Adoption is viewed as one of the most commendable and rewarding things a family can do for an unwanted child. The child is welcomed with loving arms into a family full of love, want and need. It is indeed, a wonderful, generous and giving action, worthy of its praise, however; what many do not realize about adoption is, that for the adopted child, many psychological issues are overlooked, and, unacknowledged.
When a child is adopted at an early age, especially as an infant or under the age of three, it is often assumed that the child has no recollection of his or her biological Mother. Often, stories of pleasurable and heroic reasons as to why the biological Mother gave the child away are generated by the adoptive parents, and sadly, these stories are often seen as enough to satisfy the curiosity and “need to know”, of the child. As the child grows older, and develops other relationships, he or she may find themselves struggling with identity. For example, when a person goes to the doctor, they are ask several health related questions regarding family history of illness. This can be quite disturbing and unsettling for the adoptee. Answering the questions based on the adoptive family is incorrect, and, the truth by which to answer the questions are unknown. This creates a sense of not-belonging, and questions of “who I am “ for the adoptee. While this may not be seen as such a big deal by most, for the adoptee, it can be devastating. Things that are taken for granted by biological families, like common familiarness such as hair color, eye color, personality, talents, and simply being blood related are a much greater issue for the adopted, because they do not have these things. Because they do not have these things in common, the feeling of not-belonging, or not knowing who one is, increases greatly. These feelings can also contribute to feeling alone, unworthy of love, or, not being “real”. Often, adoptees withdraw and become depressed. The may seek out unhealthy relationships because it allows them to have some sort of control. Often, females will become pregnant, just so they can have a blood relative of their own, or have someone to love that truly will love them back. The need to be loved, is great, and the understanding why one was given away is a huge question that must be answered truthfully and not answered with some made up fairy-tale story. More research is greatly needed in this area so that proper procedures can be followed when adoptions occur, to prevent a child from growing up to be become a very troubled adult, with many unanswered questions and often many psychological conditions or mental illnesses.
The scientific merit of this research topic is profound. The awareness regarding the “good” about adoptions was established years ago; however; the implications that affect the adult adoptee for years to come has not been thoroughly studied. Many studies that are conducted today are based on searching or reasons to search, and outcomes, for biological parents by the adoptee. There are fewer studies on the issues suffered much less the prevention or early intervention of those issues when adoption occurs. “Most of the empirical literature on adult adoptees is concerned with searching (e.g., reasons for searching, satisfaction with the search) or with the existence of psychological distress (Borders, Penny, & Portnoy, 2000; Feigelman, 1997; Smyer, Gatz, Simi, & Pedersen, 1998). To date, the developmental tasks of adulthood-such as generativity and life review and how they are manifested by adult adoptees-have not been investigated empirically” (Penny, Borders 2007). The lack of studies in the prominent area is obvious, “Indeed, the numerous losses inherent in adoption supposedly have put adoptees at a much greater risk of dysfunction. Throughout their lives, adoptees must grieve or deal with losses particularly relevant to each developmental stage (e.g., an adolescent grieving the loss of cultural and genealogical heritage in defining identity). This theme of loss, however, has rarely been studied empirically by adoption researchers (Zamostny et al., 2003)” (Penny, Borders 2007).
The questions raised in my research topic are what actions could be taken when an adoption occurs to possibly prevent an adopted child from developing these issues in adulthood? What types of counseling could or should be implemented with all adopted children to help them accept and move forward from the circumstances surrounding their loss of biological parent? How can these issues be prevented in the first place, or can they? Are there means to sufficiently counsel an adult adoptee that has the ability to satisfy the ever ending feeling of emptiness or incapability of being loved, experienced by the adult adoptee? The general approach of research for this topic would be a mixture of both qualitative and quantitative methods. The research first must be conducted in the proper area. The majority of the current research is based on searching, reunions between biological parent and child, and outcomes. These reunions often lead to more disappointment and further the already dooming issues experienced by the adult adoptee. The research needs to start at the beginning, when the adoption occurs, and what exactly is experienced so that the proper treatment can be implemented. If more research was conducted in this area, I believe it would be possible to prevent, or at least ease, the burdens and often traumatizing and devastating issues experienced by the adult adoptee.
FEENEY, J. A., PASSMORE, N. L., & PETERSON, C. C. (2007). Adoption, attachment, and relationship concerns: A study of adult adoptees. Personal Relationships, 14(1), 129-147. doi:10.1111/j.1475-6811.2006.00145.x
Penny, J., Borders, L. D., & Portnoy, F. (2007). Reconstruction of adoption issues: Delineation of five phases among adult adoptees. Journal of Counseling and Development : JCD, 85(1), 30-41. Retrieved fromhttp://search.proquest.com.library.capella.edu/docview/219027069?accountid=27965