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Posts Tagged ‘revealation by third party’

As a psychological counsellor, I have come across many adoptive parents and adopted children seeking counselling for various emotional issues. And somewhere deep down in my heart I used to wonder if I had counselled them effectively or not. Some times it becomes very difficult to transport myself into the minds of my clients and experience their pain as my own. Somewhere the pangs of inadequecy bother when the issue at hand is totally strange and unrelated to anything that I may have heard or read or experienced! But I take heart in the fact that our connections to other hearts go beyond words and experiences, beyond this temporal world. It becomes a direct connection to my clients heart as I have the firm conviction that we are all bound by the same spirit!

Adoption is one such sensitive issue that many people do not know much about, which makes it harder to deal with any situation that may involve adoption. You may meet your sister or a cousin, who suddenly declares that she intends to adopt a child soon and bring it home and you fumble for words without knowing how to react. Or as a School Teacher, you may come across a child who is sobbing uncontrollably because her friends have just then infromed her that her parents are not her own and that she was ‘brought home’ by them from somewhere! and the teacher finds it very hard to console the child.

I thought this would be a very nice platform for me to spread awareness about psychological issues related to adoption. Hope you are with me. And I welcome feedback, comments, information and even corrections or additions to what I write here. 

We can say that adoption is a legal process of expanding the family by bringing in a child that is not your own. It is also a process through which a child is separated by its Biological parents and goes into a family where it is looked after with all privileges. It is something similar to the grafting of a plant from one place to the other and the new location makes the plant its own and nurtures it well.

We all need to understand that first of all adoption is a a triangular shared loss and shared faith experienced by the three parties involved in it. It is a loss for the biological parents (or birth parents) of giving away their child, loss for the adoptive parents of not being able to bear their own biological child (for whatever reason – by choice or by force of circumstances) and loss for the child of birth parents. And it is with all hope and faith that the birth parents give up the child that somebody would be more deserving and caring than themselves to bring up the child, hope and faith of the adoptive parents that they now have a child to shower all their love upon and hope and faith of the child itself that it would now be taken care of with all love and security in a new home. And each one of them needs to be acknowledged of their loss first and then the gain. Unless the loss is acknowledged by the persons involved and accepted by them and suitably counselled, the process of adoption may face some turbulance now and then. Hence it becomes imperative on part of counsellors to see that the acknowledgement of their initial losses is  done suitably and the parties involved become ready to share further issues.

When should the Parent inform the child about its adoption status? This is a very tricky, important issue that goes wrong many a times. Parents wait for the ‘right age’ to inform the child and when they feel the right age has come, they suddenly are caught by the fear, “what if the child rejects them now?” and they keep postponing this ‘revealing’ endlessly, by which time the damage gets done by a third-party-informant! when the child comes to know about its status of adoption, it is a big devastation to the child to realize that the parents whom it trusted all these years are not its own and that they have betrayed its trust! Quite often the parents themselves get shocked to know that somebody else has made the revelation and that it has damaged the trust between them irreparably! The child at that stage may or may not be well equipped with language to express its shocked emotions. Unable to air their confused emotions, many adopted children manifest number of disturbed behaviour, like, bed wetting, preferring isolation from family and friends, throwing temper tantrums, aggressing upon other children, refusing to go to school, beginning to lie, decline in their academic performance etc.

…………………… to be continued

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