Adoption can be a fulfilling experience that leaves parents in awe of the wonderful, new addition to their family. However, adoption can also have long lasting effects, both positive and negative, on the adoptee. The negative effects may include

  • Low self-esteem
  • Difficulty forming attachments
  • Uncertainty with where he or she belongs
Currently, more adoptions are open; previously, most adoptions were closed, making it more difficult to obtain information concerning the biological family. Whether it was a closed or semi-open adoption, certain activities will often trigger emotions that remind the adoptee of being different from others. These activities may include:

  • Making a family tree
  • Lack of medical information when visiting a doctor
  • Attempting to reunite with the biological family

It has been found universally that adoptees experience similar issues throughout their developmental stages in life. These issues have been coined as the Seven Core Issues of Adoption. Often these issues are intertwined and appear at different stages. Knowledge of these issues will enable parents to understand a child's various thoughts and feelings related to being adopted. It will enable the adult who was adopted earlier in life to understand certain thoughts and behaviors that have manifested due to being adopted. Listed are the Seven Core Issues of Adoption:

  1. Loss
  2. Rejection
  3. Guilt and Shame
  4. Grief
  5. Identity
  6. Intimacy
  7. Mastery/Control

If you are experiencing any of the negative effects of being adopted, or a parent attempting to understand the thoughts and feelings of an adoptee, obtaining professional counseling from a therapist with adoption experience may be beneficial.