Post Adoption Therapy

Developments in the field of post-adoption services show that adopted children and their families face unique challenges. What was meant to be a blessing to the family and to the child may not seem to be as children develop. There are commonalities among adoptive families that other families don’t experience. The first one being the loss that the children have gone through, for example, loss of living situation, and loss of significant people in their short lives. Children may have experienced abuse, neglect, or other trauma. They may have experienced being kicked out of homes or placements even after leaving their parent’s home. Children adopted internationally may have suffered severe neglect as care was administered to the whole group and not to their individual needs. These children are at risk for emotional and behavioral problems that require mental health intervention. Commonly, the environment didn’t give these children the support to develop the relational and individual skills in each particular stage of child development. These deficits are frequently seen in the child’s difficulty in making healthy emotional attachments in their adoptive family. Families may need help strengthening the attachment bond between each member of the family. Therapy can also help prevent a failed adoption caused by the disruption in the family. As the adopted child grows, a new experience can trigger old wounds. Therapy can help the family understand why this is happening to the child and can help the child heal from the pains of the past. Therapy should not be seen as a judgment of the parenting of the adoptive parents, but as part of a normal process of healing and growth.