Adoption is beautiful, but it is also messy and complex
Those in the adoption triad: parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees know that all too well.
Once a child is separated from their birth mother/parents trauma occurs. Even if the separation happens right after birth and the child meets loving adoptive parents. It even occurs if all parties opted for open adoption.
It’s important to acknowledge the trauma associated with adoption. It can have major impacts on the lives of those in the triad. The way adoption trauma shows up in your life will look different depending on your unique case. But, it’s likely still present.
Understanding Adoption Trauma
For example, many adoptees struggle with feelings of loss and abandonment. These feelings occur no matter how loved they are by their adoptive parents. They may act out their trauma in ways that seem angry or destructive to others. And they may struggle with poor self-esteem, wondering what they did wrong to be in this situation.
Adoptive parents often struggle with guilt and understanding their adopted child’s behaviors. They often internalize their child’s struggles and take them personally. Some parents wonder if their child would act this way with their birth family. Or, they believe they may be doing something wrong as adoptive parents.
Often, an adoptee’s trauma response is hard for others to understand.
What they see is the picture-perfect image of adoption that’s portrayed in the media. The image of a child placed with a loving family and everything is okay from there on out.
But, the reality is often very different from this idyllic image. A baby forms an attachment with their mother before they’re even born. So separation is traumatic for them, even if it happened at birth. No matter what age a child was adopted, they may struggle on an emotional and behavioral level. Some children more so than others.
What people fail to realize is no matter what situation a child enters, their trauma will follow them. It’s biological and it is normal. In fact, research shows that adoptive children are much more likely to experience anxiety, depression, other and behavioral issues than children who are being raised by their biological parents. Their behavior is a reflection of the trauma they have gone through, not the family they were placed into.
The good news?
Professional guidance from an adoption counselor with adoption trauma experience can help. Both the adoptee and adoptive family can process the adoption and form healthy attachments. This opens the doors for improved mental health for all parties.
As skilled therapists, we would venture to say working with a therapist can help any person or family that experienced adoption. You or your child may not be going through a hard time at the moment. But, it’s still good to work through the loss they experienced with an adoption counselor.
At Moxie Family Therapy we offer counseling for adoption for individuals, couples, and families. We will work with individuals of all ages. We believe that difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations. It only takes some moxie to get there.
Our Approach to Counseling for Adoption in Orange County, CA
Our goal in adoption counseling is to meet you and your family where you’re at. We want to address issues that are bringing you to counseling. To do this, we focus on creating a safe space for you and/or your child to explore their innermost feelings. All without fear of judgment. We want you to know that what you are going through is normal, and it’s okay to talk about it.
First, we will work with your child or your family to create a plan. We will work to help you deal with conflict, emotional outbursts, and distress. This usually involves getting you to a place where you’re emotionally stable and prepared to cope with challenging things when they arise. Then, we will help you process your thoughts and feelings around the adoption or trauma.
To help you process your trauma we may recommend you try EMDR. Especially the things that are holding you back and making you feel “stuck,” we may recommend you try EMDR. This is a very effective treatment. It works well with both kids and adults to help with healing.
Begin Counseling for Adoption in Orange County, CA
You deserve to enjoy spending time with your family. Our caring team of therapists understands the unique trauma that can come with adoption. We would be happy to help you from our Orange County, CA-based practice. To start your counseling practice, please follow these steps:
- Fill out the form below
- Meet with a member of our caring team of therapists
- Start counseling for adoption
Other Services Offered with Moxie Family Therapy
Counseling for Adoption isn’t the only service offered by our Orange County-based practice. Our team offers therapy for women, teens, children, young adults, and LGBTQ folx. We also offer therapy for trauma, anxiety, couples, and clinical supervision. We know making in-person appointments is hard at times. So, we also offer online therapy in California. Learn more about therapy for therapists and other services by reading our FAQ or reading our blog today!