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 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

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.

— Shoshana Aal, Counselor in Denver, CO

I earned my certificate of Adoptive and Foster Family Therapy in June 2017 and utilize a background of attachment theory with my work in this area.

— Rena McGrath, Licensed Professional Counselor in Salem, 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
 

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

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
 

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
 

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 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
 

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

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.

— Shoshana Aal, Counselor in Denver, CO
 

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

I am an adoption-competent clinician through the Center for Adoption Support and Education's Training in Adoption Competency program. I serve only clients that have been impacted by adoption in some way- as an adoptive parent, an adoptee or a birth parent.

— Erin Nasmyth, Clinical Social Worker in Charlotte, NC