The adopted child has many challenges but one of the most unique may be this sense that they should be grateful to the adoptive parents for having taken them into the family.
Often unacknowledged is the loss that precedes all adoptions.
That loss is profound regardless of the reason the child was separated from its original parents to begin with. In that separation the child experiences many complicated emotions. There can be differences between the child and the adoptive family that become ever more obvious with the passage of time and that no one is at fault for – other than the fact of the adoption.
Such differences can include – ethnicity, physical features, preferences, and intellectual abilities, or being told they are somehow “special” or the “chosen one” by the family. Simply being adopted sets the child apart from most of their peers.
A syndrome referred to as being caused by the adoption itself leads to a strong desire to understand the mystery of having been adopted in the first place. A desire to know the people one has been born of and the conflicted feelings about wanting to know people who it seems to the child they have been rejected or abandoned by.
Even when the adoption is “open” (both sets of parents are at the least in contact with one another) or a “reunion” with the biological family occurs, differences in nurturing and life experiences may make even one’s genetic relations seem alien.