Adoption does not end with the placement of the child — it is a lifelong process that is just beginning. We recognize the importance of continued support, guidance and assistance to all parties involved in an adoption.
SYMPTOMS AND CONCERNS
- Adopters would feel that they are no more the master of their life because the social worker takes great power.
- Feelings of vulnerability and threatens the professional.
- Feelings of being tested, judged, even, and manipulated.
- Fear about adoption qualification refuse.
- Feelings of having make wrong decisions when the process is difficult or takes too much time.
- Concerns about life control
- Possible difficulties related to Foster Care Systems
- Concerns that come from the possibilities to adopt ill child
- Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD): children with RAD may have a hard time showing affection.
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD): Symptoms of ODD include anger, defiance, and aggression. People with ODD may appear to overreact or be easily annoyed.
- Conduct Disorder: Signs include violent or cruel behavior including physically hurting people and animals as well as bullying.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Drug Abuse
GUIDING COUNSELING THEORIES
FAMILY THERAPY COUNSELING
FTC consists of the form of treatment to address issues related to the health and functioning of a family such as personal conflicts within couples or families, mental health problems like depression and anxiety, developing or maintaining a healthy romantic relationship, and substance abuse. This therapy can be used as well to help a family through a difficult period, a significant transition, or behavioral problems in family members (“Family Therapy”, 2014). FTC takes its techniques from cognitive therapy, behavior therapy, and interpersonal therapy.
ADOPTION - COMPETENT THERAPY
This therapy was created with the assumption that adopted children who struggle with emotional or behavioral issues that would result in too active or too inactive behavior and should not be treated as regular family issues. Therapists should take into account the child’s very early history, such as neglect history, abuse, or trauma prior to the adoption. According to Smith (2015), “adoptees are over-represented nationally in the mental/behavioral health field. That means that the percentage of adoptees seeking mental/behavioral health services is much higher than the percentage of adoptees in the general population.” Therefore, therapists should be competent in adoption therapies. It means, according to Smith (2015), that therapists must complete accredited training in trauma-based adoption issues.
ADOPTION - SPECIFIC THERAPY (ADAPT)
ADAPT focuses on loss, grief, and trauma that are the most relevant symptoms in the adoption. This therapy aims to help families to understand traumas related to the adoption, create bonds, and deal with others’ attitudes about adoption. In addition, this therapy helps help adoptive parents accept and understand the sadness and yearning that most adoptees feel for their birth families, even if the birth parents were highly abusive to the child. ADAPT is useful as well to treat problems related to foster care adoption. Many children are placing in those houses because of abuse or neglect, but some probably may not wish to be adopted. “ADAPT combines evidence-based child coping strategies and positive parenting approaches” such as cognitive behavioral therapy. ADAPT takes into account the child’s history and use resiliency-focused, trauma-competence, attachment-based treatment.
This therapy, also known as Individual Psychology (IP), is recommended for adopted children who struggle with symptoms related to Attaching in Adoption Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). This disorder arises from a failure to regular attachments to primary caregivers in early childhood. Those children can experience difficulties in receiving love and would react with violence. In addition, they can develop a fear and mistrust for others. As a result, they would have difficulties to share with their peers. The goal is to increase the sense of belonging because those children have experienced rejection and abandonment. In addition, adopted children might struggle with inferiority feelings and loss of the “social interest” that comes from the communication interruption by the biological mother’s rejection or abandon. The therapist helps adoptees to deal with their loss, increase the sense of attachment, and the sense belonging.
This Theoretical orientation could support adoptive parents, as well. Adoptive parents need reassurance that they are not alone in their struggles. Supporting adoptive parents includes encourage them to be honest and open with their children. Parents have to speak with their adopted children about the circumstances surrounding his or her birth and acknowledge to the child that he or she has suffered trauma. It is also important for parents to provide warmth and sympathy regarding the loss, although children were so young. One important goal working with adopted parents is to increase constructive communication and decrease defensive one. The therapist should help parents to solve adoption-related conflicts and enhance their auto esteem.