Experience

Adoption Studies

Information that will not be presented to expectant mothers in adoption counseling. 

Natural/Birth Mother

2017

“Landmark Donaldson Adoption Institute Study reveals financial difficulties, social pressures and lack of support all factors in decision-making for expectant mothers.”

Understanding Options Counseling Experiences in Adoption: A Qualitative Analysis of Birth Parents and Professionals

2017

“Among women motivated to avoid parenthood, as evidenced by abortion seeking, adoption is considered or chosen infrequently. Political promotion of adoption as an alternative to abortion is likely not grounded in the reality of women’s decision making.”

Adoption Decision Making among Women Seeking Abortion.

2014

“Birth parents express repressed feelings of shame, guilt, anger, and sadness from placement that may manifest as subsequent infertility, disruptive marriage relationships, addiction, clinical depression, and overprotectiveness of any additional children”…”Some clinicians identify grief as the dominant emotion driving such pathological behavior and call for consideration of grief as a major indicator of the posttraumatic stress disorder created by adoptive placement.”

“birth mother grief is like taking the continuous grief over the loss of a child and then adding Complicated Grief Disorder (CGD) AND Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD) AND Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) while being expected to deal with it all silently because it was a choice.”

Birth Mother Grief and the Challenge of Adoption Reunion Contact

2000

“Counselors must be trained to give women sound reasons that will counter the desire to keep their babies. One example is to reinforce the notion that it takes a strong, mature woman to place a child for adoption. Arguments about financial survival can be compelling as well. Counselors must communicate that adoption can be the heroic, responsible choice and that the child benefits tremendously.”

THE MISSING PIECE Adoption Advocacy and Pregnancy Resource Centers

1978-2007

“comparable to losing an infant through death, it is a very stressful event for the relinquishing mother. This stress, combined with a powerful grief reaction, can predispose these women to a number of long-term adverse effects”

A Collection of Birth Mother Studies over a 30 year span

 

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Adoptee

2013

“Assume that all children who have been adopted or fostered have experienced trauma. Just as not every child exposed to tuberculosis develops hemoptysis, fevers, and weight loss, not every child exposed to stress will develop trauma symptoms…The pediatrician must assume that such exposure could have profoundly impacted the child, and must use history taking, surveillance questions, and screening tools to accurately assess trauma’s impact.”

Helping Foster and Adoptive Families Cope With Trauma

1998-2008

“The odds of a reported suicide attempt were ∼4 times greater in adoptees compared with nonadoptees.”

Risk of Suicide Attempt in Adopted and Nonadopted Offspring

2006

“The attachment bond between a mother and her child is first formed in the womb, where fetuses have been found to develop preferential responses to maternal scents and sounds that persist after birth, explains Myron Hofer, who was director of the Sackler Institute for Developmental Psychology at Columbia University until his retirement in 2011.”

How Mother-Child Separation Causes Neurobiological Vulnerability Into Adulthood

1998-2004

“Although most adopted adolescents are psychologically healthy, they may be at elevated risk for some externalizing disorders, especially among those domestically placed.”

The Mental Health of US Adolescents Adopted in Infancy

2001

“Attempted suicide is more common among adolescents who live with adoptive parents than among adolescents who live with biological parents.”

Adoption as a Risk Factor for Attempted Suicide During Adolescence