Adoption is not the ‘easy option’. Often when couples or individuals have problems conceiving, their friends will say, “You can always adopt”. This is true, but in fact belittles the massive decisions involved in adopting. Adoption is not for the faint hearted, the process of application, approval, matching is arduous and drawn out. Then the work really begins!
In many cases, the adoptive Mum has been in full time work. Suddenly she is identified purely as being a MUM! Where has her identity gone? There is no slowing down due to pregnancy, no baby showers, just full time motherhood with often, an active, climbing, tantruming child! Where are the support groups? toddler groups? friends who are not at work?
Many of the children identified for adoption theses days have been subjected to neglect and/or abuse. They are coming already traumatised by their early years and loss at such young ages. They need boundaries and love, but sometimes love is not enough. This is a hard realisation for an adoptive family. Attachment issues are common and with it goes the I love you/ need you/hate you behaviours.
Adopted children come with baggage, such as loss, separation from siblings and identity problems. They still have a ‘real mum’. Then they get thrown into the education system! But that is another story!
To adopt is, I feel, a gift. It is a privilege, but correct support is invaluable.
Below are some useful links:
Post Adoption Permanency Advice & Counselling : http://pac.org.uk
British Association Adoption & Fostering: http://www.baaf.org.uk
Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies: http://www.cvaa.org.uk