You as an
adopted person

You as a birth parent

You as adoptive parents

Adoption Issues and Family Research

I am an adopted person myself, and I traced my birth family in 2001.

I searched using the proper legal channels and was offered just one counselling session as part of that procedure. My search was successful and the outcome has proved extremely positive.

However the process of making the decision to search, the search itself and its consequences have all led me to experience and consider the effect that adoption has on all those who are involved. During that time I became aware of the need for accessible support and therapy for members of what is often termed the “adoption triad”. The triad is made up of the three principal parties to any adoption -  adopted people, birth parents and adoptive parents.

Whilst there is common ground between the triad members, particular challenges or problems may arise for each group.

For example:

  • You as an adopted person may have had to contend with feelings of insecurity, abandonment, identity confusion and low self esteem.  You may have lived with separation trauma without realising that this is not what everybody else experiences.
    Some adoptees will have become compliant and tried to be perfect, whilst others will have acted out and tested everyone around them. It is worth noting here that compliant doesn’t necessarily mean untroubled.
    Relinquishment means separation and loss, and adopted people live without genetic cues. These issues can affect how adopted people exist and live their lives.
    Such issues are perfectly normal for anyone who started life this way, but they may be getting in the way of you enjoying your life as you would wish to.
    The separation from a mother may be hidden from your conscious memory but that loss can continue to affect the way you act in relationships with other people. I can help you discover how your long held beliefs may differ from reality, and how you can then begin to make positive changes to your behaviour.
    You may be trying to decide whether to search for your birth family. Embarking on a search is a significant step and only you can decide if the time and circumstances are right.
    I can help you consider the important factors in this decision making process.
  • You as a birth parent may have lived with years of guilt or regret following relinquishment of a child or children.
    You may have been told or promised that your child would be better off with people who could offer so much more than you could, and yet you know that the pre-natal bond is still there for you.
    You may be living your life in the hope of a future reunion with your lost child, wishing to feel complete again. However, if that has happened, it may not have been the wonderful and fulfilling experience that you had hoped for. You may now be struggling to establish a relationship with an adult, rather than the child you relinquished many years ago.
  • You as adoptive parents may feel challenged in your ability to communicate with your adopted child.
    Perhaps you were never told that your child had its own trauma to overcome. You may have been frustrated in your efforts to comprehend your child’s behaviour and need help to understand what is happening within your family.
    Sometimes your adopted child will hold back from becoming too close to you, for fear of another abandonment.
    All adopted children have two sets of parents. If you can understand the differences between biological and adoptive families, if you as an adoptive parent can understand the loss your child has experienced, then you can have a positive and inspiring effect on your child’s life.

For many people, in years gone by, the adoption process was shrouded in mystery and silence.  Facts were kept secret, and many adoptees who are now adults have found great difficulty in trying to understand what happened to them.

You may not have had the opportunity to talk about these matters in a confidential and safe environment before.

So for anyone involved in the adoption triad: birth parents, adopted people and adoptive parents, I offer you specialist professional therapy to focus on and address the emotions that may have affected you for many years.

Similarly, the current popularity of family research coupled with easier access to ancestral records can mean that anyone looking into their family history may suddenly discover the existence of relationships and relatives that were previously unknown.

These discoveries can significantly alter family dynamics.

So if you have been affected by such a discovery and wish to discuss and examine the issues raised by that, please do contact me.


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