Emotions of adopted children

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Emotions of adopted children

The emotions that are most prevalent in adoptees and/or foster youth is the initial feeling of sadness. They have a lot of sadness and depression about what that early separation from their birth family is. And typically, we see this around birthdays, around Mother's Day, around Father's Day. They will become more vulnerable, more sad, more depressed. A second emotion that I find is anger. Children who've, especially, been raised in the foster care system and children who've been adopted at birth, they have a lot of anger that they did not have a say in the matter, there was no choice, they did not have a voice. So this anger comes up about this feeling of feeling out of control and they need to express it. It's important and necessary in their healing. The third emotion that I find is fear – they fear trusting a new caregiver. They fear, "Will you abandon me again, just like my initial birth family did?" They fear trust and they fear that, "If I do reach out for you, are you going to be there for my?"

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Jeanette Yoffe, MA, MFT

Adoption & Family Therapist

Jeanette Yoffe earned her master's degree in Clinical Psychology, specializing in children, from Antioch University. She treats children with serious psychological problems secondary to histories of abuse, neglect, and or multiple placements. Jeanette's desire to become a child therapist with a special focus on adopted and foster care issues derived from her own experience of being adopted and moving through the foster care system. She runs a monthly support group called Adopt Salon for all members of the adoption triad in Los Angeles.

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