Loss begins the journey.
It is crisis and/or trauma that create the circumstances that lead to the necessity of adoption and permanency. The crises of an unplanned pregnancy, rape, incest, poverty, addiction, divorce, mental illness, war or a country’s crisis that results in refugees, natural disasters, epidemics and cultural biases leads to the displacement of children. Seven Core Issues in Adoption and Permanency, which include loss, rejection, shame/guilt, grief, identity, intimacy, and mastery/control, are created through the disassembling and creating of a new family system. Loss began the journey for all members of the constellation and is the unifying issue that binds them together.
For birth/first parents, adoptive/foster/kinship parents, and people who are adopted, involvement with adoption/permanency is typically associated with an initial loss and many secondary losses that continue to affect constellation members throughout their lives. There are ambiguous losses that impact all members of the constellation which are vague and may be described as a feeling of distress and confusion about people who are physically absent, but psychologically and emotionally present in their lives.
For birth/first parents, adoption and permanency means the loss of a child whom they may never see again and the loss of their parenting role.
Adoptive parents may have experienced the loss of not giving birth to a particular child, failed fertility treatments and dreams of raising a child with whom they are genetically connected. People who are adopted lose both their birth/ first families; siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins. They may lose cultural, racial and ethnic connections and/or their language of origin. If they are adopted as older children, they may also lose friends, foster families, pets, schools, neighbourhoods and familiar surroundings.
Losses for constellation members may include:
A family member; the family tree is permanently altered
The loss of their familial tree that includes a history, culture and lineage
Vital physical, genetic, mental health and historical information
Safety, love and protection of one’s birth/first parents
Societal status and being part of the norm
Their original role in somebody’s life
Power over their life’s circumstances
Explore our blog for an exploration of 7 core issues in adoption & permanency.