Adoption Issues

Navigating the complexities of adoption can be tough – both for the adoptive parents and the adopted child. Adoptive children and their new families may encounter anxiety, tension or stress. Children, even those who are adopted into caring homes, can experience conflicted feelings about being given up for adoption. Additionally, for parents working towards adoption, the system can seem impossible to get through. A mental health professional who specializes in adoption can be a great asset in helping a family sort through adoption-related issues. Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s experts today!

Meet the specialists

I have lived-experience with adoption and birth parent and adoptive parent support.

— Jenna Vandenberg, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern in Orlando, FL
 

As an adoptive parent and member of an extended birth family in reunion, I bring my own experiences and sensitivity to the task of providing adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth family members the support they need to tackle the complex issues inherent in adoption. I provide support groups, individual consultations on adoption-related issues, parenting coaching, and ongoing psychotherapy. I work primarily with teens and adults, both adoptees, first family and those parenting adopted children.

— Amy Hecht, Clinical Psychologist in Charlotte, NC

As a person who experienced a step-parent adoption, I have been through the process & understand the important role therapists plays in the process. I have worked on every side of the adoption process. I've seen the heart break, the silver lining & the hope. I know how sensitive these adoption processes are & honor the role a therapist plays in either helping induce healing or causing more pain. Currently, I am in an intensive training process to become a certified Adoption Competent therapist.

— Tayler Clark, Clinical Social Worker in Shorewood, WI
 

I work with adopted and foster children, teens, and adults. I am an adoptee myself and have specialized training to serve this community from my participation in Portland State University's Foster and Adoption Therapy Certificate Program.

— Sprout Therapy PDX, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

Navigating the world of adoption is a learning experience. Whether through private domestic/international adoption, through the US foster care system, or assuming responsibility for family or friends, there are often times ongoing struggles after the adoption is finalized. As an adoptive parent, I understand your unique experiences firsthand.

— Angela Butler-Carter, Licensed Professional Counselor in Houston, TX
 

As an adoptive parent and member of an extended birth family in reunion, I bring my own experiences and sensitivity to the task of providing adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth family members the support they need to tackle the complex issues inherent in adoption. I provide support groups, individual consultations on adoption-related issues, parenting coaching, and ongoing psychotherapy. I work primarily with teens and adults, both adoptees, first family and those parenting adopted children.

— Amy Hecht, Clinical Psychologist in Charlotte, NC

Adoption is both a personal and professional interest of mine. While adoption is regarded by many as a positive experience, I understand that for some, adoption can also leave behind deep and complicated wounds which may impact how you relate to yourself and others. I can work with you to help you understand these wounds, how they affect you, and how you can start to heal from them.

— Meredith Hrebenak, Licensed Professional Counselor in Canton, GA
 

I was the program manager of the adoption exchange for the state of Kansas. I have extensive knowledge, training, and experience regarding the challenges families and children face before, during, and after the adoption process. This is especially relevant in regards to children who come from hard places and are adopted from foster care.

— Ericka Jobe, Social Worker in Wichita, KS

As an adoptive parent, I understand the complex emotions around adoption. We often feel pressured to only present the rosy side of adoption with no space to process the challenges of parenting a child who struggles with attachment or the grief of your original dreams for parenthood. Relationships often struggle when parents respond differently to challenges our families face. You'll find a safe space to work through the pain either individually or with your partner.

— Le Shepard, Counselor
 

I will consult with you previous to and after the adoption process to help you adapt to parenting an adopted child. I will help you with issues of Reactive Attachment Disorder and building a cohesive family unit.

— Foad Afshar, Psychotherapist

I’m an advocate for adoptees and families impacted by adoption. I have an extensive background with foster care and worked with all sides of the triad, including adoptees, birth parents, foster and adoptive parents. I’m also a parent of a child with an adopted sibling in reunion and have been touched by the generational effects of adoption through immediate and extended family. I understand how difficult and complex these issues can be and the significant impact on families.

— Lauren Butcher, Social Worker in Garland, TX
 

My main focus of my practice is working with adoptive families and adoptees on all topics related to adoption wellness and wholeness. Whether a family is in the pre adoption phase or post adoption part of their journey, my practice can be a resource and support along the way. I also work with adoptees and foster youth along their journeys as they process the complexities of their stories.

— Amy Wilkerson, Clinical Social Worker in ,

As an adoptive parent myself, I know firsthand the continuing challenges and incredible rewards of adopting a child. Parents often face hurdles unique to the adoption process, and they don't even know it. Adopted children often face challenges at different phases of their lives and at different levels of severity. I will work with your whole family to sort these issues out and manage them so that everyone maintains their best, healthiest life.

— Michele Teitelbaum, Counselor in Redondo Beach, CA
 

As an abandoned and then adopted person, I know my personal experiences. Even without adoption, we may have been abandoned in some way(s). I completed the Post Graduate Certificate in Foster and Adoptive Family Therapy. I extensively study the work of Susan Anderson specifically about abandonment and how adults experience this. I am ready to support your journey in healing from this loss and learning to create safe, secure relationships with partners, friends, and those whom you call family.

— Janet Comer, Counselor in Sellwood/Westmoreland, OR

I became a therapist to work with adoptive families. As an advocate for youth in foster care, I learned about child welfare in Oregon. After grad school, I was certified in therapy with adoptive & foster families. I now lead workshops for foster parents & adoption staff. ~75% of my practice is with clients touched by adoption, including kids and adults adopted at any age, adoptive parents, and birth parents. Open adoption, grief work, identity, and search & reunion are common topics.

— MereAnn Reid, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR
 

Learn how to connect better with others and become the self you have inside. An adopted child is a child that has experienced a loss. A child who as been adopted can grow up without any understanding of what they experienced or what it has done to them. When we experience a childhood loss it can often lead us living our life as in another loss or trauma is just around the corner. In adult adoption therapy we work together to help you put the past in the past.

— Dr. Shoshana Aal, Counselor in Denver, CO