Which Attachment Difficulties Might Be Experienced by Adopted Children?
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “adopt” as “to take voluntarily (a child of other parents) as one’s own child.” But “adoption” doesn’t mean “connection.” The process of building bonds of attachment is not easy at all, and every case is incomparable and unique. Adopted children usually suffer from a lack of attachment relationship in life (Subhani, Muhammad Imtiaz et al. 1) and they can also face a large number of difficulties when developing these attachments bonds.
One of the problems with building bonds of attachments comes from the situation in which children arrive at an adoption process. If they have suffered abuses from their biological parents, for example, they will feel insecure, aggressive and they will also have a distortion of the basic emotional relationships (Román, Maite, y Jesús Palacios 100). This situation can be solved, but it’s mandatory for the adoptive parents and specialists to work together with the adopted children in order to help them to restore their emotions and cognitive development making them feel safe and loved.
Another important problem that must be taken into consideration will be the age of children at the moment of their adoption. If children are adopted once the first year of life has passed, they will have a higher risk of developing unsure patrons of attachment, and they will develop negative representations of new potential attachment figures. Nor will they feel worthy of attachment from their adoptive parents (Rosser, A., and A. Bueno. 333).
The problem of “joining traumas” also needs a reconsideration. It’s true that adopted children use to carry a tragical and traumatic history on their shoulders but adults who adopt use to carry similar histories as well: infertility, the absence of a couple or even the sorrow for a lost son (Rosser, A., and A. Bueno. 334). To be successful in the process of building strong and sincere bonds of attachments, adults must get over their personal traumas before request an adoption.
One last problem that is not usually mentioned is the one of “institutionalization” in adoption. An institution can’t offer the emotional and stable attachment that children need, and families can provide. Institutions take care of children dealing with their basic needs, but institutions are in troubles when they have to face children’s psychological needs. That is provoked because of the high ratios of children by a carer, changes in carer staff, the lack of motivation in part of the carer staff, etc. The more time children spend in institutions, the more difficult it will be to establish attachment relationships with the adoption family.
In summary, adoptive children might experience a large number of problems when they are building bonds of attachment with their adoptive family. However, these bonds can be built if specialists and future parents work together acquiring the skills and competencies needed for giving their adoptive son a safe place where they can feel safe and loved. Human beings aren’t born attached; they can build bonds of attachment because they are born with the will for it.
- “Adopt.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, 2011. Web. 8 May 2011.
Subhani, Muhammad Imtiaz et al. “Are Parents Really Attached to Their Adopted Children?” SpringerPlus 3 (2014): 545. PMC. Web. 14 Nov. 2017.
- Román, Maite, y Jesús Palacios. “SEPARACIÓN, PÉRDIDA Y NUEVAS VINCULACIONES: EL APEGO EN LA ADOPCIÓN”. Acción Psicológica, vol. 8, no. 2, 2011, pp. 99-111. Editorial Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia.
- Rosser, A., and A. Bueno. “La construcción del vínculo afectivo en la adopción: la teoría del apego como marco de referencia en la intervención post-adoptiva.” Internacional journal of development and educational psychology 1.1 (2011): 333-340.
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