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Friday, September 05, 2008

Common fears of adoption

Most of the adoptive families go through certain fears and each family finds their own ways to cope or overcome them. We’ll discuss today about the common fears and strategies to overcome them. A common strategy that one must keep in mind is to look at the issue in a ‘total context’.

Fear of rejection: Families are afraid that when their child grows up and start searching for their birth family, they would reject them once they find them. Adoptive family’s fear is based on an assumption that the bond of a birth family is stronger than an adoptive family. In reality, many adoptees feel that the family that cared and loved them unconditionally is the family for them. Searching for a birth family is not a genetic predisposition but a ‘matter of curiosity’.

Fear of unknown: When the family has to share medical history to a doctor or if there’s a chronic condition whose treatment is dependent on family history, adoptive families are afraid the most. There’s no strategy one can build around this factual fear. There are families out there that want to do all kinds of tests before they accept a child but there’s no guarantee that in spite of all those tests that you get to adopt a healthy child. Best strategy one can follow is to be honest and make the best of what you can.

Fear of talking about adoption openly: Families fear the most about sharing the adoption information is to do it for the first time. Families are afraid that this information might hurt the child or by sharing, others might come to know about it. Know this: Child feels betrayed if they are told about their adoption at a later stage of their life, so start young and through indirect means (such as reading books on adoption). No matter how you try to keep it under the wraps, if you’re open enough to talk to your child, others will come to know about it. You just have to learn to cope with people’s curiosity with appropriate and witty answers.

Did you experience a fear that you like to share? Write in the comments below.

2 comments:

Jeff and Leslie said...

Good points! I have to admit to the first two. As good as we are bonding now, I worry about what the future will bring as he gets older, with more questions about his past. Also, our inability to give our physician any real family medical history is concerning. Talking openly about adoption isn't really an issue for us, as it is obvious to everyone that Manu is adopted.

AJ said...

This makes sense, I am adopted and I sense that my parents do have fears about certain issues, like my sudden desire to search for my birth parents. I'm just trying to come to terms with the whole thing, you know? I've tried to start writing about it (at http://adopteejournal-aj.blogspot.com/ ). It really helps! It feels like I'm living in the dark, it is a horrible feeling of having no whole identity..