Many Christian couples who struggle with infertility begin to believe somehow that this signals God’s desire that they adopt someone else’s newborn baby. This baby is not a blank slate. Newborn or infant adoption is not mostly trauma-free simply because this human being is pre-verbal.
I don’t believe for a minute that God is deliberately punishing you by causing you to become pregnant under difficult circumstances only to hand your baby over to complete strangers and then more or less throw you away (forget you ever existed or mattered).
What is actually selfish ? Saying that giving a child up for adoption is the most selfless thing someone can do is flawed logic. Does that mean biological mothers who keep their infants are selfish for keeping them ? It is selfish not to give your precious baby to the more privileged minority of people who have much better financial resources to parent with ? If that logic were true, then all biological parents would give their children to someone else to parent, since it is selfless towards the child to keep them when someone else has greater resources.
Using God to take away someone else’s baby is exploiting a vulnerable person and trying to use any belief in God they might have to coerce them to YOUR will. This is not God’s will, this is you trying to use God for your own purposes.
I will never be able to get behind the idea that God got the wombs mixed up when he gave a baby to their mother. God didn’t give a little baby to one mother for her and her baby to go through the rest of their lives with trauma simply to “heal the infertile wounds” of another couple.
It just doesn’t work that way but Christian couples are very prone to use their religion to justify taking a baby away from a vulnerable mother.
It is recommended for those persons seeking separation related therapy that they seek out adoption competent practitioners. Otherwise, an effort to address the wounds created by relinquishment – whether into an adoptive family or foster care – may cause more harm than do any good.
Many conventional therapists accept the “adoption is amazing” mentality and have not researched or studied the deep unconscious wounds that such persons have suffered. One adoptee describes her personal experience this way – “I saw a therapist who shut down (and shut me down) any time I mentioned the trauma I had experienced in relation to adoption — both my own and that of my children. I wound up leaving therapy and haven’t gone back since.”
This is a personality based outcome – the therapist’s personality. Another describes her good experience this way – her therapist was “absolutely amazing and had no experience in adoption at all, but she chose to research and learn. I can’t thank her enough for helping me through some horrendous PTSD adoption memories. It honestly all depends on the therapist and which ones are more likely to open to the reality or not.”
Those adopted in infancy are likely to experience pre-verbal trauma. This is trauma that happened before the adoptee could speak/comprehend language. This is trauma held in the body but the sufferer is not able to verbalize the memories / put this into words – even as an adult – because their brain was not developed enough at the time the trauma occurred to make sense of the related emotions.
Some adoptees are diagnosed as ADD when they are actually PTSD and medicated as children. This solution merely puts a band aid on the problem.
One horror story conveyed by an adoptee went this way – “I had a psychiatrist who locked me in a room, in the child psych ward with no interaction with anyone in order to ‘break’ me and force me to talk to him. Didn’t work. Further isolation of someone who already feels isolated.”
So one suggestion is to look for a therapist trained in trauma. The truth is there isn’t one universal “type” of adoptee trauma. If you wish to seek therapy, look for someone you connect with, that you feel heard by. Someone who is open-minded will be more effective than someone who shares your view of adoption. A good therapist will not allow their previous biases/perceptions to impact giving you solid therapy.