Choosing to adopt children can be a wonderful, but emotional experience. Despite how much love the adoptive parents shower on the adopted child, it is sometimes difficult to bond with an adopted child because of past trauma. Unfortunately, some adopted children experience more trauma by age two than many adults go through in their whole lifetime. Trauma can be anything from physical abuse, neglect, abandonment, starvation, etc.
Due to the trauma that these children experience, once adopted the children goes through a process that makes it difficult to attach themselves to the adoptive family. Attachment can be defined as the psychological connection between people that allows them to have significance to one another. Attachment is a learned behavior that begins shortly after birth and continues during the first three years of life. In addition, attachment occurs over time and involves a consistent activity on the part of the adoptive parent to meet the physical and emotional needs of the adopted child.
Here are some long-range effects of attachments:
• Helps a child to sort out perceptions of the world in which he or she lives
• Encourages the development of logical thinking
• Develops social emotions in a child
• Cultivates the formation of a conscience
• Helps an individual cope with stress, frustration, worries, and fears
• Fashions an appropriate balance between dependence and independence
• Sets the state for the unfolding of healthy future relationships
Attachment is the foundation of any intimate relationship between a parent and child. Attachment enables the child to develop a sense of safety and security. If adoptive parents recognize symptoms of attachment disorders with their adoptive children they should seek professional guidance from a therapist who specialize in this area to help the adopted child and parents establish this essential emotional and psychological need.