#52 – Getting professional help

June 8, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Posted in adoption issues, Adoptive parenting do's, Professional help, Raising the adopted child | Leave a comment


Last week I met with some people from a local university – two heads of departments and one Dean – in hopes of discussing adding adoption issues to their curriculum.  My work experience has shown me that the general education that social workers, therapists, and counselors receive does not include adoption issues.


My plea was understood and agreed with, but I made no progress.  I did learn, however, the reason why colleges and universities do not include this area, even though one third of all adolescents in therapy are adopted.  Because these professions are regulated and people are licensed, the state dictates what must be taught in order to pass the exams.  Adoption isn’t in that mix.


I was told that there are many niche areas in counseling and all cannot be addressed, so they give a general education and emphasize that the student should learn on their own after graduation – concentrating on the particular needs of the job they get.  In working at a children’s home where two of every five children came from a failed adoption, I didn’t see evidence of this happening.  The professionals had almost no knowledge of adoption issues, and in general thought there really weren’t any special issues that adopted children face.


One of the department heads at the meeting is also associated with a counseling firm and upon her recommendation, I am going to meet with them next week.  They are starting an ambitious program for professionals to introduce them to adoption.  I’m anxious to hear about it and am delighted they are doing this.


Bottom line – which you will read in almost all adoption books – if you do seek professional help with your adopted children, don’t go to just any counselor.  Make sure they are schooled in and understand the unique issues adopted children (and adults) deal with on a daily basis.  Adoption issues are real, logical and justified.  These issues deserve to be recognized as legitimate, and our children need to be understood before they can be helped.  It may be difficult to find an “adoption expert”, but the results will make the effort worthwhile.  Your children need to talk with someone who knows what they are feeling and can truly understand their unique thoughts.


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