Acknowledging Loss in Adoption
The birth parents lose their child and often any contact with the child, their role as parents and in some cases, even the loss of one of the birth parents. The losses are manifold and they are all the more constant because of the genetic connection.
It is this loss that will shape the future for the birth parents after they give the child up for adoption.
For the adoptee, the first loss experience, although the child may not be aware of the loss cognitively, is the initial separation from the birth parents. Eventually, the child will become aware of the reality of their adoption and the effects are profound at a very deep level.
Future losses or the sense of separation after that point is felt more deeply and profoundly than in children who are not adopted.
It's Part of the Lifelong Process
Loss is part and parcel of the entire adoption process and continues over the lifetime of all involved. There is no closure or end to the losses - it begins with the initial loss and then there are many secondary losses. The process evolves setting the theme for all future growth and development.
Loss in adoption is always somewhere in the mind, whether in the forefront or pushed to the very back of the consciousness. Recognition and acknowledgement of the losses and their effects are critical factors in the lives of the various players and their counselors.