Finding Solutions: How to Resolve Adopted Child Issues
Knowing Behavior Problems in Adopted Children
Adoption has become an option for a growing number of couples, especially those who cannot bear a child. According to www.pbs.org, about 135,000 children are adopted each year in the US.
Despite adoption being an act of love, a plethora of issues can emerge when a child finds out that he/she has been adopted. He/she can feel grief over the separation from his/her biological parents or the loss if he/she is an orphan child.
Telling a child that he/she is adopted isn’t an easy thing to undertake; there’s no exact way how to do it. There is also no exact way of knowing when to tell a child that he/she adopted. It worsens when information about his/her birthparents is not available, especially in closed adoptions. The child will never know why he/she was put up for adoption. The feeling of rejection or not being good enough may also set in. This is something that you have to be ready for.
In my many years of teaching, I have dealt with adopted children. Some of them had behavior problems, which some people refer to as “adopted child syndrome,” while others didn’t. People who have not been educated with the effects of adoption automatically assume that any unlikely behavior of adopted children is always related to their adoptive status. While this can be true for some, adoptees can also live a normal lifestyle when his/her adoptive parents do their best to provide that.
However, I have observed that most adoptees suffer from several issues, such as the following:
Low level of self-esteem
Having a low level of self-esteem is common among most adopted children. As mentioned, they may wonder why their biological parents gave them up. They may think that they weren’t loved that’s why they ended up being put up for adoption. However, this may not be the case for all. There are some adoptees that have normal to high self-esteem. This happens when the parents have carefully explained their situation to them and provided them with all the love and care that they need.
Genetic and medical history
A child adopted through closed adoption does not have access to information about his/her biological family. When a child, who is already aware that he/she has been adopted, pays a visit to the doctor, he/she might feel uncomfortable when asked questions regarding his/her family’s medical history. Not knowing where he/she came from, the child cannot provide an answer to these questions.
Not having the same physical features with his/her adoptive family
It may not be obvious (to outsiders) that a child has been adopted if his/her physical attributes do not stray far from his/her adoptive family. However, in cases where the difference is visible, like with interracial adoption, it can raise a lot of questions from people outside of the family. And all throughout the child’s life, he/she can get asked the same questions over and over. It can be uncomfortable, hurtful, and annoying.
In my early years in teaching, I’ve had my tough experiences with these situations. It was immensely challenging to listen to a child’s pain. The most special gift that I offered to adopted children is the chance for them to express their feelings. If you have been into these situations, give them the chance to be heard. But, don’t just listen to find a way to fix the problem. Listen with understanding and empathy.
Despite the issues that exist in adoption, you can still make a positive impact on orphan children’s lives through it. However, raising an orphan kid should be a decision that you make up with a clear understanding of what it has in store for you. You should also know the reason why you want to adopt a child. So, prepare and educate yourself.