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Kids Reactions to Being Adopted [What to Expect When Placing or Adopting a Child]

Whether you are a hopeful adoptive parent or a birth mother considering adoption for your baby, you share the same common goal — providing a baby or child with a lifetime of love and opportunity. Adoption allows you both to achieve these goals.

It is natural to worry about kids' reactions to being adopted. While the benefits are nearly endless, it would be irresponsible not to mention some of the challenges adoptees face as they grow up. This guide explores adoption reactions and what you can expect when adopting or placing a child for adoption. 

If you are still considering adoption, you can call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with an adoption professional to get more information. For now, keep reading this guide to learn more about kids' reactions to being adopted and both the positives and challenges they will face as they grow up.

Adoption Reactions: The Benefits of Being Adopted

If you are a birth mother considering adoption for your baby, you are doing so out of the love you have for your child. You are making the selfless decision because you want them to have the chance at the best life possible.

As a hopeful adoptive parent, you likely have many different personal reasons for pursuing adoption, all of which lead to the end goal of providing love and support to your adopted baby. Kids reactions to being adopted are directly correlated with the benefits adoption provides — benefits like:

Open Adoption

One of the most fulfilling adoption reactions for children involved in an open adoption is their love for their adoptive family and birth parents. Open adoption allows children to grow up knowing they are loved and supported by everyone involved in their adoption triad.

Birth parents can remain involved in their baby's life and grow their relationship with the adoptive family. Building this support system creates a lifetime of love, support and keeps adoption seen as the positive decision it truly is. 

Increased Opportunities

Studies have shown that adoption reactions from adoptees are often positive based on the statistical evidence of their appreciation and involvement in opportunities their adoptive family provides.

According to a CDC study:

  • 85% of adopted children participated in extracurricular activities at school.
  • 85% of adopted children were in "very good to excellent health."
  • Adopted children were less likely than non-adopted children to live below the poverty line.
  • Adopted children were more likely to have health insurance.
  • 68% of adopted children were read to every day as young children.
  • Over 50% of adoptees are reported to have "very good or excellent" performance in reading, language arts, and math.
  • Adoptees are more likely to pursue higher education.

While this study cannot account for all adoptees, the trend is that kids' reactions to adoption positively impact them on not just an emotional level, but also a developmental and personality shaping level as well. The opportunities would not be possible if there were not brave women who make the difficult decision to place their children for adoption or adoptive families providing a safe and loving home for them to grow.  There are benefits for everyone involved.

Stable Home Environment

Many women who face an unplanned pregnancy choose adoption because they are not ready to become a parent or cannot provide the lifestyle their baby needs and deserves. When an adoptive family pursues adoption, they have to pass multiple screening requirements to become a parent. Adoptive families plan and prepare to become parents and are ready and willing to provide a safe and loving environment for their children. 

The home environment helps shape the child as they grow older and leads to positive adoption reactions based on their lifestyle. Adoptive homes offer a financially and emotionally stable situation, which provides an increased chance of travel, activities, and higher.

Adoption Reactions: The Challenges of Being an Adoptee

It is easy to see the positive impacts adoption can have on everyone involved. While it is a life-changing decision full of opportunity, there are challenges growing up as an adoptee. Adoption reactions are unique to every child and every specific situation, but some of the general difficulties may include:

Identity Issues

As an adoptee grows older, there may be situations in life where they feel they are different or can't relate to their adopted family. Although adoptions are trending towards having some form of openness, which helps lessen the likelihood of identity issues, children who grow up in a closed adoption situation can often have adoption reactions of rejection, doubt, or lower self-esteem. 

These issues need to be addressed early and often, as no child should feel like they don't belong. Adoption counselors who specialize in adoption trauma and loss can provide the resources and support needed.

Attachment Challenges

While the majority of adoptions that take place in America are domestic infant adoptions, older children are regularly placed for adoption. In either case, but especially if the child is older, there can be attachment challenges that take a lifetime to process. Essentially, this means that the child may struggle to feel secure and confident in their primary relationships. Discussing adoption reactions with the child early and often is the best way to help a child process challenges and thrive as they grow.

Adoption Loss

Before a child can experience the joys and benefits of adoption, there is an element of loss. Birth parents make the brave decision to place their baby or child for adoption, which can create a mix of emotions for children and adult adoptees. While they are happy with their current life as an adoptee, they are saddened by the unknown of life with their birth parents. 

All adoptees will be impacted by adoption loss differently, but it is important for everyone involved in the adoption to acknowledge these feelings. Counseling resources are available for ongoing support to help the child express their emotions while coping with adoption loss.

Adoptee Testimonials and Stories

While every kid's reaction to adoption will be unique, hearing stories and testimonials from adoptees gives a true look inside of the adoption reactions —both the positives and challenges.

By following this link, you can read about people who grew up adoptions, the personal impacts it had on them, and how they view themselves as an adoptee. 

Contact American Adoptions 

Whether you are a birth parent or adoptive family, find peace of mind knowing that adoption is a life-changing decision that puts you in control of providing a child a lifetime of love and opportunity. If you are considering placing a child for adoption or are hoping to adopt but have more questions about what adoption does to a child, we are here to help. 

Although there is no foolproof answer to kids' reactions to being adopted, studies, patterns, and general knowledge of adoption go a long way in preparing.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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