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
 

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 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 adults who are adoptees or are parents of adopted children. I specialize in children impacted by the child welfare system. I work to assess the challenges and help the individual understand, then come up with strategies that are impactful to the individual or family.

— Stephanie Barbee, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in , MO
 

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

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
 

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

Expectation of adopted parents vs reality, assembled families: difficulties and possibilities. For adopted people, finding their identity, loyalty, and questions that might not have answers.

— mariana iurcovich, Psychologist in Boulder, CO
 

I have extensive experience working with families and youth who have either been in the foster care system or who have been within their families as an adopted child since birth. I enjoy working with families, youth, and children (8+) who need further support in understanding how to navigate though attachment issues that the family may encounter. I also enjoy working with adults who have been adopted and struggle with identity development as they navigate through the world after leaving home.

— Ashante Taylorcox, Associate Professional Counselor in Marlton, NJ

Being part of the adoption triad can be complicated. There can be an extraordinary amount of love, but there is also a huge amount of loss. Many adopted kids feel the loss, but don't understand it nor know how to articulate it. Who am I? Why was I given up? We discuss these issues in a loving and safe space. Working with the parents helps them understand their child's struggles and learn that this is not a rejection of their love, but a necessary part of the adoption process.

— Laurie Levine, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Herndon, VA

Children who are adopted out of traumatic situations often have behavioral issues arising from the past trauma. PCIT was researched and developed out of UC Davis Children's Hospital with a focus on children who have trauma, foster care, and adoption histories. Hope is available. With PCIT, together we can work to transform your child's behaviors and bring peace and warmth back to your family interactions again!

— Dawn Hamilton, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Redlands, CA
 

Being a part of a family who adopted a child, I have a unique perspective on how adoption can affect each participant in the process. Adoption can elicit joy and grief, fulfillment and loss, connection and isolation. I work with adoptive parents, adopted children, and first families to help process the impact of adoption on each individual.

— Julianne Fox, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Walnut Creek, CA

As an adoption counselors I work with adoptees, birth parents and adoptive families to help them understand and cope with the emotions surrounding adoption. Adoption can have a deep impact. The better an adoption is handled at all stages, the more likely it is to form a healthy family.

— Dana Philossaint, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Summerville, GA
 

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 involves trauma and working through abandonment and attachment issues. In a nonjudgemental and empathic environment, I assist you in developing your sense of self out of hard circumstances.

— Dr. Jill Klingler, Psychologist in Cincinnati, OH
 

An adoptive mom with over 10 years of professional experience as an adoption caseworker for a nonprofit adoption agency, I work with birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees and help each explore identity issues, relationship concerns, and reunification. Open adoption, closed adoption, private adoption, foster care — we explore the issues that clients have when they walk through my door.

— Amy Shore, Counselor in Sugar Land, TX

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
 

I have extensive child welfare experience and education on issues pertaining to child abuse and neglect, various traumas, attachment, foster care, and permanency by way of adoption.

— Jennifer Lovelace, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Fairfield, CA
 

Being a part of a family who adopted a child, I have a unique perspective on how adoption can affect each participant in the process. Adoption can elicit joy and grief, fulfillment and loss, connection and isolation. I work with adoptive parents, adopted children, and first families to help process the impact of adoption and promote healing and growth for everyone involved. I wrote my master's thesis on adoption and developed a therapy group to help adopted children.

— Julianne Fox, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Walnut Creek, CA

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
 

Adoption involves trauma and working through abandonment and attachment issues. In a nonjudgemental and empathic environment, I assist you in developing your sense of self out of hard circumstances.

— Dr. Jill Klingler, Psychologist in Cincinnati, OH

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
 

Attachment and trauma are part of adoption yet adoption issues relate more to the impact of adoption itself on identity, self worth, loss and often a journey to connect to your origin story, your first chapter. Each adoptees journey is unique but can also share similar feelings and challenges. These are often not talked about or allowed in an adoptees world. Adoptive parents bring their own histories into parenting and it can be challenging and they can face judgment and unrealistic expectations

— Amy Reamer, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Henrico, VA

As an adoptive parent and counselor I understand the challenges faced in blending a family through adoption. I can work with you and your children on issues of grief and loss, identity formation, and attachment in blending your family.

— William Hemphill, Licensed Professional Counselor in Norcross, GA
 

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 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
 

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