Loss is a central theme to adoption, and it is experienced by all constellation members. Losses must be acknowledged, validated, and grieved in order to heal and move forward. If losses are not grieved, the ongoing hurt and pain will negatively impact one’s ability to function and form healthy attachments. Children grieve differently than adults, so it is important for adoptive parents to understand and identify how loss and grief manifest developmentally, behaviorally, and emotionally and learn strategies for helping children heal. Find resources that can help children and families identify their losses and focus on building a secure attachment that will help both heal.
3-5-7 Model Framework
Darla. L Henry & Associates
Addresses the challenges of achieving permanency for children and how being vigilant about children’s pain is crucial to preventing additional losses.
Addressing Grief and Loss in Your Support of Adoptive, Foster, and Kinship Families [Video]
Presents tools and strategies to incorporate grief and loss education and support into services for foster, adoptive, and kinship families.
API's Eight Principles of Parenting
Attachment Parenting International (2019)
Assists parents with how to better understand child development, how to identify their children's needs, and how to better respond to their children with respect and empathy to ultimately become more conscious of and attuned to their needs.
Finding and Working with Adoption-Competent Therapists
Four Challenges Adopted Children Face and How You Can Help
Discusses common issues that adoptive families face and strategies that can be used to assist their children to cope with grief, loss, separation, and other mental health challenges.
Helping Adopted Children Cope With Grief and Loss
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau (2019)
Adoption Triad, February
Provides information and resources on the emotions experienced as a result of grief and loss and how to recognize and navigate through those feelings.
How Can I Help My Adopted Child Cope with Loss and Trauma?
Offers testimony from the perspective of an adoptive parent and discusses how using Trust-Based Relational Intervention helped with overcoming challenges of adoption.
The Impact of Adoption
Parenting Your Adopted School-Age Child
Pathways to Permanence 2: Parenting Children Who Have Experienced Trauma and Loss: Intervention Implemented in Texas for QIC-AG Project (PDF - 487 KB)
Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation (2018)
Summarizes the Pathways to Permanence 2 program and provides foster and adoptive parents, kinship caregivers, and guardians with a foundational understanding of the science of trauma and loss and an insight into the experiences of their children who have been impacted by them.
The Teen Years: Brain Development and Trauma Recovery
North American Council on Adoptable Children
Guides parents and caregivers in developing parenting strategies that prioritize family connection and establish trust.
What Are the Mental Health Effects of Being Adopted?
Discusses what potential mental health challenges might arise from being adopted, including ways to find help.