Eileen Beirich, M.A., MFT

Eating Disorders & Adoption Issues

Elieen

Psychotherapy Services Offered

Adoption Issues

Adoption and its issues touch many lives. Sometimes a person doesn't even know how, or even if, conflicts in their life may be connected to relinquishment and adoption. SEVEN CORE ISSUES IN ADOPTION, (c 1986 Silverstein & Kapln), effect the adoptee, the birth parent/s and the adoptive parent/s.

Those seven core issues are: LOSS, REJECTION, GUILT/SHAME, GRIEF, IDENTITY, INTIMACY and CONTROL.

If any of the following items cause feelings to arise in you that seem sad, fearful, hopeless or angry, talking to a therapist that is trained in these kinds of issues may prove to be helpful to you.

LOSS

The adoptee may fear abandonment in many relationships. Issues about holding on and letting go may seem uncomfortable.
Birth parents can't stop thinking about the lost child. Self esteem seems difficult to maintain and leads to isolation from old and new relationships.
Adoptive parents often have not grieved enough about her/his loss, such as infertility.

REJECTION

Adoptee may blame her/himself for needing to be adopted and feel unworthy to be adopted.
Birth parents may reject him/herself as irresponsible and unworthy because he/she permitted the adoption.
Adoptive parents may feel like he/she doesn't deserve to belong to their peer group, or family of origin, because of infertility.

GUILT/SHAME

Adoptee may believe she/he deserves misfortune because of shame of being different.
Birth parents can feel shame to be a party to guilty secret. Birth parent can feel shame/guilt for placing child in adoption.
Adoptive parents can feel shame about childlessness and believe it is a punishment.

GRIEF

Adoptee may not have grieved enough the loss of their birth family and that can cause depression and acting out. Birth parents can delay grieving for years resulting in conflicts with relationships in their family of today.
Adoptive parents may need to grieve the loss of the perfect child, they expected to have, in their dreams.

IDENTITY

Adoptee may behave in extreme ways, over-adaptive or rebellious, in order to test if they belong. Birth parents can develop a sense of diminished self-esteem that can effect present parenting of subsequent children.
Adoptive parents might develop a sense of lower self esteem, as they are not "blood" related to their adoptee.

INTIMACY

Adoptee might find it fearful to get close to someone. Past experience has so many losses in it. Bonding can be poor which can lead to poor intimacy in relationships of childhood and adulthood, especially marriage.
Birth parents can find that they also have intimacy issues, which relate to loss. Adoptive parents, with unresolved grief over losses, can experience marital difficulties. They may avoid connection with the adoptee to avoid further loss.

CONTROL

Adoptee realizes that adoption alters their life course. They had no part in the adoption decision. They can experience ineffectiveness in day to day relationships.
Birth parents often see the relinquishment/adoption as out of their control. This can make it difficult for them to actualize a self-direction.
Adoptive parents can feel that they will not be effective in generating a life plan when they have not been able to generate their own children.


For information about making an In-Office Consultation Appointment

CALL (626) 296-3594

Day & Evening/Saturday Appointments

E-Mail: eibei@aol.com

Elieen Beirich, M.A., MFT
Licensed Marriage, Family Therapist - #33187
Eating Disorder & Adoption Specialist
595 East Colorado Blvd., Suite 620
Los Angeles, California 91101
(626) 296-3594

Copyright ©1998 - 2006 Carol Boulware, Ph.D.
Psychotherapist.net Interntet Disclaimer