or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Adoptive and Foster Parenting › Does anyone think that separation from Birth Mom can have long lasting effect?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Does anyone think that separation from Birth Mom can have long lasting effect?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
I am an adoptive mother to 2 wonderful kids. My son is 11 yrs. and we have stayed in touch with his Birth mother and have visits a couple of times a year. My daughter is 8 yrs. She would love to be able to know who her birth Mom is but she was abandoned at birth, so I have very little to be able to go on. I know that there is a strong bond between the mother and child during pregnancy. I saw it so vividly when my son was an infant and we would go for visits. He would react so differently to her than to anyone else, to a point where I have to admit I was a bit jealous. My daughter on the other hand was abruptly separated from her birth mother when she was 2 days old. I can't help but feel that this experience has left her with a longing to fill that missing piece of her life. No matter how much time I spend with her or how much I give her, it never seems to be enough. She is always needing more. Has anyone else seen this in their adopted children? Am I placing too much emphasis on this separation at birth? Is this just a part of my daughter's personality that would have been there even if she weren't separated? I would love to hear what you think and if you have any ideas how I might help her. At times I think she just acts like a spoiled brat but my heart tells me that there's more to it.
post #2 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilskid
Does anyone think that separation from Birth Mom can have long lasting effect?
Absolutely. And there is loads of adoption literature to back this up.

Wilma
post #3 of 32
I don't know. It could be that she's jealous that her brother knows his birth mom, but she doesn't. My dad and his sister were each adopted at birth, or close to birth (no more than 6 mos, I don't remember exactly), they are not biological siblings, but neither of them have made any attempt to contact their birth parents.
post #4 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by BunnysMomma
Absolutely. And there is loads of adoption literature to back this up.
References please!

Interesting question...can't wait to read the articles!

W/o that info available...our agency had a panel of afamilies. One included a boy and a girl. The general consensus from the counselor's info and panel, girls tend to be generally more curious about their bfamily. Boy's generally are not.

Have you considered seeing an adoption counselor w/your dd? Not that there is anything wrong w/your dd for having such feelings...perfectly normal if you ask me. But, the counselor would give you/and your dd more tools to work this out in a healthy manner.
post #5 of 32
THere's a book called The Primal Wound about this subject.

No one can really say for sure what causes some kids to long for their birthfamily and some to be unconcerned. You can't really predict which kids will care as they get older.
post #6 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your responses. I really appreciate knowing that my gut feelings may be very valid. Thanks for the book recommendation too. I will check that out. We have considered looking for a counselor. I will have to start exploring who may be available and knowledgable in this area. Thanks Again!
post #7 of 32
The Primal Wound is pretty controversial. I would include it in my reading, but realize that it is one person's theory.

I've read a lot of research about adoption outcomes. It seems to me from my reading that adopted children are not a monolithic block. There is a spectrum of response to adoption. Some are deeply affected by the fact of their adoptions. Some are hardly affected at all. Many fall into the middle ground, where adoption is an issue they deal with, but it is far from defining. It is possible that your child falls into the first category, and seeing a therapist who has significant experience with adopted children is an excellent step to take.
post #8 of 32

seperation

hi. my 4 year old adopted daughter seems to have a similar response to her early seperation (though not that early, 7 weeks) i have read the book suggested, i think the author overstates her case, and doesn't leave much room for responding to a child who is feeling abandoned, etc. what i just found that has me excited (and i am ready to try) is something called SleepTalk. it was on the web site for Mothering magazine. It fits with my basic beliefs about various ways we communicate with each other, especially those with whom we are so very close.
i will be trying it. if you read about sleeptalk and try it, please let me know your results and if you like, i will do the same.
post #9 of 32
Thread Starter 
Do you have a link for the information about Sleeptalk? I am curious to see what it is. Thanks!
post #10 of 32
hi i hope this link works:http://www.theglobalvoice.com/parenting.htm
if not, you could do a google search using the words-SleepTalk children.
post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks!!
post #12 of 32
I don't know if this perspective will be helpful, but I'll offer it just in case. I gave birth to my daughter at home, wore her in a sling, we had a family bed, I nursed her until she was 4 and now we homeschool. She has an enormous need for mama, more than my other children and feels every little separation keenly. I think it is just her personality. She attaches intensely to people she loves, especially me. Perhaps if she had been adopted she would have felt the separation more keenly than others.
post #13 of 32

Separation

Hello,
I was adopted at 6 months old, and separated from my mother at 3 days old, and I can tell you for sure, that the separation had major effects on me growing up and into adulthood.

There are alot of books that can help you understand this better that I have read.

Primal Wound by nancy verrier
Journey of the Adopted Self by Betty Jean Lifton
20 things adopted children wish their parents knew ( can't remember the author )
Adoption Healing : a path to recovery by Joe Soll

Hope this helps.

Kali
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shantimama
I don't know if this perspective will be helpful, but I'll offer it just in case. I gave birth to my daughter at home, wore her in a sling, we had a family bed, I nursed her until she was 4 and now we homeschool. She has an enormous need for mama, more than my other children and feels every little separation keenly. I think it is just her personality. She attaches intensely to people she loves, especially me. Perhaps if she had been adopted she would have felt the separation more keenly than others.
Interesting thoughts. There is now the beleif (from research???) that it is good for foster care children to deeply bond w/their fparents. The outcome being that since they have "learned" about healthy attachment it is much easier for them to attach to their aparents...or any other care taker.

Soooo, does that mean that having felt the separation would have meant a deterimental results??? Refering to the foster care situation, doesn't seem to be the case.
post #15 of 32

seperation abondonment

hi i just wanted to add my own thoughts about seperation and abandonment issues that many many people have, adopted or not...i think abandonment feelings and feelings of loss are natural to the developmental process, that we all experience a deep abandonment of our own essence, a true aspect of our being that has spacious, timeless features (and more) because they are generally not mirrored or seen in us by our caretakers so they are not fully owned by us....and we grieve this loss even as we or if we reconnect to these essential aspects of ourselves....it is a spiritual belonging of sorts that is at the bottom of these issues. reconnecting with this part of ourselves, rather than a particular person seems to be a way to heal or experience wholeness. so i think healing or wholeness is possible, and that some children are more sensitive to this "abandonment", that mama most likely is the person who reflects love and acceptance and allows the baby to safely relax into his or her spacious and timeless aspects and to hopefully stay connected to these parts and intergrate them as a natural part of themselves but to the degree this happens or not makes the process more difficult but does not effect the reality that the whole intergrated essence is still and always a part of each person.
my writing is reflecting my tiredness, but i am too tired to rewrite it now!
post #16 of 32

My thought

I am an adopted Mom of a two year old. My husband and I were at the birth and she was passed to us in the delivery room. I took care of her in the hospital like the birth mother would have. The birth Mom was only 14 yrs old. We have kept in touch with the birth Mom and her family and see them about five times a year. When we visit the birth family Tessa most times will not even go to her birth Mom, and does not treat her any different then any of our friends. I was prepared to see some connection, and was surprised by this lack of interest from the beginning. We have always spoken openly to Tessa about the adoption and how we became a family. Now your children are older, and we are just beginning, and are expecting the 'you are not my mother' problems when Tessa becomes older. I have also heard that adoption is harder on girls then boys. But do not question your mothering skills. I am sure that you are doing all you can. I do believe that this may just be her personality, and if you keep up the open communication with her you can help each other through this. I do believe that you are placing too much emphasis on this separation at birth, but you know your daughter better then anyone, and if your heart is telling you that there is more too it then focus on it now before puberty puts its own monkey wrentch into the whole mix.
post #17 of 32
After watching the experience of an adopted niece,I have come to believe that it can be hard but I think,as in other potentiallytraumatic situations,the way that it is handled means everything.My niece was not told she was adopted at a young age as a natural part of her life & to complicate matters,her mom became pregnant with her younger brother & gave birth to him about 7 months after they adopted her.So,she was 5 yrs old when they finally told her & they made a big deal about it - took her away to a resort for the weekend etc. Growing up she acted out quite a bit & then as a teenager refused to let her adoptive parents send her to a nice college(they were very well off) or buy her a new car etc.Instead she bought an old junker type off her grandad.The other thing that I think was a big negative thing was that nobody ever acknowledged that it would be a normal thing to desire to look for/see her birthmother one day & certainly nobody ever offered to help her do that & in fact some family members made it very clear to her that it would be a very terrible thing if she ever did.... I dont say this to discourage you in your own situation but being an AP mom,I know that when kids act out it is always prudent to get to the root of the problem(or whats really bothering them) and have them vocalise what they are feeling and have someone to validate those feelings.Even tho she is still quite young,there may be a way to have a conversation about it & certainly as she gets older it will be important to support her in that way & also to validate any feelings she has about possibly trying to contact her birthmother or parents sometime.She may decide not to try but just knowing ahe has the option or it is ok to feel like that& she has your support would be very healing.I am a very supportive of adoption but just as each biological child comes with uniquely different needs,so the adoptive children do too.I give you a big for being such a sensitive mom & I know you & your dd will do very well because of it.Prayers for you,Catherine
post #18 of 32
As someone who was adopted, I have to say that yes, it can cause huge issues. Obviously not for everyone, but I think that some babies are born more sensitive and that it can cause huge problems for them. I know it did, and still does cause problems for me. I was adopted at 6 weeks. I have no idea where I was from the time of birth until then, though it was probably the hospital since I weighed less than 4lbs at birth. To this day, I have huge fears of being rejected, of being abandoned. Especially by my adoptive parents. I haven't gotten over my adad's death 5 1/2 years ago because I feel like he abandoned me. I don't have a mature relationship with my amother because I'm afraid to say anything to her that might cause her to be angry with me. It's obviously been a theme for my whole life with them, from the "funny" stories my amom tells about my reaction to her being angry with me when I was little.

Hopefully being raised AP will help your dd not have these issues as badly as I do, since I was raised with CIO, spanking and yelling.
post #19 of 32
I think that it depends on the person. I have different stories that would agree we all are different and handle things our own way.

I can say that I am an adoptee (asian) with caucasian parents. I went through a tough time in my teen years, but my parents were always up front with my adoption and supported me from when I was adopted (5 mos old) to now. They are my real parents. They are the ones that comforted me, loved me, cared for me and protected me. All I can say is continue being there for her and supporting her. Also educate her (if she's ready), that it can be okay not to know who your birth mother is. If she thinks that it's not a normal thing to know then it might cause some emotional issues. I may do a search later for medical reasons, but it's not a missing piece for me. I am complete without knowing. I have a family that loves and supports me, a DH, a DD and a DSS.

My mother was adopted with her two non-bio brothers. She had a different experience, and we sometimes disagree. She wants to have nothing to do with her birth mother and has found information that could let her contact, but she won't. And I pray that she finds peace with everything because I feel sometimes that she lets this pain affect her in many ways.

My DSS doesn't see his birth mother very much and she doesn't contact him very much. He has issues deeper than I think he lets on (we've looked into therapy). All I can do is be the best mom I can be. I support and validate his feelings and thoughts he has about her. But I also remind him that I'm always there for him, day in and day out with unconditional love. I am there to hear his crazy stories, kiss his boo-boo's, play games, read books, teach him how to ride his bike etc... I don't know how things with be in years to come (he's only 5 right now), and it's something that we will deal with as a family. We will support and love him no matter what.
post #20 of 32
i'm adopted and i usually forget until it comes up in a conversation, or on a medical history form. i never "knew" my birth parents. i was placed in a place called The Cradle in evanston, IL at birth and was adopted at about a month old. my mom and i fought a lot in my teen years and i know that i don't live up to her expectations of what her daughter should be, but i always felt close to her. my brother is also adopted and he is a mess. he is always in trouble, and we were raised in the same house, 2 yrs apart. he has NO relationship with either of my parents or anyone else in my family. he is the total blacksheep.

i have never had trouble getting close to people, as long as they don't judge me. but my mom swears up one side and down the other that the reason i don't agree with her on many issues is because we never "bonded" when i was infant. i happen to know it's because she is just opionated to no end and i can't stand it. she has WAY more anger towards me, than i will ever have towards her.

So, i don't know if your dd's actions are due to her being removed from her birthmom, or just her age, or the fact that she is the second child. i guess as she gets older and is able to articulate more she'll be able to tell you
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Adoptive and Foster Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Adoptive and Foster Parenting › Does anyone think that separation from Birth Mom can have long lasting effect?