Many of us know someone who has been adopted. What we often fail to consider is that adoption can be a very traumatic event. 

When someone is given up for adoption, they’re usually very young and susceptible. This is the age when someone most needs a strong, parental connection to help them learn, grow, and nourish their self-image. Unfortunately, in the case of adoptees, this is all taken away.

This isn’t to say that the people who adopt children are in the wrong. These children are in need of care and love, and it’s very admirable that there are people willing to provide this nurturing. However, that doesn’t change the fact that these children are often forced to sacrifice their original parents. 

This can  be very difficult.

In this article we’re going to talk about some of the repercussions of trauma by adoption and discuss some potential solutions so that you can work through it.


How Adoption Causes Trauma

When we think of adoption, we generally think of the joy that a child experiences when they are taken in by new parents. This is definitely a valid consideration. However, we should also consider the fact that they were likely distraught when they were first taken away from their original parents.

Children can be given up for adoption for a number of reasons.

  • Their parents decide that they are unfit for parenting and give up the child.
  • The parents are deemed unfit for parenting by a government agency or law agency and the children are taken away.
  • A single parent may recognize that they don’t have the resources to properly raise a child and pass it on to someone more capable.

These reasons are valid, and it’s generally a good idea to make sure that a child isn’t raised by unfit parents. However, you also have to consider that none of these choices are the child’s. In all of these situations, the child is being forcibly removed from their primary caregiver – and that can cause serious trauma.

Adoption can lead to many trauma-related behaviors and conditions. Some of the most commonly-reported conditions associated with adopted children include:

  • Trauma and pain from the loss of their original family
  • Having to deal with adoption stigma
  • Being criticised
  • Identity problems
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Attachment issues
  • Fear of intimacy, fear of rejection, fear of abandonment
  • Difficulties with self-worth
  • Hard time forming attachments or meaningful bonds with other people

These problems can compound to make life pretty challenging for someone who’s been adopted. Fortunately, there are some holistic healing methods that can help someone who has been adopted work through the issue.


Holistic Treatments for Managing Adoption Trauma

Holistic treatment is important because it addresses both the mental and physiological components of trauma. Trauma is often stored in the body, and using purely mental techniques to work through it often leaves something to be desired.

These are some good examples of holistic treatments that can help people overcome the trauma associated with adoption.


Neuro-Linguistic Programming, or NLP, is a very effective form of treatment that helps patients understand and unlock parts of their subconscious mind.

Trauma is primarily stored in the subconscious mind. Belief patterns that were established at a young age, at the time of the adoption, often lead people to engage in self-sabotaging behaviors, like avoiding intimate relationships.

NLP helps to open up a direct discourse between a client and their subconscious mind. Guided by a coach, NLP helps people replace undesirable or unwanted subconscious patterns with more effective and beneficial ones.


Eye Movement Integration, or EMI, is another form of holistic treatment that has been used successfully to treat a wide variety of mental health problems. 

EMI coaches guide the eye movements of their clients. This serves as an effective way to help them integrate different traumatic memories. By guiding the entire process of trauma recovery through the guidance of eye movements, patients are able to uproot and overcome traumatic memories.

Somato-Emotional Repatterning

Somato-Emotional Repatterning (SER) is a powerful therapeutic practice that aims to repattern both the mental and physical aspects of trauma. 

Somato-Emotional Repatterning integrates a number of different techniques. Some utilize the movement of the eyes, such as in EMI, and others involve different cues. SER helps to identify and remove stuck emotions in the body, which allows them to finally be expressed.

When they are expressed, the coach will be able to hold space for you while you work through these difficult memories.

If you would like to explore these options more thoroughly, reach out to me for a complimentary strategy session. Together we can work toward freedom and healing.


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The Trauma of Adoption