The act of adoption is a beautiful thing, often born of generosity and immense love. Every adoptee has a different story, different timeline and their own cast of characters who have influenced their adoption experience and consequently their lives. However, even with as much goodness is present in most adoptive situations, adoption therapy can prove incredibly beneficial in many ways;
Understanding and repairing any early life trauma, including abuse and neglect, and the subsequent impact on attachment strategies is paramount.
Adolescence can be a particularly challenging time. The developmental mission of every teenager is to try to figure out exactly who they truly are. However, adoptees may be doing so with incomplete information about their past and where they came from. Thus, many unconsciously create a false self and never feel fully whole.
Transracial adoptions often carry unspoken conflicts for adoptees (i.e. the feeling of never fully belonging with one group or another, lack of expected knowledge from those with the same biological racial background). The development of a racial identity is an integral part of the development of one's true self. This often requires the creative incorporation of both adoptive and family of origin's racial and ethnic heritage.
Being that throughout their lives, the narrative surrounding their adoption is often focused on the "happy" points of the process (which in itself is a great thing), many of the struggles faced by adoptees remain unspoken as guilt can accompany the desire to speak of what might be missing, of the grief over what may have been lost, etc.
Issues often bubble to the surface around pivotal points in a person's life; adolescence, entrance into independent adulthood, and the birth of children.
A myriad of symptoms that adult adoptees may be struggling with often stem from unresolved issues born from their adoptive status. Substance abuse, eating disorders, personality disorders and an overall sense of just feeling "incomplete" or "off" can be byproducts of unresolved, unacknowledged issues.
Adoption counseling can help address and heal these issues and many others.
Who can benefit from adoption therapy?
Children & adoptive families adjusting through the process
Birth/First parents & relatives
Potential support for all parties going through the search/reconnection process