We are grateful for the following contribution from an adoptive parent. We know that adoption can be a hard and difficult option and it is best for everyone to go in with their eyes open and with genuine communication about the potential problems. We hope to increase the information available here about post adoption support and attachment difficulties.
The Bubble Wrapped Child by Helen Oakwater contains a good discussion about some of the emotional difficulties adopted children can have. Her website is here.
We are adoptive parents. We have birth children who are older than our adopted daughter. We are probably a bit conventional.
We adopted our daughter aged 6. That should have flagged up a lot of signals but we were optimists, believing that love and care would be enough. It wasn’t.
We were not told the truth about our daughter when she arrived, and we gradually found it out over the next 7 years. We were naive, in spite of our professional experiences. Do not expect to be told the full truth – some of it will be confidential, and even though it would help to know it, you may not be told.
Things got worse with puberty, and our daughter started demonstrating the fight or flight symptoms (we learnt later that she had Reactive Attachment Disorder and this was natural), but it was very stressful and we didn’t understand it.
There were problems, when we adopted her we were told that one day she may “revert to type”. We found this awful at the time, but later it came back to haunt us. Beware though, you may be blamed for the problems, even though it may not be you that have caused them.