"Chosen" for Rejection
For the person who is adopted, there is almost no other way to perceive their adoption other than rejection. Even though they may be referred to as "chosen," they are acutely aware that in order to be chosen they must first be rejected by choice. This whittles away at the sense of self-worth that is already very fragile.
Asking questions exacerbates the issue for many adoptees because it causes reaction and rejection from the adoptive family. It's a vicious cycle and requires the skill of a professional to help unravel.
Birth Parents' Pain
The rejection felt by birth parent(s) stems from the feelings of condemnation that come from society and from families and friends because of the irresponsibility attached to the birth. Additionally, adoptive parents may further these feelings in the adoptee by creating stories that reinforce the idea that the child was not wanted.
A case in point may be telling a child who wants to find his birth parents that they may be married and have other children. The fear that brings this behavior on also estranges the child even more and lets him know that he would be invading the privacy of the birth parents. Of course, the end result is further rejection.
Coping with Rejection as Adoptive Parents
The adoptive parents, in cases of infertility, experience the rejection of their own bodies and even a sense of betrayal from God. There are also myriad unconscious sentiments around the possibility of being rejected by the birth parents as not good enough or raising the child incompetently. The concept of whether or not they should even be parents increases the feelings of rejection setting the stage for anticipating rejection from the child.
In a bid to circumvent the pain associated with rejection, adoptive parents may push the child away. Again, it becomes a vicious cycle for both the adoptive parents and the child.
Identifying and exploring the rejection issues are part of the way to wholeness for all members of the adoption.