Children often enter adoptive homes with issues that are unique to their life situation. Families often assume that the finalization of an adoption will help a child to resolve issues from their past, and will mark the start of a “new beginning” for the child. However, in reality, children often enter adoptive placements with ambivalent feelings, especially if they are old enough to have memories related to biological relatives, and are old enough to be fully aware of the implications of an adoption. In the case of some adopted children, these memories regarding biological family members are traumatic and distressing. It may be difficult for the child to form a new and healthy attachment to an adoptive family, when previous attachments have been disrupted or were never fully developed.
Some adopted children demonstrate symptoms suggestive of Reactive Attachment Disorder. Thus, these children and their adoptive families require specific and intensive intervention in order to develop a healthy bond with an adoptive family. Adoptive parents of children with Reactive Attachment Disorder require extensive consultation in order to help them understand the often puzzling behaviors and emotional reactions that are demonstrated by their child. With appropriate consultation and support, adoptive parents can learn to work with their child toward the establishment of a more adaptive and mutually satisfying attachment.
Even when the specific behavioral features necessary for a diagnosis of Reactive Attachment Disorder are not completely presented, many adopted children demonstrate some degree of difficulty with the formation of a healthy attachment to an adoptive home. Appropriate consultation, intervention and parent support can help an adoptive family manage the substantial emotional tasks that can be encountered as both the child and the family adjust to an adoptive placement.
At NEOBH, we believe that adopted children with attachment difficulties require a treatment approach that is beyond the skill set of the average professional. Cases involving adoption issues are assigned only to NEOBH staff with the proper training and expertise.
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