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All About Adoptees in the Adoption Process

By Veronica Wiley

If you are looking for unplanned pregnancy help and considering adoption, you may encounter a lot of confusing terminology. Among the adoption vocabulary are members of the adoption triad. Within the triad, we have the birth mother, the baby, and the adoptive family. When we say adoptee, we are talking about the child or baby being adopted.

Questions about the adoptee usually surround the topics of how adoption affects the baby during the process and after adoption. We at Adoption Choices of Arizona do our best to make the transition comfortable when placing your baby for adoption

Adoption can be a joyous occasion but also challenging for the birth mother and child. There are many factors that affect how each party deals emotionally with adoption. Here, we will focus on the adoptee – the child. Please note that your baby may not experience all of these emotions, but Adoption Choices of Arizona will help the adoptive family become aware of any strong emotions the child may experience and help them through it.

It is important to be aware that adoption is an emotionally heavy journey. Negative emotions may be experienced by each member of the adoption triad at some point. These emotions are a normal part of the process and don’t mean anything bad. Emotions are a normal coping mechanism and form strong bonds of communication that eventually build trust.

 Feelings Related to Child Adoption

The adoption process starts with contacting one of the local adoption agencies. Private adoption agencies like Adoption Choices of Arizona tend to offer more support than simply matching your baby with an adoptive family. After you contact Adoption Choices of Arizona, you will meet with an adoption counselor. Your counselor will help you create a birth plan, pick a family, and be in the hospital.

This process can affect the child in many ways, even if they were adopted as a baby. While reading through some of the common emotions the child may experience, know that they’ll have help.  

Some of the common and normal emotions the adoptee may feel are:

  • Some adoptees feel rejected by their birth parents.
  • The feeling of rejection may cause the child to have trouble with self-esteem. They may feel like they don’t belong. The adoptive parents may notice that the child has trouble making friends. 
  • A sense of loss is the number one issue adoptees feel after adoption. Even after a baby grows, they can wonder about the potential life they may have had. This includes the people, culture, and routine. Strong feelings of loss are often demonstrated as seeming distressed and confused.
  • Shame and guilt are other common feelings adoptees may experience. Shame from thinking the birth parents were unable to raise them and guilt from being a burden.
  • Grief can sporadically occur throughout the child’s life. It especially occurs during big milestones like birthdays, graduation, or getting their first car. This feeling may be especially intense during adolescence.
  • Identity issues can often occur around birthdays and holidays. They may see their identity as incomplete due to a lack of family history. As the child grows, they may want answers to these questions.

Adoption Support for the Adoptee

While these emotions may occur, they are normal. Adopted children also have the help of their adoptive parents to work through them. Adoption Choices of Arizona will help prepare the adoptive family for these strong emotions to occur. 

  • Adoptive parents will be coached about the ways each of these emotions presents themselves and how to watch for signs of each feeling.  
  • Our adoptive families complete a class that prepares them for what to experience with the child they welcome.
  • They will be informed that these behaviors and feelings are a normal part of the coping process for an adoptee.  
  • The child’s adoptive parents will be prepared to interpret each demonstration of feeling as a sign of trust. Adoptive parents can also help the child learn to label these strong emotions to increase communication and bonding.
  • The family will be taught to know that demonstrations are forms of communication. 
  • We help the child’s adoptive family to model compassion and acceptance to help the child navigate strong emotions.

Each adoptive family will also help the child understand how to deal with society’s lack of understanding of these emotions to navigate living as an adopted child. Much of society thinks of being adopted as a good experience. They see adopted children as “lucky” because they were chosen by a family.

 Sometimes, the adoptive family would like to seek additional help for the child. In these cases, adoption agencies can connect them with a specialist to help the child work through strong emotions.

Private Adoption Agencies Can Help

Adoption Choices of AZ will help your child and the adoptive family through each of these emotional changes your baby may experience as it grows. There are many support groups and counselors we can refer adoptive families to that provide additional help when needed. We have been helping families adjust to life after adoption for many years. If you are a woman looking for unplanned pregnancy help or adoption nearby, Adoption Choices of AZ is available to answer your questions.