Adoptees May Struggle with Feeling Different
Being adopted can create many feelings of being different. An adopted child may look differently than their adopted parents or they may be a different race or culture. It is important that differences (real or perceived) be addressed by the adoptive family in a positive way.
•Need to be assured that they are worthy
•Feelings of dual heritage, both biological and adoptive need to be validated.
•Children need to understand that while adoption is wonderful, that it also involves loss and grief.
•Children need reassurance that their birth parent’s decision to adopt was not about them.
•Need to understand that adoption is an adult decision.
•Children need permission to express their feelings about the adoption.
•Children need to deal with their feelings of rejection and that absence doesn’t mean abandonment.
•Adoptive parents need to be emotionally healthy role models.
•Children need to hear their parents discuss their feelings about adoption.
•Adoptees must be able to grieve their losses
•Attachment is imperative: children must learn to give and receive love
Adoption involves loss. All members of the adoption triade are affected. Birth parents experience the loss of a biological child. Adoptive parents may experience infertility and the loss having a biological child and the biological child may experience loss of birth parents, siblings, extended family, culture or country.
Grief is a normal and natural response to loss. Working through grief will assist you and your child In gaining acceptance and understanding. It will allow your relationship to be healthier and stronger.