Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

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

Posted by   + Show Post

 

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 (41-50):
Ms.KitKat
by Platinum Member on Oct. 24, 2013 at 6:05 PM

 Just so I understand- your mother was adopted; and your mother then did not parent you but you were parented by your grandparents?

I do not understand that last part: "she was also anon birth parent prior to my birth"? Can you explain that part please?

Quoting stormcris:

I am an adoptee of my mother's adoptive parents, she was also anon birth parent prior to my birth.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 A triad member: birthparent, adoptee, adoptive parent

Quoting stormcris:

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.


 

stormcris
by Christy on Oct. 24, 2013 at 6:10 PM

The first part is correct my biological mother is legally my sister. She was adopted and then her adoptive father and second wife adopted me. She had a child before me that was given up for closed adoption to differnt adoptive parents. 

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 Just so I understand- your mother was adopted; and your mother then did not parent you but you were parented by your grandparents?

I do not understand that last part: "she was also anon birth parent prior to my birth"? Can you explain that part please?

Quoting stormcris:

I am an adoptee of my mother's adoptive parents, she was also anon birth parent prior to my birth.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 A triad member: birthparent, adoptee, adoptive parent

Quoting stormcris:

I am not familiar with that.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 (in red) Are you a a triad member?


LadyBugMom09
by Silver Member on Oct. 24, 2013 at 6:10 PM
1 mom liked this
My dad says that the only thing we all have in common is we all "have issues". My friend adopted 3 boys that were taken from a drug addict. I'd say theyre better off. My friend is open with them about bring adopted and even has contact with their aunt (who has the BMs oldest boy).
Ms.KitKat
by Platinum Member on Oct. 24, 2013 at 6:13 PM

 Very, very well said!!!!!!

I like how you said "adoption is another layer" so TRUE

and very well said!

Quoting beesbad:

I think we are all born with "issues" to one degree or another. Adoption is another layer of issues added to whatever you were born with. Also, the type of family you are adopted into can make things better or worse.

Nearly anyone can have a kid (baring infertility) whether or not they are good parent material. If a person is going to adopt I think it is extremely important to guarantee that they are good parent material before an adoption is allowed to occur. Statistically, adopted kids are at a much higher risk for problems. I don't think there is one contributing factor but rather many factors. They are a very vulnerable population and I don't think enough is done to make sure they are placed in appropriate homes or that most adoptive parents educate themselves on their child's unique needs.

I feel like I'm becoming a preachy know-it-all so I apologize to everyone if that's the case. I'm going to pick my daughter up from school so you'll all get a break from me. ;-)


Quoting Woodbabe:

I'm so sad that some adoptees have issues, but I wonder if they'd have had related issues if they'd been raised by their birth mothers. Since I was with mine until I was four, I was old enough to understand what abuse was, and that my adopted parents were a safe haven for me.

 

Ms.KitKat
by Platinum Member on Oct. 24, 2013 at 6:16 PM

 Now I understand how and why you have such strong emotion when it comes to adoption.

Have you ever thought of searching for your birth sibling? or have you ever been contacted by him/her? 

Quoting stormcris:

The first part is correct my biological mother is legally my sister. She was adopted and then her adoptive father and second wife adopted me. She had a child before me that was given up for closed adoption to differnt adoptive parents. 

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 Just so I understand- your mother was adopted; and your mother then did not parent you but you were parented by your grandparents?

I do not understand that last part: "she was also anon birth parent prior to my birth"? Can you explain that part please?

Quoting stormcris:

I am an adoptee of my mother's adoptive parents, she was also anon birth parent prior to my birth.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 A triad member: birthparent, adoptee, adoptive parent

Quoting stormcris:

I am not familiar with that.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 (in red) Are you a a triad member?


 

stormcris
by Christy on Oct. 24, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Yes, but it is very hard to be able to do so because I am not a birth parent or adoptive parent or adoptee in that instance. Then again, I also have the thought that perhaps that is better because the child doesn't exist in my biological mother's world.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 Now I understand how and why you have such strong emotion when it comes to adoption.

Have you ever thought of searching for your birth sibling? or have you ever been contacted by him/her? 

Quoting stormcris:

The first part is correct my biological mother is legally my sister. She was adopted and then her adoptive father and second wife adopted me. She had a child before me that was given up for closed adoption to differnt adoptive parents. 

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 Just so I understand- your mother was adopted; and your mother then did not parent you but you were parented by your grandparents?

I do not understand that last part: "she was also anon birth parent prior to my birth"? Can you explain that part please?

Quoting stormcris:

I am an adoptee of my mother's adoptive parents, she was also anon birth parent prior to my birth.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 A triad member: birthparent, adoptee, adoptive parent

Quoting stormcris:

I am not familiar with that.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 (in red) Are you a a triad member?


 


meriana
by Platinum Member on Oct. 24, 2013 at 6:38 PM
3 moms liked this

I like these articles. People do need to realize that adoption isn't all rainbows and happily ever after. Just as children raised by bio parents, at times, have issues, so do adopted children, but they sometimes have, as someone else said, another layer. I've talked to people who were never told they were adopted but were not surprised at all to find out as adults, because as some put it, they grew up feeling very loved but also like a square peg in a round hole.

One thing that seems to be ignored is that even if one adopts a newborn, that newborn comes with charactistics, and inherited traits which may or may not mesh well with the characteristics and inherited traits of the adoptive family members. Just as with anything else, adoption can be wonderful but it can also bring it's own set of trials. 


Ms.KitKat
by Platinum Member on Oct. 24, 2013 at 7:12 PM

 Adoption impacts each person differently and it seems like adoption has impacted you. otherwise you would not have such strong emotion connected with it. You are most certainly an adoptee.

And your life has been touched on multiple levels by adoption. Just because in your bio-mom's world her child does not exist, the fact remains, there is a person out there in this world in which you are connected to. That person, that adult does exist. And you have every right to search for your sibling (if you want to). And to search for information about your biological grandparents (your mother's birth parents). 

And did you know that it is not un-common at all for an adoptee to also go on when older and be a birth mother.  This oftentimes is related to issues about her own adoption and feelings about her own birth mother. (mind you I am not saying all, or always or even frequently- I am simply saying it is not un-common).

Quoting stormcris:

Yes, but it is very hard to be able to do so because I am not a birth parent or adoptive parent or adoptee in that instance. Then again, I also have the thought that perhaps that is better because the child doesn't exist in my biological mother's world.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 Now I understand how and why you have such strong emotion when it comes to adoption.

Have you ever thought of searching for your birth sibling? or have you ever been contacted by him/her? 

Quoting stormcris:

The first part is correct my biological mother is legally my sister. She was adopted and then her adoptive father and second wife adopted me. She had a child before me that was given up for closed adoption to differnt adoptive parents. 

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 Just so I understand- your mother was adopted; and your mother then did not parent you but you were parented by your grandparents?

I do not understand that last part: "she was also anon birth parent prior to my birth"? Can you explain that part please?

Quoting stormcris:

I am an adoptee of my mother's adoptive parents, she was also anon birth parent prior to my birth.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 A triad member: birthparent, adoptee, adoptive parent

Quoting stormcris:

I am not familiar with that.

Quoting Ms.KitKat:

 (in red) Are you a a triad member?


 


 

Ms.KitKat
by Platinum Member on Oct. 24, 2013 at 7:14 PM

 Yes. Exactly, very well said. Thank you!

Quoting meriana:

I like these articles. People do need to realize that adoption isn't all rainbows and happily ever after. Just as children raised by bio parents, at times, have issues, so do adopted children, but they sometimes have, as someone else said, another layer. I've talked to people who were never told they were adopted but were not surprised at all to find out as adults, because as some put it, they grew up feeling very loved but also like a square peg in a round hole.

One thing that seems to be ignored is that even if one adopts a newborn, that newborn comes with charactistics, and inherited traits which may or may not mesh well with the characteristics and inherited traits of the adoptive family members. Just as with anything else, adoption can be wonderful but it can also bring it's own set of trials. 

 

 

PamR
by Pam on Oct. 24, 2013 at 7:17 PM
2 moms liked this

I've known several people in my life who were adopted, and while most of them had questions about their birth parents and the circumstances of their birth and subsequent adoption, none of them had psychological problems because of it.  In fact, all of them were grateful for the adoptive family they had; they grew up with loving parents, siblings and extended family.  What is a better solution?  Nothing in this life is perfect, but adoption is often the best solution for everyone.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN