Identity development problems in adoptees

Identity Issues Please find some of our best articles, essays, videos and reviews on this topic. Identity formation is a critical task of childhood and indeed life.

Identity development problems in adoptees

Recently, one of our Identity development problems in adoptees asked if we would write an article about the difficulties faced by children and adults who were adopted.

This is submitted in answer to that request. All names and places are fictionalized: A woman discovers that her birth mother is alive even though her adoptive parents told her she was dead.

In point of fact, her adoptive mother had tried to contact her and the adoptive family from the time she was five years old and onward. A young woman from a war torn Asian nation was adopted by a white American family.

She will not search for her parents and family because she is convinced they are dead and she does not wish to "betray" her American parents.

She comes to therapy because she has difficulty maintaining intimate relationships and feels quite depressed. An adopted girl is convinced that her parents are her natural parents. However, they are unable to explain to her why she is in their wedding photographs when they had told her she was born a year after they married.

A male baby is adopted by a Jewish family and is raised in the Jewish religion. These are just a few of the types of situations that adopted children find themselves confronted with either during childhood or after they enter adulthood.

Other Sources of Information: There are many autobiographical books available, written by those who were adopted and writing about their experiences that provide lots of information about the issues experienced by these people.

In addition, a Google search of the internet will yield lots of research studies done on this very issue. Issues faced by adopted persons: It is very common for those who were adopted to feel rejected and abandoned by their birth parents.

This is accompanied by feelings of grief and loss. There is no set time or age when these feeling surface but, sooner or later, they do. Feelings of loss and rejection are often accompanied by a damaged sense of self esteem. There is an understandable tendency to think that "something must be wrong with me for my birth parents to have give me away.

Guilt accompanies loss and grief because the adopted individual believes that they are being disloyal to the people who adopted, loved and raised them. They do not want to hurt or betray their adoptive mother or father. Feelings of guilt and fears of being disloyal were what prevented the girl in case "C" from asking the obvious question, "why am I in your wedding pictures if I was not born yet?

In cases B and D there is a disconnect with the original heritage of the birth parents. For the Asian young woman, raised in a large family with many siblings, the obvious racial differences did come to "haunt her" later on.

While she wished to visit the Asian nation of her birth, she was so totally identified with being American, and even "while" that she feared stirring up her past. She, too, did not want to cause any hurt to her adoptive parents.

However, it must be said for them, that they encouraged and offered to help her in her search.

A Proposed Study Exploring Identity Development in Adopted Adolescents – Let's Talk About Adoption

Despite this encouragement, she was not ready to do any search. Long discussions in therapy never revealed what she feared.For all adopted people, their identity is impacted by their genetic connections as well as the family in which they are raised and all of their experiences in-between.

Topics include nurturing strong identity in children, adults, and family, including gender identity, racial identity, cultural identity and adoption identity. Who Am I? The amount of research that has been conducted about adoptees and their problems with identity development is enormous.

Many of the researchers agree on some of the causes of identity formation problems in adolescent adoptees, while other researchers conclude that there is no significant difference in identity formation in adoptees as birth children.

Adoptees with limited information about their birth families and the reasons their birth parents chose adoption may especially experience difficulties in identity development.

Identity development problems in adoptees

Identity development issues may surface as adopted children struggle to find their place in their adoptive family. According to the great psychologist, Eric Erikson, adolescence involves a search for self identity. While this search is difficult for most teenagers, it presents special problems for adoptee.

Assuming they never met their natural parents and family and have no idea of their genetic background, they are left with a gigantic gap in their search. Genealogical bewilderment is a term referring to potential identity problems that could be experienced by a child who was either fostered, adopted, or conceived via an assisted reproductive technology procedure such as surrogacy or .

About Adoptee Rage

Helping Your Adopted Teen Develop an Identity. June 9, The Attached Family 1 Comment. By Rita Brhel, The families where adopted teens will have problems are those where the parents insist that an adopted parent-child relationship is no different than a biological relationship.

Teens do better when their parents acknowledge their .

Adoption and Identity Issues