Adoptive parents come to understand that with respect to trauma, most of our children have been exposed to trauma of some kind in the form of neglect or physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. They may have been exposed to domestic violence. They may, as a result, suffer from additional fears, developmental delays, or have behaviour problems. Low self-esteem is particularly common in older children and, as a result, they feel unworthy or unlovable. Many children suffer from the grief and loss associated with their journey towards permanency.
Some children have been in and out of foster care and/or may have been cared for by many different caregivers. This often impacts a child’s ability to trust that their adoptive parents will take care of them and meet their needs. The emotional bond that a child feels with their caregiver – birth parent, foster or adoptive parent is referred to as attachment. Forming a positive attachment may take longer for children who have not had a consistent caregiver or had one who could not keep them safe. These children will take longer to demonstrate and reciprocate affection and they may need to test the commitment and resolve of their adoptive parents.
Training/education in those areas such as trauma-focused parenting, attachment, grief and loss, as well as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) will offered through our agency as well as through community resources including AdoptOntario and the Adoption Council of Ontario. There are webinars on adoption organized through AdoptOntario which we would encourage you to attend.