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Parents of Teens and Young Adults

Older teen attachment issues

Our daughter doesn’t have close relationships; only surface ones. She has never opened up to anyone. I believe it is from experiencing loss at any early age before coming to us. She doesn’t talk about adoption; however we have always been open about it. She was a happy go lucky kids till the adolescent years; typical teen stuff but the adoption issues have magnified it. Has anyone else seen this? Counseling; not sure what to think as she doesn’t know what to talk about. I am concerned about her future and relationships.


Gosh… all adopted kids are different.  Mine came home when he was an infant.  We were very open about his birth mother. Wrote letters and sent pictures every year sharing the details of our lives.  Never heard from her until she contacted him on Facebook when he was 16 yrs old.  That began years of turmoil for him and ur family.  He couldn’t make it through college.  Then 4 stints of living with her and his siblings. He’s now 23 and is finally beginning to make peace with all of it.  He’s hime with us now trying to move on.  There’s no real relationship with her or any of his birth family. It’s sad.  He was way too young to have to come with it all.  Therapy only works if they want to participate.  We tried a few councilors but he just wasn’t ready to use their help.  It’s just now that he’s interested.  He used pot for many years.  When recently evaluated it found that he’s emotionally about 16 and has some problems socially.  Nothing his father and I didn’t already know.  The contact from his birth mother behind our back and what ensued was a traumatic experience for him.  We can’t fix our kids. All we can do is expose them to help.  The best of luck to you and your child.

Posted by ElenaS on Mar 10, 2017 at 10:58pm

you can call local agencies and ask for a counselor who knows about adoption issues and try. Many teens will open up to someone who knows about adoption. Doing nothing is guaranteed to have no results.

Posted by Regina on Mar 10, 2017 at 11:32pm

I would give counseling a try; keep in mind that it can take a while to find the right fit. if your teen doesn’t relate to one counselor, don’t hesitate to try another. from my own experience, I can say that it took several tries until I found someone I felt comfortable with. and with my daughter, who is much younger, the first therapist was a disaster while the second one has been great.

Posted by rn4kidz on Mar 11, 2017 at 2:48am

My daughter adopted as a teen has similar issues, and more. She insisted her adoption and past life had no effects on her.She has the appearance of being the life of the party and having many friends while in actuality struggling to have any.

Most therapists and social workers she manipulated, but when we found a social worker who talked wisely about the effects of life without a trustworthy mom,(and vice versa) my daughter was riveted, and suddenly started thinking about the connections and making changes for the better. So I agree counseling is worth a try if you get an adoption savy counselor, who is a good fit.Good luck to you and your daughter.

Posted by Happy Camper on Mar 11, 2017 at 4:25am

I also agree that counseling makes sense, and that finding someone that she clicks with, and that you basically trust, is important, too. If that person happens not to be versed in adoption, you can always offer them a consult with an adoption therapist. I talk in my book, “Parenting in the Eye of the Storm: The Adoptive Parent’s Guide to Navigating the Teen Years” about how humiliated adopted teens can feel, and how much they try to save face. Even if she doesn’t “delve” into adoption, with a positive, supportive relationship with a counselor, it can pave the way for future therapy or opening up. Feel free to get in touch with me or sign up for my e-mail list as I’ll be offering a series of local and online groups for adoptive parents of teens in May.

Posted by Katiejae on Mar 18, 2017 at 2:56pm

Definitely seek therapy and don’t give up. Family therapy has also been helpful for us because we can help our daughter navigate through her complex birth family issues. We have met some wonderful professionals on our journey. So glad we are taking advantage of the professional therapy community. We couldn’t do this alone.

Posted by Sal on May 24, 2017 at 10:25pm

Adopting our daughter (now 16.5) has proven to be a huge, huge mistake

Posted by ugh on Jul 28, 2017 at 5:09am

Adopting our daughter (now 16.5) has proven to be a huge, huge mistake

Posted by ugh on Jul 28, 2017 at 5:09am

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