November 13, 2012
The Emotional Damage Caused by Adoption: Real or Forced? When people in today’s day and age think about adoption they think about someone adopting a baby from another country. I think that people assume that it is something that happens and there are no complications with adopting a child. Most people do not thinking about what state of mind that the child is in, how it will react to certain things, and what the child’s weaknesses and touchy spots are. Some parents who are adopting do not see that they may be faced with lifelong therapy for their new child-to-be and problems with behavior and trust. Children who are adopted can come with emotional damage. When a child is able to tell people that they have been adopted for so many years, they are telling people this because it is what makes them the person that they have become, but sometimes parents feel that they aren’t the true parents. Children don’t always see the parent’s point of view on that certain topic. Having a past that most kids in foster care and ones that are adopted have an impact on how they get close to people. Some children feel rejected; at some points they feel they are not wanted and so they do not want to try to get close to others they may care about. With any person, rejection from anyone or anything can hurt. Dr. Berger states that:
When we are hurt emotionally the same reaction occurs internally; our mental and emotional states are looking to move away from the hurtful person or situation, just as a person under attack. These are responses of defense and the subconscious mind does not differentiate between physical and emotional pain, as both can hurt us. If someone insults you or behaves in a way that violates your personal emotional boundaries, the feeling of hurt may be appropriate. When we experience enough situations of hurt, we feel we have to protect our self from further hurt. This is either wrong or right, it is a matter of whether the response suites your needs.
This can apply to anyone from the age of 1-99. That is just the beginning when it comes to emotional damage in adopted children. When a child is adopted, they may have trouble finding out who they are and what they are capable of doing. That can do emotional damage as well as cause self-esteem issues. If a child feels like they cannot find who they are, they feel like no matter what they do they will not be able to hold up to the standards that people expect from them. When a child feels like they work at changing themselves to be who others want them to be, at one point or another, they will break. When they break, someone has to be there to pick up the pieces that come with it, and that may meaning helping them take down all of the barriers they have put up for people, so they can’t see how they really feel. Kathryn Patricelli states that:
Adopted children may struggle with self-esteem and identity development issues more so than their non-adopted peers. Identity issues are of particular concern for teenagers who are aware that they are adopted and even more so, for those adopted in a closed or semi-open circumstance. Such children often wonder why they were given up for adoption. They may also wonder about what their birth family looks like, acts like, does for a living, etc. They may struggle with the knowledge that they may have a whole other family "out there" including half-siblings or extended family members that they may never meet. These issues may still arise in open adoption circumstances, but in that case, adopted children may have the opportunity to form some manner of relationship with their birthmother so as to gain direct access to relevant information. I feel that when a child is in that type of position like this not everyone knows how to deal with it. They may be given false ways to handle the situation or may take their own approach to helping to get the child where they need to be. If