How to Acknowledge Adoption-Related Behavioural issues

Family Family
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Kush Pandya
2 years ago
adopted child psychological problems

Each adopted child has a unique past, that is fuelled by the struggles and hardships they had to deal with. Being brought up in such circumstances tends to leave emotional scars. This could translate into emotional, social, and mental issues. The brain and body also start developing coping mechanisms to negate the re-surfacing of the horrors of the past.

A few adopted child psychological problems can be severe enough to cause developmental impediments. Most of them are related to their mental well-being. These disorders can be diagnosed and confronted. It is important to look for their signs and symptoms

1. Opposition Defiance Disorder (ODD)

Individuals suffering from this disorder are very likely to rebel against the authority figures in their life. An attitude of anarchy and indifference to the property is often visible, along with a disregard for rules, regulations, and commands. Adopted children are commonly seen rebelling against their caretakers, as they try to reject their authority over them. 

2. Separation-anxiety Disorder

Under this disorder, the kid never lets you away from their presence. When separated from the parent, they are filled with anxiety episodes and stress. It is usually a by-product of their abandonment issues. 

3. Intimacy issues

For one to be able to be intimate with a fellow being, they would have to trust the other and truly expose their vulnerabilities. Adopted children often find this an arduous task as they are very rigid with their thoughts and feelings, and make sure to not share personal facts with others. 

4. Eating Disorders

Eccentric eating patterns are found in many adopted children. These can later manifest into serious eating disorders such as Bulimia Nervosa or Anorexia. These disorders are usually a result of a distorted body image and self-esteem issues. People who are poor at regulating their emotions, and often bottle up their feelings are more susceptible to such issues.

 5. Abandonment issues

Having been abandoned once already by their biological parents, they have a hard time making themselves feel secure in your company, as they fear you leaving them as well. This makes them come across as distant as they try not to get too attached to their adoptive parents.

 6. Identity issues

This issue is more prevalent amongst the kids who weren’t previously aware of the fact of their adoption. Upon learning the truth, they start questioning every aspect of their life and themselves. They start to wonder what their heritage and family was like. There is also an internal thought-process going on when they look at somebody who they think they resemble and start questioning if they are related to them in any manner.

Not every child who is adopted will find themselves in such a situation. Many go through life without showing any signs of disturbance or emotional trouble. Usually, the likelihood of such problems increases the longer the child is under institutionalized care or on their own, wandering the streets, trying to survive. There are other factors that can trigger these issues such as: 

1.     Exposure to Substance Abuse

There are many ways in which a child can be exposed to such harmful practices. It could be the biological parents who had exposed the child to this environment. Or maybe it was during the time they were by themselves and got mixed with the wrong crowd.

 2.     Physical, Emotional, or Sexual Exploitation.

There are many cases of exploitation reported in our country against children. Abandoned children are more likely to be preyed on for such debauchery, as they have no one to help and support them through life. Even under the care of the orphanage, they aren’t completely safe. The authority figures in these facilities have complete power over the child, who is left vulnerable and exposed to the authority figures whims. 

3.     Neglect From Authority Figures In Life.

The cycle of neglect starts all the way from the birth parents who left them. Further, the people in charge of child-care facilities are already over-burdened with the responsibility of managing so many kids. They cannot provide proper and equal attention to each and every child under their care. 

4.     Prenatal Harm.

In certain cases, the mother can endanger the life, safety, and future development of their child by following certain ill-advised practices during her pregnancy. There are many ways to harm the fetus; such as alcohol consumption, smoking (or even being exposed to second-hand smoke), substance abuse, or under-nourishment of the embryo in the belly. 

5.     Age of adoption.

The earlier the child is adopted, the lower will be the likelihood of them facing anything on the lines of Adopted Child Syndrome. Research suggests that there is hardly any difference in the developmental hurdles of children who were adopted before the age of six-months when compared with children who were raised by their biological parents. The children who are adopted later in life, are more likely to face developmental hurdles. 

6.     Whether the child ever had contact with the birth parents.

In case the child doesn’t remember having any contact with his biological parents, they will have an easier time adapting and connecting to you. But if they had a strong connection with their birth parents, then it might take time before they are ready to accept you as their parent. They often feel that they’d be doing a disservice to the memory of their birth parents if they start considering their adoptive parents in the same light. 

The main focus of all parents is to try and alleviate these lifelong issues in adoption and their detrimental effects on the lives of their children. You might be wondering what you can do to help your child in this journey to overcome these issues. A lot can be achieved by a change in your mindset. 

1.     Make them feel secure and safe.

Start by addressing their abandonment issues. Understand that they fear losing you the way they lost their biological parents. Reassure them through your actions and words, that you’ll be there for them; that you’re not going to leave or abandon them. It might feel repetitive, but it’s important for your child to know this. 

2.     Develop their confidence and self-esteem.

They are often found lagging behind on self-esteem. This can be addressed by appreciating all their achievements and accomplishments. Be their personal cheerleader in life. Shower them your undivided attention, so that they realize how important they’re to you. It is important to express these sentiments, rather than merely assuming that they know how you feel. Your words and actions can instill these beliefs in them. 

3.     Be sensitive and maintain your composure when they disappoint you.

Rather than being impulsive and giving them a stern scolding, organize your thoughts and attune to their sensibilities. Make it clear why you’re upset with them and how they can fix or repent for their mistakes. Make it very clear that you still love them and are just disappointed by their actions in this particular scenario. 

4.     Help them socialize with others.

A cornerstone of emotional and social development is to be able to mingle and be a part of society by forming strong connections with others. Make sure to encourage them to take part in different social functions and occasions. If they’re apprehensive, go with them to show your support. Do make sure to keep them under supervision, to check for signs of bullying from them or others.

 5.     Make sure to break the news of their adoption in the best way possible.

This is a very important conversation that most parents are apprehensive about. If not handled properly, this can have a serious impact on your relationship with them, as well as on their relations with others down the road. You can take help from our article on how to discuss this subject with them.

Read more: Worried about telling child they are adopted


 6.     Be extra careful during big occasions such as birthdays.

Important occasions such as birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s day can be very hard on the child as they start reminiscing about their birth parents. Old memories from their past life might dredge up and feelings of remorse might swell through them. Thus, making it important for you to understand their feelings and stand by them, rather than forcing them to enjoy the event.

 At the base of all these issues is the fact of their adoption. Make them feel comfortable with this idea and end the stigma against the subject. You can use the following ways to deal with this taboo topic. Your kid might have vaulted their feelings on adoption. It falls to you to create a safe environment where they can be open.

Stay Tuned, Stay Relevant!

This article has been reviewed by our panel. The points, views and suggestions put forth in this article have been expressed keeping the best interests of fellow parents in mind. We hope you found the article beneficial.
• kids
• Care
• love
• adoption
• behaviour
• issues