Generally, the adoption of children after their infancy stage is considered to be a “special needs” adoption. This is the same case of those children being adopted after a foster care period. In these cases, attachment problems can appear on both adoptive parents’ side, but also on children’s side. These attachment problems may include social problems, emotional problems and integration problems. Some children in this circumstance may think that they don’t belong. But to tackle the issue in such families, some strategies are proven to work wonderfully.
What is Attachment?
The concept defines an emotional bond between two or more parties. While many may think of it as the child’s feelings towards their adoptive parents or the other way around, this isn’t the case. Normally, this specific bond appears at the birth. This is a child’s biological predisposition to opt out for a person as their main caregiver. This attachment has a survival function in infants. In time, this bond develops and the child will perceive others as caregivers – the father or other close relatives. In abandoned children’s case, this development doesn’t take place, as they lack a protective figure to reach out to. When integrated into a new family, after their infancy years, children have a more difficult time developing this bond and this can damage their social and emotional development. The caregiver’s availability, their predisposition to help and the manner in which they approach their needs will influence how strong this bond will be.
Children in foster care homes have a more difficult time to create such bonds because they switch between caregivers quite frequently, which doesn’t give them enough time to create such an image and attachment with them. But you can learn more about this matter from the numerous online resources available.
Attachment implications for adoptive parents
Adoptive parents have to first make sure that they fully understand the importance of this bond for their children, for a proper emotional and social development. Understanding that multiple attachment disruptions, especially in foster children’s case have damaged their trust and reliability on others, but also their sense of self-esteem and self-worth is equally important. However, adoptive parents also seem to have attachment issues when it comes to their children. As attachment is formed on both ways during the early stages of a child’s life, it is more difficult for adoptive parents to have the same level of attachment as they would with their natural children. However, providing the best possible care should be the first step to bond a trustful relationship with them and offer an increased sense of security.
These are some small aspects to which adoptive parents should pay attention to when it comes to attachment and building a strong relationship with their adoptive children. Keep in mind that attachment is a two-way road and both parents and children have to put continuous efforts to build a strong relationship of this kind. Attachment is mandatory and all parents of adopted children should document each of their decisions.