Adoption always involves loss. Many adoptive parents celebrate adoption day because their child is finally officially theirs. Some may celebrate adoption day annually as a secondary birthday for their child. Celebrations are great, but adoptions also mean loss, especially for the child. Most adopted children have a deep wound caused by adoption because in order to be received into a new family they must first be abandoned by their birth families. Adoptees often carry a fear of abandonment in other relationships because of this wound. Self -worth and trust of others are also crippled in infant adoptions. Children adopted as infants often question whether they were “thrown away” because they were a difficult infant. This belief forms a damaged view of self if even their birth parents could not handle them. The abandonment pain leaves adoptees with trust issues that start with their adoptive parents. These trust issues morph into power struggles with adoptive parents because the children do not trust their adoptive parents to keep them safe.

Adoptive parents can help heal this wound heal by initiating conversation about birth parents. These children will typically not initiate discussion about adoption because they assume it is forbidden or dishonoring to the adoptive parents. Therefore, adoptive parents should lead with comments about the child’s birth parents. Speculating about how proud your daughter’s birth mother must be of her can bring a sense of connectedness to a lost relationship.

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