Impact of Adoption
Adoption is a lifelong process and, although each experience is unique, members of the constellation will likely be impacted by some or all of the seven core issues of adoption. The seven core issues are loss, rejection, shame and guilt, grief, identity, intimacy, and mastery and control. When professionals explain these issues to children, youth, and their families, it helps them understand and talk about their personal experiences and how adoption has impacted their lives. It is vital that adopted children and youth are comfortable talking about their feelings regarding adoption with their families. Professionals can help prepare parents for these conversations before the adoption and as a part of postadoption preservation and support services.
The adoption journey begins with loss. Children who are adopted experience the loss of their birth family, being able to grow up with them, and connection to their culture. While all loss is hard, the ambiguous loss in adoption can make it more challenging to grieve because the loss may not be recognized by others who don’t understand the impact of adoption. Adults in the child’s life, including professionals, should validate his or her feelings and experience, name the feelings, and help him or her find ways to cope. The losses experienced can have an impact on the child’s identity development especially as he or she reach adolescence. Providing youth an outlet to explore their adoption experience and get answers to their questions will help them accept and embrace their story and incorporate it into their identity, which can increase self-esteem and regain a sense of control.
Helping children, youth, and families learn about these issues and seek support when needed can strengthen their relationships with one another and increase stability. Below are resources that explain the impact of adoption in more detail.
3 Resources on the Impact of Adoption
For more information, visit at https://www.childwelfare.gov.
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