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Adopting and Grief

Adoption is a transformative journey filled with love and personal growth. However, it can also bring forth a range of complex emotions, including grief. It's important to recognize and address these emotions, often overlooked in discussions about adoption.

Grief in adoption can manifest in different ways. Birth parents may grieve the loss of raising their child, while adoptive parents may mourn their infertility or the absence of a biological child. Even adopted children may experience grief related to their biological roots. 

Understanding and acknowledging adoption grief is crucial for the healing process.

For birth parents, choosing adoption is an act of love and courage. Yet, it can also evoke loss, sadness, and guilt. It's normal to mourn and seek professional help to process these emotions. Support groups provide a valuable space for birth parents to share their experiences and find solace in the stories of others.

Adoptive parents may grapple with the grief of infertility or the longing for a biological child. They need to allow themselves to grieve while understanding that their love for their adopted child remains unwavering. Adoptive parents also play a vital role in empathizing with their child's grief and creating a safe environment for them to express their feelings. On the other side, adopted children often experience a unique form of suffering associated with adoption. This grief may arise from losing biological connections, cultural heritage, or the life they could have had.

Therapists and peers who have gone through similar experiences can offer valuable support during this time; reaching out if you are considering adoption, are adopting, or are an adoptee can be highly beneficial.

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Laurie Groh

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Laurie Groh, MS, LPC, SAS

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