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Adoption

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Adoption:
The Negative Emotional Impact of Adoption

Research Writing

Introduction

Growing up there is one point in time when all children wish they had different parents or wished they could be adopted by adults who are “cool, understandable, and rich” because out parents seemed to always find a way to ruin our lives. Unfortunately this is no wish for some children, being adopted by strangers is some children’s reality. Adoption is viewed as a lifetime commitment to raise babies or children who are not biologically yours into the best person they can be. People who adopt get that great sense of satisfaction that they reached out and changed a person’s life. Even though the adopters get that great sense of satisfaction, no one stops to think about the hurt and negative emotions that the adoptee may feel in regards to their adoption. Adoption can have a harmful negative reaction impact on the adoptees as they go through their journey of life. I believe that even though there are negative emotions that come with adoption there are some solutions such as therapy to cope with the emotions.

Review of the Literature

The emotional effect adoption can have on a child is a problem in society today. Researchers show there are different aspects of adoption people need to understand and different ways to cope with adoptees and the emotional hurt they feel. The following researchers discuss different emotional effects adoption can have on adopted children. Child Welfare Information Gateway (CWIG) (2004) is a service that provides information based on the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, and the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. The published information protects and educates people about different methods of protection of children. CWIG believes that as an adoptee grows, he/she will experience a lot of emotional hurt when going through different stages of life. They also provide the public with different methods on how to cope with an adoptee while he/she is going through the emotional time, like support groups, counseling, education, or searching. Barbara A Moe (1998) is an author who has obtained a Master of Social Work as well as a Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy. Moe also worked at Adoption Alliance, a nonprofit adoption agency. She believes that adoption comes with a certain range of expected adoptee behaviors. Her book describes a common disorder seen in adopted children that is referred to as Reactivate Attachment Disorder (RAD), which she believes, is harmful to a child. Moe suggests a series of therapy sessions would help an adoptee who suffers from RAD. David M Brodzinsky PhD (1990) is a Professor Emeritus of Developmental and Clinical Psychology and past Director of the Foster Care Counseling Project at Rutgers University and founding director of the Evan B Donaldson Adoption Institute. Brodzinsky has published in book form his view on how a loss in within the family can be stressful and adoption adjustment are related. He believes that adoption can bring a lot of stress growing up as an adopted child. There are no suggestions made by Brodzinsky because each child is different and reacts differently. David Kirschner PhD (Carangelo 2005) is a recognized psychologist and psychoanalyst for his forensic work on adoption issues worldwide. His concept of the Adopted Child Syndrome (ACS) supports the belief that adoption has an emotional effect on adopted children as they grow older. ACS is described as eight antisocial behaviors that could possibly be displayed throughout an adopted child’s lifetime. Kirschner does not suggest possible ways to treat Adopted Child Syndrome. Paul M Brinich PhD (1990) is trained as a child psychoanalyst at the Anna Freud Centre in London and as an adult analyst at the University of North Carolina/Duke University Psychoanalytic Education Program. One of his special areas is as a psychoanalyst in adoption. Brinich believes that if a family exposes the “secret” of adoption at the wrong time it will bring about pain and curiosity for an adoptee, however a possible treatment for it is psychoanalytic treatment. These researchers demonstrate that adoption has an emotional impact on adoptees in different parts of their lives that should be known by anyone who comes in contact with adopted children whether they are caregivers to the children or even married to an adoptees.
Child Welfare Information Gateway (CWIG) (2004) has concluded that there are different issues such as loss and grief, identity development and self-esteem, and genetic curiosity that adopted children will experience throughout life journey. They will feel a sense of loss as time progresses. They have not only loss and been abandoned by their birth mother but also their biological family. They begin to wonder, “what is wrong with me?” As humans grow older, begin to question who am I based on family; this phase in an adoptee’s life can be a painful experience. Identity development and self-esteem is an “influence of nature (inherited traits) versus nurture (acquired traits) may become very real to the adopted adolescent”, as their natural trait begin to develop they begin to notice how they are the different one of the family. After examining these issues, CWIG suggest different methods to cope with adoption. These methods include counseling or support groups to express adoptee feelings to persons outside of their family, education on other adoptees experience, and the last method they suggest is searching for people in their biological family to seek needed answers to questions that need to be answered such as who, what where, why and how. Finally , CWIG suggests adopted children should always have a way to cope with their thoughts and feelings to avoid acting out.
Barbara A Moe (1998) explores the possible emotional and health problems that can be encountered as adoptees. The emotional problem that is focused on is Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), which is when children find it hard to create an emotional bond with their caregivers in early childhood. This disorder is commonly seen in adopted children who have been constantly moved from person to person or from foster care to the family; not all older adopted children will experience or be diagnosed with RAD because they were able to find an attachment with their caregiver. The reasons children who do experience RAD can be caused by a break in the original attachment, which in turn causes the adoptees to lose trust or the inability to develop a sense of trust. The underlying cause of attachment problems have to do with trust, if the adoptee have no trust in their caregivers, it will be hard and nearly impossible to create an attachment between the two. Different factors that can influence RAD are things physically experienced by the adoptees whether it is abuse, neglect, alcohol and drug exposure in while in the womb, illness or separation from primary caregiver. According to adoption professionals, symptoms of RAD include lying unnecessarily, stealing, a fixation with fire, violence, unusual food habits, lack of impulse control, speech patterns, learning disabilities, lack of real friends, and lack of affection with parents. Moe suggests that various types of holding therapy techniques will help treat RAD because it is a healing process that adoptees need to go through in order to regain trust in someone.
David M Brodzinsky PhD (1990) wrote there is a greater psychological vulnerability seen in adopted children versus nonadopted children because adoption is stressful on them. Each source adds stress to children’s vulnerability emotionally, and adds to behavioral problems. Brodzinsky focuses on one element of life that can bring stress upon adoptees, which is a loss whether it is divorce or death of an important person in the children’s life. A loss in adopted children’s life has a greater effect than nonadopted children. Along with the loss of their birthparents, biological family, loss of culture and heritage, they deal with uncontrollable things such as divorce and death in the family, which brings about a loss of stability and a loss of a connection that was there. The adoption adjustment is based on the child’s judgment of adoption-related losses. When they experience a loss, adoption is no longer looked at as a good thing, which in turn can do one of two things to them, make them blame outward (the birth parent or adoptive parents) or inward (themselves). If children blame outward, they tend to act out in anger, and aggression; on the other hand if children blame inward, they tend to withdraw themselves from everything and everyone. Grieving these losses may result in adoptees acting out in anger, aggression, depression, or self-image problems.
David Kirschner PhD (Carangelo 2005) coined the term, “Adopted Child Syndrome (ACS)”, which refers to a series of behaviors that are generally displayed by some adopted children. Not all adopted children will experience ACS; the adoptees that are more at risk are children that are adopted at an older age. The children who are adopted before the age of six-months generally do not experience ACS because they are being raised no differently than a biological child. The following eight behaviors are commonly exhibited by children who here ACS: conflict with authority, stealing, lying, learning difficulties, fire fascination, lack of impulse control, running away, and preoccupation with excessive fantasies. It may also include a negative self-image, low frustration tolerance, and an absence of normal guilt or anxiety. There is a typically shallow quality to the attachment formed by the children, and a general lack of meaningful relationships. These acts of ACS are mainly because the children feel different and empty. Kirschner has no suggestions as to how to cope with ACS because each child is different and many act out in different ways.
Paul M Brinich PhD (1990) unlike other psychologists believes the emotional effect on an adopted child depends on when the children are told that they are adopted. He believes children should not be made aware of their adoption until latency (around the age of seven) or later because they can experience psychological problems because they believe that they are an “unwanted” child. Waiting to tell children allows them to go through the developmental stages every humans goes through and will allow them to understand the two different aspects of adoption, how they were “unwanted” children, but now are a wanted children by the people who have adopted them. These are two opposing ideas that children should understand when coping with adoption. Brinich further explains one method that can help adopted children overcome this feeling of being unwanted. Psychoanalytic treatment, which will allow the children to express repressed feelings through tactics such as free association or transference phenomena, are methods Brinich suggest will work.
In this Review of the Literature, these researchers examine how adoption can have a harmful effect on children, and suggest different methods of dealing with issues that may arise as the adoptees obtain more information about their situation.

Discussion of the Issues

Why is it that certain reactions are seen more in adopted children versus nonadopted children? Adoption can have a harmful effect on adopted children as they go through their journey of life. The first issue to be discussed is the negative impact of adoption on adopted children. The second issue will be solutions suggested by various experts. These issues will be discussed based on the Review of the Literature researchers as well as supplementary research. Some research from the Review of the Literature suggests that adoption can have a harmful impact on adopted children. Child Welfare Information Gateway (2004), David Brodzinsky (1990), and Paul Brinich (1990) researchers from the Review of the Literature, found that as adoptees grow they experience a lot of emotional pain, which in turn makes them act out in a negative way. Dr. Lee Bloom (Carangelo, 2005 Statistics), former Unit Director of Coldwater Canyon Hospital, reported that 60-85% of internees at Coldwater Canyon Center for Personal Development are referrals from Juvenile Probation Department and are also adoptees. Bloom explains these acts of aggression are played out from the angry feeling a child has for different reasons depending on the adoptee. Dr. Mark Lerner (n. d.) a Clinical Psychologist and Traumatic Stress Consultant and the Adoption Services (n.d.) both explain that there is an emotional impact of adoption on children. The child feels a sense of loss and grief because they no longer are with their biological family, which is a permanent feeling that would never go away, explains CWIG (2004) and Adoption Services (n.d.). In elementary school, adopted children tend to be more fearful, dependent and hostile. Both researchers further explain that these acts arise from identity, self-esteem, identity development, and genetic history. Mary D. Howard (Snodgrass, n.d.), a sociologist who specializes in family life, says that secrecy erects adoptee barriers to forming a healthy identity, which supports Paul Brinich’s belief that there is a certain time a child should be informed about his/her adoption. Secrecy, and denial play a role in the effect of adoption on the adoptee. Jean Paton (Carangelo Adopted 2005), a social worker and adoptee, found in her studies that secrecy causes confusion, and can damage the adoptee and families. As an adoptee grows, problems that were not dealt with during his/her childhood will resurface and later cause problems in the adoptees life as explained by Erik Erickson, a Danish psychologist, who explains this based on his Psychosocial Model of Adoption Adjustment (Brodzinsky, Schechter, and Henig n.d.). Usual problems that become unresolved in an adoptees’ lives are related to their adoption. They have a sense that they have been living a lie their entire life, which cause them to not trust anyone. Adoption is essentially a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
Other negative impacts of adoption are Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and Adopted Child Syndrome (ACS), which are two different syndromes that can be experienced by adopted children rather than nonadopted children. Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) is when a child finds it hard to create an emotional bond with their caregiver in early childhood, as explained by Barbara A Moe (1998). Helpguide.org (Smith 2011) states that attachment problems and disorders results in lack of trust and self-worth, a fear of getting close to anyone, anger, and need to be in control. Psychiatric problems can be caused by not having a bond with his/her caregiver. Psychiatrist Marshall Schecter (Adamec 2000) found that 13% of his patients over five years of age had been adopted and concluded that adoption causes or contributes to psychiatric problems. According to Moe (1998) a symptom of RAD is preoccupation with fire. 13% of 69 firesetters were adoptees according to a study of youthful firesetters in the San Bernadino Country Junvenile Justice System (Carangelo 2005). Adopted Child Syndrome (ACS) is a series of behaviors that are generally displayed by some adopted children. Laurence Arnold (Staffordshire Social Services 2011) further stated that ACS is simply “an absence of normal guilt or anxiety about one’s deeds”. ACS contributes to the psychotic rage felt by the adoptee at the time the crime is committed or during the crime says Pamela V Grabe (1990), an executive director of the Mental Health Association. Negative impacts experienced by adopted children can lead to psychological problems. Dr. Phyllis Chesler an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies at City University of New York said, “adopted children have a higher rate of emotional and psychological problems than the general population of youngsters”. Jean Paton (Carangelo Adopted 2005), a social worker, explains in the Western Journal of Surgery that she observed “passive, hostile and dependent behaviors” in an adopted child, which can also be described as Adopted Child Syndrome. Experts say in order to deal with these negative acts, the adoptee should seek professional help.
5-15% of patients in metal clinics are the average reported figure for adoptees under psychiatric care reports Lincoln Caplan author of An Open Adoption. (Caraneglo Statistics 2005). As a result, experts have suggested different methods to cope with different reactions. Child Welfare Information Gateway (2004), Barbara A Moe (1998), and Paul Brinich (1990) all suggest that the adoptee should get professional help such as therapy to prevent different actions based on feelings, or counseling to get guidance that can not be received from friends, family, or support groups. Different therapy exercises include preventative therapy, group therapy, family and individual therapy suggested by Amy Stevens (1995) a family therapist. According to Detroit-area adoption therapist Linda Yellin (Adoption.org n.d.) says, “therapy can assist adoptees in a number of different ways”. It can help them with their interpersonal relationships; the integration of their adoption experiences; their struggles around adoption issues; and with their healing process. Other coping methods that were suggested were support groups, and counseling, which will allow the adoptee to express how they feel in a controlled environment, Child Welfare Information Gateway (2004), and Reach Out Australia (2010) suggest talking with a professional to explain and understand feelings, joining a support group to discuss feelings with others that are in the same situation, along with keeping a diary which will help the adoptee keep track of their feelings as they go through the phases of their life. Support groups help validate adoptees feelings confirms Marie Haverton (Adoption.org n.d.) an adult adoptee. The final suggestion for coping with adoption as an adoptee is to search for your biological parents and family. Marcie Griffin (American Adoptions n.d), an adoption counselor at Hope Cottage Adoption Center, explains that the way an adoptee identifies them when they obtain some information about their biological background is significant as to how they view themselves. Searching is a way for adoptees to get back control and fill the missing pieces. David M Brodzinsky (1990) and David Kirschner (Carangelo Adopted 2005) did not specify solutions on how to cope, but using any of the above solutions will make an adoptee’s experiences less stressful and easier. Coping with adoption in a timely and professional manner will decrease the chances of adoptees acting out, or even staying to themselves.
There is much supporting evidence that adoption can have a harmful impact on a child. Researchers concur that there are negative effects of adoption. These effects can be stressful and cause grief. Researchers than explain different solutions as to how to deal with adoptees that do experience these harmful effects. The researchers do agree that adoption can have a harmful effect on adoptees; it can cause grief, stress, and make him/her to act out in aggression and rage unnecessarily. The only way to cope and help an adoptee is to seek professional help such as therapy and different exercises that will help them express themselves in a controlled manner and environment.

Conclusion

In this research paper, the experts have all shown the same views about the negative emotional impact to the adoptees and provided solutions as it pertains to coping with adoption. Adoption can have a harmful negative reaction impact on the adoptee as they go through their journey of life. This impact on adoptees can be experienced throughout a lifetime or can be a phase if professional help is invested in. Research explains such professional help includes therapy to learn how to control feelings, counseling to help express feelings, support to learn about how others in the same situation feel and cope with adoption, and searching for biological family to get unanswered questions answered. People must realize that even though adoption is positive it can also have a negative emotional impact on adoptees. References
Adamec, Christine, and William Pierce. (2000) "Psychiatric Problems Of Adopted
Persons - Adoption Encyclopedia." Adoption Encyclopedia - Terms, Terminology, Definitions, Lingo, Slang. Adoption, Adopting, Foster, A. Web. 9 Nov. 2011. .

Adopting.org. (n.d) "Issues Facing Adult Adoptees." Adopting.org. Adoption.org.
Web. 9 Nov. 2011. .

Adoption Services (n.d). Emotional Issues and Adoption. Retrieved October 10, 2011 from http://www.adoptionservices.org/raising_your_child_family/ adoption_emotional_issues.htm American Adoptions (n.d). "American Adoptions on Adoption Searches." American
Adoptions - A Full Service Adoption Agency. American Adoptions. Web. 10 Nov. 2011. .

Brinich, Paul M. (1990) "Adoption from the Inside Out: A Psychoanalytic
Perspective." The Psychology of Adoption. Ed. David M. Brodzinsky and Marshall D. Schechter. New York: Oxford UP. 42-61. Print.

Brodzinsky, David M. (1990) "A Stress and Coping Model of Adoption Adjustment."
The Psychology of Adoption. By David M. Brodzinsky and Marshall D. Schechter. New York: Oxford UP. 3-24. Print.

Brodzinsky, David, Schechter, Marshall, and Henig, Marantz. (n.d.) "Grief and Loss:
A Psychosocial Model of Adoption Adjustment." American Adoption Congress. Web. 16 Oct. 2011. .

Carangelo, Lori (2005) "Adopted Child Syndrome (ACS): Its History and Relevance
Today." Americans for Open Records. Amfor.net. Web. 19 Oct. 2011. http://www.amfor.net/acs/

Carangelo, Lori (2005). "Statistics of Adoption." Americans for
Open Records. Ed. Lori Carangelo. 2005. Web. 9 Nov. 2011. .

Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2004) “Impact of Adoption on Adopted
Persons: A Factsheet for Families.” Child Welfare Information Gateway. Child Welfare Information Gateway. Web. 06 Oct. 2011, from http://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/f_adimpact.cfm Grabe, Pamela V (1990). Adoption Resources for Mental Health Professionals. New
Brunswick, N.J., U.S.A.: Transaction, 1990. Print.

Lerner, Mark. "Adoption Stress and International Adoption." Adoption Doctors - Pre-
Adoption Medical Consultations. Adoptiondoctors.com. Web. 13 Nov. 2011. .

Moe, B. A. (1998). Adoption: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, CA:
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Reach Out Australia (2010). "Adoption - Coping with Finding out You Are Adopted –
ReachOut Australia." Reach Out Australia: Information and Help about Tough times and Mental Health Issues Such as Depression, Anxiety, Suicide, Eating Disorders, Bullying and Relationship Issues. - ReachOut Australia. Reach Out Australia, 6 Sept. 2010. Web. 9 Nov. 2011. .

Smith, Melinda, Joanna Saison, and Jeanne Segal (2011). "Attachment Disorders &
Reactive Attachment Disorder: Symptoms, Treatment & Hope for Children with Insecure Attachment." Helpguide.org: Expert, Ad-free Articles Help Empower You with Knowledge, Support & Hope. Helpguide.org, Oct. 2011. Web. 10 Nov. 2011. .

Snodgrass, Ginni. (n.d.) "Statistics on the Effects of Adoption on Adoptees and
'Birthmothers'" Adoption Healing. Ed. Ginni D. Snodgrass. Web. 9 Nov. 2011. .

Staffordshire Social Services (2011). "Adopted Child Syndrome (ACS): Its History and Relevance Today." Http://staffordshiresocialservices.wordpess.com. Staffordshire Social Services, 1 May 2011. Web. 9 Nov. 2011. .

Stevens, Amy (1995). "Understanding Adoption Therapy." Adoption Library. Articles,
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...century, in relation to the forced adoption practices that were taking place between the 1950’s and 1980’s. Forced adoption is used to explain a situation where a parent is having their child forcibly removed without their given consent. The Australian government together with all state governments failed to provide unmarried mother with equal treatment to that of married mothers in Australian public hospitals. In my essay I will be discussing the false distinction between capacities of young unwedded mothers to raising their children compared to the married financially secure mothers, along with analysing the shame and guilt felt by the mothers of losing their baby’s with the national apology trying to restore their lost dignity. The Oxford English Dictionary describes dignity as the quality of being worthy or honourable; worthiness, worth, nobleness and excellence (Oxford Dictionary).During the time when forced adoptions in Australia were taking place, legislative changes emerged in the 1950s and consolidated in the 1960s enshrined the concept of adoption secrecy and the ideal of having a "clean break" from the birth mother. Adoption practices in Australia has undergone a great deal of change along with society's responses and views towards pregnancies outside of marriage and single motherhood. Until a section of legal, social and economic changes in the 1970s, unwed women who were pregnant were expected to give up their babies for adoption. The shame, guilt and silence......

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...Adoption: A Forever Family Tracey M. Bourgoin Liberty University Abstract "Adoption is the creation of a new, permanent relationship between an adoptive parent and child. Once this happens, there is no legal difference between a child who is adopted and a child who is born into a family. Birthparents have many different reasons for putting children up for adoption" (Gaddie, 2009). Some decide that they want better lives for their children than they feel they are able to provide. Many birthparents say that having their child placed for adoption with another family is the most difficult thing in the world, but that sometimes it is truly in the child's best interest. There are many people who associate adoption with infertility, although many people who can have children, or already do, are adopting children more and more. Adopting a child is a very lengthy process and can take several years before the process is finally complete. Knowing which direction to begin in the process can also be frustrating for couples who are seeking to adopt as well. After all the paperwork, interviews, and home visits you will find that in the end your adoption journey will have been the most rewarding and fulfilling experience of your lifetime - and one that you will never take for granted once that precious gift from God is placed in your arms. Keywords: Adoption, birthparents, infertility, home visits, and interviews Adoption Introduction There are many married couples who......

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Adoption

...Adoption is an alternative way to have a family; it is a lifetime decision that should be made very cautiously. Adoption is a process where parents are supplied for children whose biological parents are deceased, or for those children whose biological parents are unable or unwilling to provide for their care. "Adoption creates a parent-child relationship recognized for all purposes including: child support obligations, inheritance rights and custody (Aigner p 10). The children are provided for childless couples or individuals interested in becoming parents. "According to Dr. Ruth Mc. Roy at the UT School of Social work, there are approximately 5,000,000 US births each year. Out of that approximation 118,000 are adoptions.  Adoption is traced back to the bible. It is known that the Pharaoh's wife adopted Moses, and Jesus was even adopted by Joseph. Adoption even goes as far back as the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and even the Babylonians. There were guidelines for adoption written in the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi, the oldest set of written laws, and the practice of adoption Gradually became the institution of adoption, as the legal guidelines evolved through the Holy Roman Empire, the kingdoms of Europe and Asia, and finally, the United States and the Americas. It is recorded that Judaism and Christianity was founded on the idea of open adoption. Before 1850, there were no laws governing adoption. Kids would just be given away without any questions; it was economically......

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...Overview of the various Adoption Acts , Procedures of Adoption in India Adoption can be a most beautiful solution not only for childless couples and single people but also for homeless children. It enables a parent-child relationship to be established between persons not biologically related. It is defined as a process by which people take a child not born to them and raise it as a member of their family.Sadly, in India, this beautiful relationship is given only limited encouragement by law. Only Hindus are allowed to legally adopt. Other communities can only act as legal guardians to the children they adopt. The adopted children do not receive the status of children; they only attain the status of wards. The law is still more parent-oriented than child-oriented. It does not recognise the right of every child to a caring family environment. In the case of Hindus, it is the spiritual motive that the law recognizes. Children, the true beneficiaries of adoption, are given short shrift. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989, recognizes a child's right to an identity and family.Article 21 of the Convention states that:State parties that recognize and/or permit the system of adoption shall ensure that the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration and they shall: a. Ensure that the adoption of a child is authorized only by competent authorities who determine in accordance with......

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