Trauma & Adoption

An Important Insight

Trauma and adoption often go hand in hand. Many parents who are adopting children, particularly infants, think that because they are adopting so young, their child will not have any major problems. This is not always the case. It is important to understand exactly what trauma is and how it presents itself developmentally through time.

With that said, it is also important to realize that not every child who experiences trauma, or whom is adopted will have profound difficulties. It is also erroneous to think that only adopted children have experienced trauma or will have behavioral problems. Our bodies and brains were designed to heal and will if afforded the opportunity. What the adoptive parents are doing essentially is offering the OPPORTUNITY for the child to heal whereas they otherwise might not have if they had stayed in their original environmental circumstance.

Another Important Insight: Adoption, Loss & Trauma

Loss is a central theme to adoption that often goes unnoticed. The first loss, if a child develops behavioral problems due to early childhood trauma, is the LOSS the parents experience of the idea of whom their child will turn out to be. This can actually happen to any parent for that matter but it seems to be particularly acute, if it occurs, for adoptive parents.

The child will also experience many losses throughout their lives including loss of identity associated with adoption and loss of birth parents, whether they are aware of it at the time the separation occurs or they learn of it later. This issues get more complex as it relates to loss and trauma when racial or ethnic differences come into play for example through international adoption.

You are making a difference!

No matter how hard the experience is, or how wonderful it is, you must always believe you are making a difference in the life of a child; whether you are adopting or fostering.

Some great resources for Adoptive Families:

Sherry Eldridge

Adoption Exchange

Bethany Christian Services-Lifelines



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