When a female adoptee becomes a parent

The birth of her own child brings into focus the relationships between an adoptee's birth mother and their adoptive mother.

MOST OF THE ATTENTION surrounding adoption is given to the adoption triad: the adopted children, adoptive mothers and the birth mothers. Less attention is given to female adoptees that go on to have their own children in time. For some of these women, having their own biological child is the first time they recognise something of themselves in someone else and can help solidify their identity.

The early experience of the adoptee
When a child is given up for adoption, the attachment is broken with the birth mother. A new attachment is then formed with the primary caregiver, often the adoptive mother. This new attachment can be a secure enough base for the child to develop. Adoptive parents frequently tell the adoptee that they were chosen, and this can help with the attachment.

In some cases, the separation from the birth mother can create difficulty in later life with forming relationships. Growing up, adoptees often have a sense of not belonging and may experience a lack of identity. This is especially true of those that have no knowledge of their birth mothers.

On the birth of their biological child
Having a baby is a life-changing event for all new parents. When an adoptee gives birth to their own biological child this can elicit all sorts of feelings. For some, it is the first time they have met someone who is directly related to them; their first known blood relative.

This birth brings into focus the relationships between their birth mother and their adoptive mother. The adoptee now has a link to their biological heritage, and this may strengthen their sense of identity which has been lost through the experience of their own adoption.

The birth of their own child may prompt some adoptees to search for their birth parents. Complex feelings of anger and resentment may arise towards their birth mother. In contrast to these strong feelings, the adoptee may also develop feelings of empathy towards their birth mother for having to give them up. In rare cases, the relationship with the adoptive mother can become strained.

A common experience among adoptees during pregnancy and birth is the fear that the baby may be taken from them or they will be lost. There is a strong urge to keep their children safe. This is related to the experience of loss from their own adoption.

Adoption issues are very complex. The adoptee can be met with challenges like reconciling feelings of rejection, loss and a sense of their own identity. Naturally, the birth of their own child can trigger and re-ignite these feelings.

Share this:
Copyright © 2021 Bath Avenue Counselling Centre.
All rights reserved.
Learn more about some of our therapists who deal with the issues covered in this article. To follow up, please click the Contact button below.
Emerging from the Pandemic: A Therapist’s Perspective

The pandemic took its toll on us all. We experienced a lot of loss: jobs, liberty, relationships, and sometimes even our loved ones. As we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, we are being met by a new normal.

Read More
Understanding Anxiety

What is it? What role does therapy play in alleviating its effects?

Read More
Stress in a 'switched on’ world

We all need to achieve a balance in life that accepts the positive effects of stress, yet effectively manages these levels and allows us to employ techniques that bring about relaxation.

Read More
Stop negative thoughts in their tracks

Handle the onset of negative thoughts by using the Five 'R's: Recognise, Refuse, Relax, Reframe and Resume.

Read More
Bath Avenue Parenting Consultations

Our One-to-One Parenting Clinic helps parents learn the skills they need to take the stress out of parenting and help their children flourish.

Read More
9 tips for a healthy work-life balance

Your health is your wealth: so take time to develop a healthy approach to balancing the competing demands on your time and attention.

Read More
When a female adoptee becomes a parent

The birth of her own child brings into focus the relationships between an adoptee's birth mother and their adoptive mother.

Read More
Managing Christmas

As well as the chance to unwind and get stuck into some extra treats, Christmas can be a time of stress and pressure for many.

Read More
First Floor, 13 Bath Avenue
Sandymount, Dublin D04 K386
(right above the Credit Union).

Monday to Friday: 9:30am to 1:30pm

Ph: (01) 678 8864
Mobile: (087) 981 1988
* We normally reply to e-mail contact within 24 hours *
Disclaimer: Bath Avenue Counselling Centre operates as a referral agency. We provide facilities for mental health professionals that practice independently of Bath Avenue Counselling Centre. Each therapist operates as a sole trader with their own relevant insurances and accreditations.
Privacy & Data Protection Policy >
facebookarrow-circle-leftarrow-circle-rightenvelopelinkedinplay-circlexingpaper-planepinterest-pwhatsappcommentingpause-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram