Potential Effects on Adoptee's Self & Object Representations
- Argues that although adoption remains the optimal social solution to the problem of the unwanted child, it poses numerous difficulties for the normal development of the self.
- (#1. The difficulty of the adopted child's normal development of self)
- Observational studies have demonstrated that mothers and infants quickly establish reciprocal patterns of interaction,
- but the achievement of a reciprocal relationship is more problematic for the adoptive mother–child pair.
- (#2 The adopted infant natural instinct is resistance to the substitute mother that is not the child's authentic mother)
- Some specific difficulties associated with adoption make the achievement of reciprocity much more difficult for the adoptive mother and child:
- (#3 Reciprocity is based on the cohesive relationship of biological mother-infant of naturally achieved attachment)
- Many adopted children experience one or more interruptions in their early reciprocal relationships, and adoptions are rarely finalized in the first months of life.
- (#4. Excuses for attachment failure as the biological mother-child relationship is absent)
- Moreover, the mother's mental representations of herself (#5 Her Depression, Anxiety, infertility & adoption second choice)
- and her adopted child (#6. The mother's negative assumptions about the adopted infant)
- will be reflected in the relationships between them. (#7. The adoptive mother's negative assumptions are the relationship)
- The adoptive mother frequently is unable to accept her adopted child and the adopted child's instinctual behavior,
- (#8. The adoptive mother's resistance to accept the A) adopted child B) the adopted child's instinctual behavior)
- and oedipal or pre-oedipal conflicts in the parents often intrude upon the resolution of the separation–individuation phase.
- (#9. Maslow's hierarchy of child development is not acheived in adopted child development causing age related arrest)
- The adopted child experiences knowledge about his/her adoption as a narcissistic injury,
- (#10. Adoptive parent, family & society's "Chronic Denial of ADOPTION-TRAUMA". A) to Accept adoption-trauma would impose guilt on the adoptive mother parent and B) empathy for the adopted child's suffering "daily" the loss of his mother in childhood.)
- The split (ambiguity) in adoptive parent's conflicting cognitive, emotional and thought rumination "images" creates problems at each developmental phase. (#11. Maslow's hierarchy of child development, in each stage the adopted child does not master each stage of development. Cognitive Dissonance causes the adoptive parent to blame the adopted child or the child's genetics, instead of taking responsibility for the distorted adoptive parent-child relationship that caused the developmental arrest due to the adoptive parent's relationship ambiguity toward the adopted child).
- Clinical illustrations are presented, taken from the cases of 3 adopted children. Preventive interventions for parents and child at all stages of the child's development are outlined. (73 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)