The Adopted Infant's Chronic Distress & Role of HPA Axis
The newborn infant that is forcefully separated from his biological mother, exists in a state of chronic distress. This distress is a direct consequence that constitutes a traumatic event. The infant's brain and body are dysregulated by the birth and removal in this infant's partially developed state. Evolutionary theory states that at the time of birth, the infant is nine to twelve months premature, as the infant exists outside of the womb is dependent on the biological mother's maternal drive for continued homeostasis outside of the womb.
The extracted infant processed for adoption, exists in a state of stress induced despair, that the chronic stress from separation creates a new state of homeostasis based in distress, hypervigilant reaction to experienced birth & separation trauma that causes the HPA-Axis to establish homeostasis in these conditions as the infant's normal functioning. Due to the lack of the infant's pre-traumatic experience, the infant's new normal functioning is established is under the conditions of stress and anxiety. The new distressing environment that causes the release high levels of cortisol and stress hormones that flood the bloodstream and arrest normal infant brain growth and function. The brain grows in a dysfunctional compensationary manner that lacking normal structure, connective neurons and building cellular receptors.
The amigdala and hippocampus growth is irregular, distorted and arrested when subjected to incompassionate caregivers that are indifferent to the nonbiological, adopted infant.
The hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA axis or HTPA axis) is a complex set of direct influences and feedback interactions among three endocrine glands: thehypothalamus, the pituatary gland (a pea-shaped structure located below the thalamus), and the adrenal (also called "suprarenal") glands (small, conical organs on top of the kidneys).