Young adulthood is a time of developing autonomy, creating independence, launching into college or work, and creating an identity for self. However, this developmental stage can be especially difficult for the young adult who is an adoptee as separation and loss can trigger feelings associated with loss of the relationship with birth parents. This can result in difficulty leaving the home, sabotaging success, struggles with relationships, and anxiety about the future.
The attachment disruption that stems from adoption can lead to a deep sense of abandonment, rejection, loss, confusion, identity issues, and shame. This leaves the young adult vulnerable with a strong desire to search for acceptance and a sense of belonging often in unhealthy places. Left untreated, this underlying trauma fuels addictions, mood disorders, risk-taking behaviors, expectations of further abandonments, and chronic suicidality.
Treatment for Issues Related to Adoption for young adults
Young adult adoptees often seek treatment for unhealthy behaviors or addictions that developed to medicate the feelings related to having been adopted. At the Claudia Black Young Adult Center, clients are able to recognize the impact adoption has had on their development, challenging shame-based beliefs, and begin to heal layers of delayed grief.