The Psychological Effects Of Adoption Essay

2544 words - 10 pages

“James and Martha Brown went to Mrs. White’s office the next day and found waiting for them a bouncing baby girl with soft brown eyes and a happy smile. Right away they said, ‘We love this baby already’” (Wasson). As is stated in the classic children’s book, The Chosen Baby, this story serves as a common introductory tool that some adoptive families use to explain to their children the way their family was created. The Chosen Baby shares the absolute joy that parents experience when adopting a child and effectively helps children better understand their family dynamics. Adoptive families are unique in that they choose their children, creating a loving foundation for a nurturing home. Although a “chosen family” would appear to be perfect and without flaw, adoption brings with it psychological affects touching every member of the “adoption triad,” the adoptee, adoptive parents, and birth parents (Eldridge, 79).
The adoption process involves many individuals other than just the child. Legally, there are approximately seven million registered adoptions. Additionally, non-recorded adoptions also take place, increasing the number of orphans who are united with new families. Parties directly involved include the adoptive parents, the biological parents, and probable siblings. Later in life, as the adoptive child potentially marries, the effects of their adoption story will more than likely also directly touch the spouse and their children as well. Numerous adoptions in the United States prove that their biological parents do not raise a large percentage of children. Consequently, adoption remains a significant aspect of American culture and social structure (Fulghum, 71).
For the reason that innate expectations exist at birth, babies instinctively need their mother’s unwavering care, nurture, and love. Familial transitions away from the birth mother often cause mixed feelings for the adopted child. Unfulfilled basic needs create a violation to a child’s belief system. Often times, adopted children experience voided space inside as well as an unfathomable sense of disarray (Eldridge, 62). Carla Duncan, a 1968 adoptee, recently expressed in a personal interview her mixed emotions:
“Being adopted is like a double-edge sword in that on one side, I have always felt very special to say, ‘I am adopted’, because I was chosen and hand-picked. On the other hand, however, I feel different because I am adopted. In order to be chosen, I had to realize that someone also rejected me. Someone did not want me. Sometimes I would look for long periods of time at myself in the mirror, wondering who it was that I was really seeing. This feeling grew with great intensity as I became a teenager and felt that no one really understood me.”
Duncan, as is proven typical of other adoptees, has also experienced the common need to express her adoption story, only to be let down at the un-interest of peers. Misunderstanding often exists as a residual...

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