Whether you're a birth mother finalizing an infant adoption, a foster child waiting for adoption or a prospective parent looking to start a family - the emotional tolls of adoption will more than likely require some form of counseling. Even though adoption means a better life for most people involved, the process is life-changing and rife with anxiety as well as overwhelming happiness, particularly while an adopter is just waiting to hear about being placed with a child.
As a birth mother and first-time parent, some level of mourning will take place regarding adoption. Adoptive parents that have experienced years of fertility treatments will have mourned the loss of a biological child. And, likewise, a birth mother will mourn the loss of the adopted child. This may also happen years after the adoption, particularly when the child is of an age when he or she is passing certain milestones, like graduations and marriages. Other birth and adoptive relatives can also make emotional effects of adoption difficult to deal with.
The emotional effects of adoption may be more pronounced in nontraditional adoptive families. Children in transracial families, for instance, may have to answer tougher questions than a child adopted into a family that looks like it could be his or her biological one. Older children adopted internationally will have language barriers that with tutoring and classes can be overcome. If the child is school-aged, however, the child may be teased or frustrated by his or her limited understanding.