Can a child adopted as a newborn have adoption-related trauma issues?

Can a child adopted as a newborn have adoption-related trauma issues? 

Best Answer

  • DeeDee
    Answer ✓
    Hello Virginia,
    Yes. A child adopted as a newborn can have adoption-related trauma issues. The reason for this is that ALL adoptions — no matter when they occur — are a loss for the child. There is still a separation from the birth parent that a baby has been growing inside of. Early bonding has occurred, and the baby will feel this loss.

    As they grow older, many adoptees will recognize this separation and grieve the loss of their birth families, even if they have had no contact with them since birth. It's important that the child is able to process this loss, and they should always be encouraged to feel their emotions and not try to hide or suppress them. You cannot erase a child's roots, history or biological connections, no matter how loving the adoptive family is. Nor should you want to. Each child's background makes him the person he is.

    Also keep in mind that there are other types of trauma that can occur before the child is born, such as fetal alcohol syndrome or inherited psychiatric disorders as well as increased stress hormones or a lack of attachment in the womb due to the birth mother's feelings about the pregnancy. (Babies can and do feel their mother's emotions in utero).

    I know it's hard to hear and accept that your child may be grieving or suffering as a result of his or her adoption. As wonderful as adoption can be, there is always some degree of trauma that occurs. That doesn't mean your child is destined to have problems for the rest of her life. Healing can happen over time as long as the emotions are addressed. 

    If your child is having adoption trauma-related issues that seem to be severe and aren't going away, you might want to consider therapy. 

    Here are some articles on adoption trauma you may find helpful.

    What You Need to Know About Trauma and Infant Adoption -

    What I Wish I'd Known About How Early Life Trauma Affects Adopted Children -

    3 Facts You Need to Know About Fetal Trauma in Adoption -

    Symptoms of Trauma -
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