No one goes into adoption expecting to be the one in four or five adoptive parent who experiences post adoption depression. Here is a well-written piece from Slate, by a mom who experienced this after adopting her son.
For the first time ever, I was depressed. And as far as I knew, there was no name for the state in which I found myself. I couldn’t, after all, call it postpartum. I hadn’t gone through the hormonal roller coaster of pregnancy and recovery. I hadn’t experienced labor and delivery, nor was I breast-feeding, which some adoptive parents successfully train their bodies to do. Moreover, I’d had a clean bill of mental health as we moved through the adoption process. (In fact, any history of a prospective adoptive parent’s using antidepressants or receiving counseling of any kind, whether or not it’s related to depression, can derail their chances of adopting a child from certain countries, South Korea among them.) Nevertheless, I was in the throes of an adoptive parent’s version of postpartum depression.
It turns out I was not—am not—alone. A March 2012 Purdue University studysuggests that between 18 and 26 percent of adoptive mothers struggle with post-adoption depression, brought on by extreme fatigue, unrealistic expectations of parenthood or a lack of community support.