7 Core Issues in Adoption & Permanency: Intimacy

Jul 26, 2020

Intimacy requires an individual to know who they are and what they need in relationships and believe that they have value.

Individuals’ most primary motivation is the drive to belong and learn how to get their emotional needs met through human connections. Intimate attachments provide the network through which all social, emotional, physical and psychological needs get met. Intimate attachment relationships require trust, respect, acceptance, empathy and reciprocity.

If individuals have acknowledged their core losses, noted where, when and with whom rejection surfaces, addressed feelings of shame and guilt, taken time to grieve, and have embraced their identity, they are able to offer an authentic self in an intimate relationship. Identity and intimacy are linked; as a person clarifies and re-clarifies who they are, their ability to relate to others, forgive others, embrace others, and trust others is enhanced. If the earlier core issues have not been addressed, an individual may not know themselves well enough to know what they “really need” or what they have to offer the other person in an emotionally intimate relationship. All constellation members have been impacted by a core loss that changed their identity, which may lead to intimacy challenges.

Constellation members may experience intimacy challenges when:

They have experienced relational trauma, multiple moves and attachment disruptions

They have experienced abuse, violence and neglect

An adoptee lacks genetic, ethnic and racial mirroring

They lose an intimate connection to a child they were parenting

They lose an intimate relationship with a partner

and/or family members

The crisis of infertility, invasive medical procedures and sex on demand in order to conceive, impacts the couple’s sexuality and their relationship

Professionals and the courts intrude into a person’s most intimate and personal decisions

People ask intrusive questions about infertility, your child’s story or the loss of your children