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Ines Muller, MA, MSc, MICP

Psychotherapist & Clinical Supervisor

Clontarf & Dublin 2

 

087 924 19 36    

Adoption Counsellling 

Episode 5 Adoption Stories - Alan

Published on May 7, 2013, FlawlessFilmsIE

The adopted person has two sets of parents which at different stages of lilfe can give rise to numerous delicate and complex challenges and questions.

Many adopted people have three fundamental questions: 'Who were my first parents, what were they like? Why did they give me up?  - 'Who am I?' 

Common themes adopted adults talk about in therapy are:

 

  • Questions about being adopted and related feelings.

  • Questions about birth family members, search and reunion. 

  • Feelings about the loss of birth family members, especially birth mothers and fathers.

  • Feelings of anger at the birth family, adoptive family, or the adoption system. 

  • Feelings of not belonging or feeling different - unlike everyone else you know.

  • Questions about identity / feelings of confusion about identity.

  • Feelings of shame about disclosing feelings about being adopted.

  • Difficulties in intimate relationships/ trust issues.

  • Some adoptees experience an ongoing fear of rejection.

  • Some adopted people (of all ages) have a need to know more about their origins, and want to access their adoption records.

  • Some adopted people have a desire to search for and have contact with their birth family.

  • Many adopted people feel guilt based on a belief that their need to search for birth family members conflicts with their connection with their adoptive family

  • Many adopted people have unanswered questions and experience anxiety & hopes about reunion.

  • Conflicting feelings about making contact with birth family members.

  • Some adopted people do not want to make contact with birth parents and thinking and talking about it is helpful and sufficient. 

  • Fear of rejection by birth family members after contact was made.

  • 'How do I tell my family that I have made contact with birth relatives? How do I tell my children about it?'

  • International adoptees (inter-country adoption, inter-racial adoption) may have questions about their cultural background, ethnic identity, racial identity, or racism.

  • Sometimes it is not possible for inter-country adopted people to gain access to information about birth family members for a number of reasons. 

  • Information in general can be scarce which can introduces different challenges for both adoptive parents and inter-country adopted people. 

Questions related to the adoption often arise at times of life transitions such as adolescence, marriage, the birth your own child, the loss of a parent, or in later life/old age. 

For adopted persons knowing and understanding one’s origins and early history previous to being adopted seems vital to the formation of a coherent sense of self. 

Ines believes that thinking & talking about those questions with a trained psychotherapist can help you to start dealing with confusing thoughts, emotions, and anxieties related to adoption, tracing and reunion.

 

A therapy session is 50 minutes long. The fee is 80 Euros (incl. VAT). 

Adoption Story on TV3's Morning Show Part 1 of 2

Adoption Story on TV3's Morning Show Part 2 of 2

Published on Jun 3, 2010, adoptionrights

The story of a woman, born and adopted in the UK to an Irish mother. These cases were popularly known as PFI "pregnant from ireland". This lady has access to her full name and her mother's full name, unlike 42,000+ Irish adopted people - we wish her well in her search.

Core Issues of Adoption

 

‘Adoption is created through loss’ (Silverstein& Kaplan, 1982). Indeed without loss there is no adoption. Birth parents lose the child to whom they are genetically connected to (possibly forever), adoptees experience their first loss when separated from their birth mother/birth family, and with that they lose a significant part of their personal history which is can be crucial for a grounded identity. Adoptive parents lose the child that would have been born to them through infertility, failed pregnancy, stillbirth, or the death of a child and therefore have suffered great loss prior to adopting.

Adoption is a fundamental life-altering event. Loss and heartache is experienced by all parties involved in the adoption triangle.

Unfortunately, society generally encourages birth parents, adoptees and adoptive parents to ignore their losses. Adoptive parents are expected to be happy to have a child, adoptees perhaps experience that they ought to be grateful that they were adopted as opposed to have grown up in state care or an orphanage in a different country ‘a third-world country’. Birth parents also are urged to forget their loss or made to feel that they do not deserve to feel their loss.

Please ask me any question you may have or make an appointment. 

Booklist / References

Dennis, L. (2014). Adoption Therapy: Perspectives from Clients and Clinicians on Processing and Healing Post-Adoption Issues by Laura Dennis, Canada: Entourage Pubishing

Nancy Verrier (2004). Coming Home to Self: The Adopted Child Grows Up. 

Brodzinsky, D.M., Schecter, M.D., Henig, R. (1993). Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self 

Betty Jean Lifton PhD. (1994). Journey of the Adopted Self: A Quest For Wholeness

Purvis, K., Cross, D.R., Sunshine, W. L. (2007). The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family

Nancy Verrier (1993). The Primal Wound: understanding the adopted child. London: BAAF Adoption & Fostering

Harris, P. (2006). In search of belonging: Reflections by transracially adopted people. London: BAAF Adoption & Fostering.

Harris, P. (2008). The colours in me: Writing and poetry by adopted children and young people. London: BAAF 

Melina, L (1990). The seven core issues of adoption. Journal of the Adoption Council of Ontario

Silverstein,D & Kaplan, S (1982). Lifelong issues in Adoption. American Adoption Congress