The process of adoption can be tortuous and fraught with setbacks, frustrations, loss, and anxiety for the adopting family. Whether domestic or international, private or via agency, innumerable things can go wrong at any point along the way, leaving people on tenterhooks, potentially for months and even years. As with any stressful life event, this can wear on relationships, and erode intimacy and quality of life.

Once an adoption is completed, there is even more work to be done! Whatever the age of the child or children, an adoption is a situation were a group of total strangers are thrown into instant intimacy, and expected to forge bonds that will last a lifetime. As with the addition of any family member, all parties are affected, and a whole host of new relationships are forming. Sometimes this seems to all go smoothly; other times, completely unexpected complications emerge.

Studies have found adopted children are more likely to develop social, intellectual, or emotional problems over the course of life. Many things can contribute to this, including prenatal environment, the circumstances and age of adoption, as well as the goodness of fit with the adopting family. Hence, it is important to be especially attuned to how the adopted child is doing at all times and to be able to seek early assistance is there are signs trouble is brewing.

As a child develops, it is completely normal for questions about origins to become more pressing. A child who does not look like his or her adoptive family, or is markedly different in temperament, may have a pressing need to learn more about his or her birth history. How each family navigates this varies widely.

You are not alone! Let us support you through this important undertaking, helping you identify the stress points and pitfalls, look out for the well-being of all, and facilitate a long-term harmonious family unit.