When my friend Craig (not his real name) was fourteen years old, his parents decided to tell him he was adopted. I watched as feelings of betrayal and confusion pummeled him over the following months and years. He was understandably devastated. Although his parents had felt it better to “protect” him by hiding his true identity from him, Craig felt abandoned in a sea of rage.
Issues related to adoption are seldom straightforward. But many experts would agree that one thing is certain: an adopted child is traumatized at least twice: once when they are separated from their birth mother and a second time when they are placed in the care of strangers unknown to them.
According to the therapists at Intensive Trauma Therapy in Morgantown, West Virginia, trauma is any event that overwhelms the brain’s ability to cope and inhibits the normal shared dual brain function of the right and left hemispheres. Because PTSD arises from the interplay of the traumatic experience and the individual’s psychological nature, not everyone who experiences trauma will develop PTSD. However, adopted children–particularly those adopted out of orphanages–are at greater risk.
ADOPTS Program at Bethany Christian Services
Bethany’s ADOPTS program offers a unique, specialized, trauma-focused treatment for adopted children. We help them understand their past traumas so they may thrive in their families. ADOPTS addresses the impact of traumatic experiences on children prior to adoption and gives your child the tools to develop healthier coping skills. Bethany’s therapists nurture children and their parents with support, education, and caring intervention that helps each family thrive, not just survive.
My Life as a TraumaMama Blog
Tons of helpful information on this site: how to prepare for a school IEP meeting, how to deal with acting-out behaviors, therapy approaches, trauma triggers, checklists, and much more.
Kids Call Me Doc
The site of Dr. Beth Robinson, child traumatologist, counselor at the Texas Boys’ Ranch, and foster parenting expert.
Four Treatment Options for Kids with PTSD
This article provides a summary of treatment options and where to begin if you think your child may be showing signs of PTSD.
Photo Credit: Martine Sansoucy