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    Support for Adoptive Parents and Adoptees

    Whatever drove your decision to become an adoptive parent (personal choice, personal experience, infertility issues, etc.), congratulations on taking this step.

    Next, you need to make sure you have the support you will need. You decided to adopt a child (or children) due to your own beliefs or fertility issues. Everything was supposed to be smooth and have a happy ending. But perhaps it has not been that way so far. Adoption can be a difficult time for couples, single parents, and LGBTG+ parents; before, during, and after the adoption. Each type of adoption comes with its own set of issues. Adopting children (domestic and internationally) can bring about various issues that are not experienced or seen elsewhere.

    There are many challenges and difficulties that both adoptive parents and adopted children will have to overcome. These include psychological and behavioral issues, grief/loss (of a familiar place and people), potential health problems, adjusting to being a parent or being parented, and sometimes even language barriers.

    Domestic Adoption

    Single individuals and couples might find themselves dealing with a lot of stress waiting for “the match” or following the progress of a pregnancy that may or may not end in adoption. There may be issues of parenting, attachment, or dealing with family members and friends. Finding professional help before, during, and after the adoption will significantly enhance the support network you need to create a nurturing family environment.

    International Adoption

    Besides the typical challenges of adopting a child (or children) domestically and being an adoptive parent, accomplishing an international adoption brings additional difficulties, such as language barriers, coordinating with international agencies, dealing with other countries’ rules and regulations. Other challenges may include being prepared to travel abroad. You will need money for travel and lodging expenses, passport requirements, visas where required, time off from your job, lawyer fees, etc.

    At times, future adoptive parents will have to make decisions on the spot while they are traveling.

    This should be a joyful time. Instead, you may be frustrated, angry, or having difficulties talking to friends, colleagues, or family members.

    That’s why it is vital to have the support of a therapist – to help future adoptive parents prepare for the adoption process, achieve the adoption completion, and successfully work through the adoption adjustment period (which can last years). We at Tampa Therapy Group can give you that support.

    Siblings or Multiple Adoptions

    You decided to go beyond your first plans and adopt more than one child – at the same time, or you may be adding one or more children to your family.

    Your dream was to have a big, happy family. Instead, there’s stress everywhere: at home, school, work, etc., and these stressors are hurting your relationship, or you are very overwhelmed.

    LGBTG+ Adoption

    Your plans of having a family have been realized or are just about to be. If your family and friends are supportive, that is wonderful. If family and friends are less supportive than you would like them to be, you should be commended for you and your partner deciding to grow your family and bring a child or children into your immediate family.

    Now, you may be overwhelmed with dealing with the legal challenges put around LGBTG+ adoption, or you could be overwhelmed with having to deal with child issues and not having the support you need.

    You made the right decision to look for help now. We at Tampa Therapy and Wellness are here to provide you with support.

    Finding professional help before, during, and after an LGBTG+ adoption of children adds to the support you need to establish your family and minimize associated stressors successfully..

     Potential Challenges Experienced During Adoption

    The list below are symptoms or challenges parents and children may experience before, during, and after the adoption process is completed.

    • Anxiety
    • Grief
    • Depression
    • Guilt / Shame
    • Anger
    • Behavioral issues
    • School issues
    • Attachment issues
    • Tantrums / Uncontrollable crying
    • Aggressiveness
    • Isolation / Hiding
    • Personality issues and other psychological issues
    • Low self-esteem
    • Self-harming behaviors
    • Trauma (from mild to intense trauma)
    • Impulsivity
    • Lack of sense of safety for both parents and children

    How We Can Support You Along This Journey

    Behavioral and psychological issues will be treated with love, understanding, and acceptance. We often use an integrative approach that is unique to each individual and their needs. We use techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Mindfulness, ACT, EFT, and other types of therapy that have been proven to be helpful in the treatment of adoption issues. Often, adopted children cannot communicate their inner suffering with words. Therefore, we try our best to provide a non-judgmental environment where young patients can find support and honesty about their innermost feelings and thoughts. The relationship formed between the therapist and the child will be the key to the success of therapy and the child. At times, schools may request letters and summaries of treatment for at-risk children; these types of reports will be released upon parental written authorization.

    Our founder, Dr. Rosana Marzullo-Dove, has completed Adoption Competency Training and Foster Competence Training.

    Typical Outcomes

    Based on the child’s acceptance and trust in the therapist, the therapist/patient relationship will be long lasting. Every time the child or parent/s come to therapy, issues will be resolved through individual, couples, or family therapy. Although adoptive parents and adopted children often return to treatment when the child is going through different phases of their life (school change, female beginning menstruation, dating, having sex, marrying, having a child of their own, etc.). Each milestone may bring a different set of issues to address for both parents and children.