious, why do you post so many negative articles about adoption?

 


 

stormcris
by Christy on Oct. 24, 2013 at 4:50 PM

I am not familiar with that.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 (in red) Are you a a triad member?

Quoting stormcris:

I am not insisting anything of the sort. I am insisting that the piece in the OP is contentious and making assertions that are problematic. I am merely commenting on the piece. 

Are there problems with adoption? Surely we have seen such and there are many examples but to contend that adoption affects everyone is just redundant and it is negative shading. I have no ability to shut down the conversation but to say always with a point that is true of all not just adoptees is not helpful to the discussion of the negative and often tragic side of adoption. I feel it is a disservice to the actual problems associated with such. I am insisting that adoption is something entirely different with issues that are ignored and disregarded by this piece. Other people will not get the truth of what adoption can and will create in a child through what is presented here. Depression and the mention of such is not the truth of what most adult adoptees go through. It is just shuffled off as such for a diagnosis. What they go through is mourning and sense of loss of self. That being shuffled toward depression is a band aid mechanism. That being shuffled off as any mental disease or illness is inherently wrong to me so thus I disagree entirely with this piece. Mourning and loss of self are not merely feelings that need some sort of medicine. They are emotions that are correct for the effect to the person and they need something more than to throw some medicine at it. My feelings on adoption are extreme and varied and I contain my comments at times because literally I could write extremely long replies on this subject but this piece ticks me off and it gives crappy understanding to those who should get information on such.

Quoting A-nony-mous:



Quoting stormcris:

Everything that touches a person affects them. You are affected by your biological parents in a similar manner. To say that is like saying a person breathes and then negatively spin it as contributing to global warming. This is how this article comes off.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 The article cites that adoption always affects the adoptee- NOT that they are always affected by depression. There is a diffference.

But think about it: say you were raised by wolves- that fact there will always affect you.

Sure, you might become a productive member of society and learn language and become educated and contribute positive ways to society, but the simple fact that you were raised by wolves will always shape who you are.

Quoting stormcris:

I think always is a bad term to use when they speak of that study. A great deal of the US is depressed. Depression comes from many places it is not simple to say that an adoptee was depressed or had issues because of the adoption because many many biological status kids have the same issues. I was adopted and yes there were issues in that family but it was better than had I been raised by my biological parents. 

 



Out of curiosity, why are you so defensive about this? If you were adopted and happy then that's fine, but I'm not sure this is the topic for you. Or at least this isn't a place to constantly insist that just because you have your happy experience that other experiences are all wrong. 99% of the world's topics on adoption are positive and happy. There umpteen numbers to go and rave about it. It's frustrating to see people who are shutting down any conversation about the other side of the issue by insisting that someone is wrong for posting something in that vein or trying to open up that discourse, as you are now doing insisting that adoption has nothing to do with depression or other issues and that the OP is wrong in posting what she did. 


 


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