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

Because I am adopted, I am intimately familiar with the early attachment injury that, on some level, invariably accompanies adoptees, although for most of my life I believed that my adoption had no effect on me. Through my own process, I have become aware of how those early, pre-verbal messages from before birth and in early development live in the body and in the older, more primitive parts of the brain.

— Wendy Dingee, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Las Vegas, NV
 

The separation between you and your birth family can lead to a deep sense of abandonment, rejection, loss, confusion, identity issues, guilt/shame, and issues with control. It can also leave you vulnerable with a strong desire to search for acceptance and a sense of belonging often in unhealthy places. Without healing this trauma fuels expectations of further abandonments, relationship issues, and addictions. It's time to begin the work of acknowledging how having been adopted has affected you.

— Leanne Lemire, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Phoenix, AZ

As an adoptee myself, I have a deep passion for working with adults who have been adopted or experienced foster care. Adoption is not a single event in a person’s life, it is an ongoing event as it continues to impact the lives of those involved. Questions and intense emotions can surface when life events such as health concerns, finding and interacting with biological family members, the start or end of a relationship, the birth of a child, or the loss of a parent are may be complicated or deeply significant.

— Kimberley Mead, Licensed Professional Counselor in Austin, TX
 

If you are adopted, it is likely the experience of being adopted is one of the most significant influences in your life. Many adults who were adopted as infants or young children, and were loved, accepted and valued by their adoptive families, still struggle with feelings of melancholy, grief and fear of loss, or are anxious about their capacity to belong, despite the experience of having loving adoptive parents and families. It seems that even with a wholesome family experience, the primal separation and loss that is a part of every adoption experience can fuel many anxieties in adoptees, especially fears of loss and abandonment and confusion about identity. Being adopted can influence a person throughout their lives. It is common for these influences to appear – or reappear. If you are seeking support to explore and process the impact of adoption in your life, having a therapist who understands both personally and professionally can be especially helpful. I'd like to help.

— Rawna Romero, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Alameda, CA

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

Families break and form in many ways, I have worked in the field of adoption hearing the voices of adoptees, birth parents, siblings, adoptive parents and many other folks in the adoption constellation and can bring a nuanced compassion to the challenges families individual face. Together we can name and transform painful experiences, such as: addressing race in transracial families, navigating search for bio parents, belonging, advocating for truth and respect, etc.

— Silvia Gozzini, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Intern in PORTLAND, OR
 

I understand that the adoption process can be complex and overwhelming at times. I've worked with families and individuals throughout their adoption journey. I can provide counseling to prospective/adoptive families, birth parents, and adoptees.

— Addie King, Licensed Professional Counselor in Brick, NJ

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.

— Emelie Gagliardo, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR
 

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 Norcross, GA

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 Intern in Portland, OR
 

I approach foster and adoption through a trauma-informed lens and view supporting the entire family system as key for stability and success. I have completed certification training in family therapy for foster/adoption through PSU and DHS. I understand the impact that attachment trauma has on the family system, and the importance of working together to build a healthy and thriving family.

— L. Simone D'Amore, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR
 

I worked as an adoption social worker for 12 years, and also have 3 children through foster care, so I understand both personally and professionally the challenges of adoptive parenting. I also have been certified as an expert in attachment theory and have worked with many children with attachment issues and Reactive Attachment Disorder.

— Lisa Wittorff, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Portland, OR

I have a sub-specialty in Post-Adoption Family Therapy. I bring numerous years of working with children in the foster care and adoption field to my private practice work as a family therapist. I appreciate the fact that adoption is a life-long issue. It is not uncommon for families who have adopted children to experience conflicts with their adopted child or in the adjustment of the family, years after the adoption has been finalized. At this point, I can help parents and families get things back on track, keeping in mind the history and experiences of everyone involved.

— S. Abigail McCarrel, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Arcadia, CA
 

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. Threw adult adoption therapy we help you put the past in the past.

— Dr. Shoshana Aal, Counselor in Denver, CO

I have over 6 years of experience working as a Children's worker in a County Adoption Agency. I worked closely with adoptive children and their birth parents, and adopting parents. I have experience and understanding of the adoption process, including the psychological loss, grieve and guilt.

— Jaimi Martin, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in San Diego, CA

For some, adoption is the very first choice for family building. For others, adoption is a second choice after infertility, one which they may struggle to embrace. There are considerations that come up in adoption more or less universally and some that apply specifically to people coming to adoption after infertility. I have worked with all members of the adoption triad both pre- and post-adoption. Please see my page on adoption on my website at https://www.taranoonesocialworker.com/adoption

— Tara Noone, Social Worker in Berkeley, CA
 

I approach foster and adoption through a trauma-informed lens and view supporting the entire family system as key for stability and success. I have completed certification training in family therapy for foster/adoption through PSU and DHS. I understand the impact that attachment trauma has on the family system, and the importance of working together to build a healthy and thriving family.

— L. Simone D'Amore, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR
 

Adoption is a tough process for everyone involved. Often times there are mixed emotional responses to the experience. I will work with you to sort out your experience and emotional reactions. We will collaborate to explore your story. Regardless of the stage of the process you are in, I will offer a secure place for you to experience these emotions and find a more settled future.

— Krista Brown, Associate Clinical Social Worker in University Place, WA

I approach foster and adoption through a trauma-informed lens and view supporting the entire family system as key for stability and success. I have completed certification training in family therapy for foster/adoption through PSU and DHS. I understand the impact that attachment trauma has on the family system, and the importance of working together to build a healthy and thriving family.

— L. Simone D'Amore, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR
 

Children who have been adopted or placed in foster care often experiences unique challenges, as do their parents and caregivers! I have specialized experience in helping families all along the adoption and permanency spectrum in order to help parents and caregivers better understand their children, to help children learn to cope and integrate their adoption or foster care story, and to support families to become more cohesive.

— Clara Rivers, Clinical Social Worker in Roseville, MN
 

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