Adoption Sample Paper
The biggest psychological issue of adoption on children is mental and emotional trauma. Younger children such as infants may not experience trauma from adoption because they may not recall the ordeal. However, older children often have vivid memories of the process and may experience the trauma associated with losing a parent or being separated from a biological parent. Another common psychological problem associated with adoption is the identity problem (Anthony et al., 2020). Adopted children have to forget their history and ‘rewrite’ new ones as they struggle to fit into their new environment.
Dealing with Mental/Emotional Trauma in Adoption
Being a traumatic experience for a child, adoption affects childhood brain development. If not dealt with early, the trauma may make a child resort to negative behavior such as truancy, risky sexual behavior, and drug use. The best method of dealing with adoption trauma is by providing a home environment that exudes stability, support and understanding, nurturance, and predictability. Such an environment, as Sargent (2019) opines, helps a child to heal and adapt to their new environment. The efficacy of this intervention method draws from the fact that it helps a child to erase their old memories gracefully while creating pleasant new ones. The only remedy for helping adopted children deal with adoption trauma is to ensure that they are happy in their new environment. Loving and happy environments help adopted children forget their past traumatic experiences.
Treatment Options available for Adopted Children and Adolescents
One of the best intervention/treatment options for adopted children is behavioral family therapy. This technique is superior to other therapies such as the standard psychodynamic therapy and client-centered therapy because it uses operant principles (Dowell et al., 2018). Operant conditioning is a technique where the consequence is used as a motivation for behavior. A foster parent can leverage this concept by demonstrating certain desired behaviors to an adopted child. The parent then motivates the child to follow the demonstrated behavior. At the same time, the parent makes it clear to the child that following the demonstrated behavior is rewarded positively while doing the opposite attracts punishment. This method depends heavily on positive reinforcement of behavior, punishment for wrong-doing, and rewards for doing right. Foster parents need to create a stable and loving environment for adopted children to nurture love and discipline.
Explain how Culture influence Adoption
Cultural beliefs influence adoption positively or negatively. In some societies, adopted children cannot hold the same statuses as biological children. For example, some cultures may not permit adopted children to inherit their parent’s wealth as would biological children. In some societies, adopted children are not permitted to take the name of their adopted parents due to a lack of blood relationship. These practices are not healthy for children because they lead to long-term emotional trauma (Ma, 2017). Another critical cultural factor in adoption is the cross-cultural response to adoption. Some cultures are not yet open to adopting children from different ethnic and racial backgrounds. Furthermore, cross-cultural adoption raises pertinent questions about culture, class, and race, an aspect that makes the issue of identity a critical factor for adopted children. Further, cross-cultural adoption exposes children to anxiety and stress as they try to fit in their new environment.
- Anthony, R., Paine, A., Westlake, M., Lowthian, E., & Shelton, K. (2020). Patterns of adversity and post-traumatic stress among children adopted from care. Child Abuse & Neglect, 104795. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chiabu.2020.104795
- Dowell, T., Donovan, C., Farrell, L., & Waters, A. (2018). Treatment of Anxiety in Children and Adolescents. Current Treatment Options In Psychiatry, 5(1), 98-112. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40501-018-0136-2
- Ma, K. (2017). Korean Intercountry Adoption History: Culture, Practice, and Implications. Families In Society: The Journal Of Contemporary Social Services, 98(3), 243-251. https://doi.org/10.1606/1044-3894.2017.98.25
- Sargent, J. (2019). 8.4 ADOPTION: WORKING WITH FAMILIES TO PROMOTE CONNECTIONS AND COMPETENCE. Journal Of The American Academy Of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 58(10), S145-S146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2019.07.675