Adoption in Reno, Adoption in Vegas, BM Blog

By Adoption Choices of Nevada

Are Adoptees More Prone to Mental Health Illnesses?

By Desiree Pohl

Both seasoned and new parents naturally wonder about the what if’s that come along with the excitement and joy of adopting a child. What if they don’t like me? What if I can’t give them what they need? How does adoption affect mental health? There are some stigmas about adoption that mention it’s harder in general to raise an adopted child, or that adopted children are more prone to mental health issues than biological children.

In addition, parents of transracially adopted children can face cultural barriers. As a future parent in any capacity, it is crucial to stay informed and even more beneficial to experience support. If you need adoption support, contact Adoption Choices of Nevada at any time.

Are Adoptees More Prone to Mental Health Illnesses?

The short answer is yes, but it’s crucial to remember that not all children are the same. Like biological children, adoptees have their own needs too. Thus, as a parent, you should educate yourself and your family about what to expect, so that you can be equipped to meet those needs. Further, it’s essential for you to know that there are plenty of resources to help along the way.

What Causes Mental Health Illness?

Now that we’ve established adoptees are more prone to mental health illness, we need to explore any and all known causes and risk factors to better understand why this is. Research suggests that mental health illnesses can be triggered by a host of causes. Among them: childhood abuse, trauma, neglect, family history, poverty or stress. Other research offers that brain chemistry and culture may play a role.

In the world of open adoption, adoptive parents are able to gain a good understanding of potential mental health issues by looking over their son or daughter’s medical and health history. If their child’s birth mother has any history or alcohol abuse, know there’s a risk of behavioral disabilities or alcoholism. If you’re adopting an infant transracially, there may be specific mental health factors that increase the risk from that as well.

Yet, no matter what, knowledge is power. The more you can learn upfront about your baby, the better you’ll be prepared with their future. Don’t hesitate to voice any questions or concerns you have with the adoption agency pertaining to your child’s background. Your adoption professional will help ensure that you’re ready to meet your child’s needs.

How does adoption affect mental health? Are There Signs or Symptoms I Should be Aware of? 

Recognizing when your child requires intervention for a mental health issue is imperative. Some of the most classic signs and symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • Extreme fear of social situations
  • Constant state of fear or worry that something bad will happen
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Stomach aches

Because depression and anxiety can manifest in a variety of ways, here are some things to watch out for:

  • Changes in energy levels
  • Lack of interest in doing things that make your child happy
  • Irritability
  • Excessive crying or fussiness
  • Nightmares

 What can I do to help?

The CDC recommends ensuring your child eats a balanced diet and gets plenty of rest and exercise; it may also be useful to work with your child to practice relaxation techniques. Also, asking for help as a parent should not be taboo. If you find yourself unable to help navigate these types of mental health problems you can get in touch with a mental health counselor or even work with your child’s school to develop a plan of action to help get them back on track.

Some of the best gifts that you as a parent can give to an adopted child include patience, understanding, and the desire to be informed. By taking an interest and learning about what your child needs can help lessen these statistics. For example, adopted children need to feel safe. They need to feel like they are in an environment where they will not be given up on for making a mistake or sent away for it. In addition, these children need understanding because sometimes they aren’t aware of where their mental and behavioral problems come from either, especially if they are too young to communicate their feelings. If you are considering adoption and already have biological children, it’s imperative that children don’t feel like one is favored over the other.

Adoptees and Mental Health Issues

In the end, adopted children want to be as happy as everyone else. Despite the fact that there may be challenges along the way, adoption is still a selfless and loving act. Adoptive parents do not need to feel alone; once they’ve made the choice to adopt, they step into a world that is filled with support and like-minded people who just want to make a difference.

Adoption Choices of Nevada

Adoption Choices of Nevada has been providing adoption and surrogacy services across Nevada since 2012. You can call us to speak to someone now. Contact Us 24/7: 855-940-4673 (Toll-Free) | 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas) | 775-825-4673 (Reno).