The subject of adoption is often neglected by the general public. Most people do not consider the psychological impact, as it may not directly involve them. However if you begin to consider that the matter involves not just the adoptee, but the relinquishing parent, adoptive parent, and the many that may become intimately involved via friendships and relationships in the lives of anyone in this triad, the numbers become significant. In fact, it is hard to quantify the actual number of people in America, let alone internationally, that may be affected by adoption.
According to the 2000 census the estimated number of children adopted in the year 2000 was slightly over 128,000, bringing the total U.S. population of adopted children to 2,058,915. In 2008 the number of children adopted increased to nearly 136,000. However, this doesn’t take into account the numerous children who were placed for adoption from the 1940’s well into the 1970’s and are now adults.
At its core, adoption is a story of loss. For the adoptee it is the loss of the birth parent and perhaps a sense of identity, for the birth parent, the loss of the child and for the adoptive parents, the loss of perhaps being able to have a biological child and provide that biological connection for their child. That is in no way to say that adoptive parents and their child don’t bond deeply and importantly.
The intention of this blog is to begin to touch on the enormity of this subject. I’ve tried to provide some general resources as a place to start if you are anywhere in this triad or love someone who is. Because the subject is so vast it may be best to begin by reading and educating yourself from your perspective in the triad, however it is ultimately meant for full healing and to expand your understanding of the other’s experience, as well.