Are you an adult adoptee? Were you placed in foster-care as a child? Do you have questions, thoughts, feelings and or concerns while you move forward in your life. Are you having difficulties presently?
Adoptees face a multitude of issues throughout their lifecycle. Every adopted person is different. However, I have found that many adoptees have similar questions regarding surrender, adoption and reunion to name a few. Grief and loss are emotions that many adoptees are plagued with throughout their life. I have found that therapy can be very useful for adoptees to discuss their particular circumstances with a professional who “sees them”. The impact of separation from a birth parent or birth family and the subsequent placement in foster care or in an adoptive home can have a tremendous impact on a persons functioning.
I worked for years in Boston/Cambridge with Dr. Joyce Maguire Pavo Ed.D., Corrine Rayburn, LCSW (deceased) and Susan Harris O’Conner, LICSW, at The Center for Family Connections in Cambridge, MA (no longer in business). All experts in the field of Adoption. Additionally, I subscribe to the writings of Nancy Verrier. Author of The Primal Wound. In this book Nancy illustrates how abandonment and loss is indelibly imprinted upon the unconscious minds of those who have been separated from their biological mothers at birth. Verrier’s second book Coming Home to Self is intended to help adoptees find their authentic self.
Adoption can have many layers, like peeling back the skin of an onion. You may be of a different race than your adoptive family, you may have been born in another country and brought to the US for adoption, you may have a disability, grew up in an adopted home where you experienced trauma, witnessed substance use and addiction, dysfunctional relationships and behaviors. All of these circumstances add additional layers to the initial wound of separation from from your birth mother.
Some general issues that adult adoptee may struggle with:
- Should I search for my birth mother or other biological family.
- I’ve been searching and cannot find.
- I sometimes feel like a fraud and don’t feel like I fit into my family.
- Relationships are difficult for me.
- I am not sure I want to have children.
- I am anxious, depressed and feel like there is something wrong with me.
- I feel numb.
- Inability to move forward in life / failure to launch.
- Tremendous difficulty with the ending of a relationship.
- I have remained in a relationship for too long and can’t get out even though I want to.
- I wonder if I’m affected by being adopted or having been a child in the foster care system.
I am an adult adoptee who has been in therapy to sort through my own issues related to adoption. I have searched for, found my birth mother and have built a relationship with her over the years. I continue to learn and grow as I age and maintain an acute awareness of how my past can impact my present.