Post Adoption Depression: Causes and Prevention

Radio Show


Can You Be Happy Even While Infertile


Post adoption depression and parent attachment disorder are surprisingly common and seldom talked about. After all, since you’ve tried so hard to become a parent, many adoptive parents are ashamed to admit that they are struggling. We interviewed Dr. Jane Aronson, a board certified general pediatrician and pediatric infectious diseases specialist, and adoption medicine specialist for the past 12 years. She is a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and the founder of World Wide Orphan Foundation. Dr. Aronson is also the author of a new book, Carried in Our Hearts: The Gift of Adoption, Inspiring Stories of Families Created Across Continents.

+ Highlights of the show (click to expand)

  • What is post adoption depression, and how does it differ from the general state of being overwhelmed following the addition of a child into a family, regardless of whether that kiddo comes to us via adoption or birth?
  • How does post adoption depression differ from post partum depression?
  • How does post adoption depression differ from post adoption blues?
  • How common is post adoption depression?
  • How soon after the child is adopted does post adoption depression usually appear?
  • What is parent attachment disorder and how does it relate to post adoption depression?
  • How can adoptive parents prevent the mismatch of expectations to reality that is common in post adoption depression?
  • Who is more likely to sufer from post adoption depression or parent attachment disorder? Moms or dads?
  • What are the most common risk factors for post adoption depression?
  • What are the most common risk factors for failure of a parent to attach to an adopted child?
  • How does infertility grief play in to post adoption depression?
  • How to help parents cope with the shame of post adoption depression or not feeling bonded to their adopted child?
  • How is post adoption depression treated?
  • What type of doctor or therapist is best to treat post adoption depression?
  • Is medication effective in the treatment of post adoption depression?
  • What else can an adoptive parent do to help themselves?
  • Is treatment necessary for this type of depression?

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Image credit: Mary Lock- Goldilock Photography

12/06/2013 | by Radio Show | Categories: 2013 Shows, Adoption, Adoption Radio Shows, Radio Show | 6 Comments

6 Responses to Post Adoption Depression: Causes and Prevention

  1. Avatar Heather says:

    I am so worried because I feel a strong dislike towards our foster daughter, 4yo, who we plan to adopt. I also have bio daughters 9 and 6. I do not want to mother this child. But she has zero other options. I feel no love or attachment towards her. I feel like I am long term babysitting and I am SO ready for her to not be in my space and disrupting our lives. My husband and I have planned to adopt for 8 years, and I still have a heart for it. Just….not for this kiddo. I do not know what to do.

    • Tracy Whitney Tracy Whitney says:

      Thanks, Heather, for reaching out and being so transparent. It is not uncommon to feel like the babysitter when you are parenting a new-to-you child or fostering. However, if you feel as if the adoption IS moving forward and you are still struggling to feel attachment, it’s time to seek some professional help. Reach out to your caseworker for some recommendations of adoption-informed therapists near you. Ask friends who are also adoptive or foster parents for referrals. Find one that will tele-conference with you during these shut-downs. Here’s a resource to help you find some help:

      And please reach out to our online support group – there are many moms there who have been where you are. You can find us here:

      Best to you!

  2. Pingback: Post Adoption Depression: Causes and Prevention (Podcast) – Post Adoption Depression

  3. Avatar Yvette says:

    My husband & I are in our late 40’s. We have a 6 yr old son we adopted. He came to us through foster care as an infant. We are currently in the process of adopting a 3 1/2 yr old son who has been with us for a a year & a half. We had been infertile, which is why we adopted. This second time around I’m having depression & am having a hard time attaching to our 3 yr old. Thanks for this topic being discussed!!!!

    • Tracy Whitney Tracy Whitney says:

      I’m so glad you found this post. Thanks for reading and sharing your story. Have you found our online support community yet? We’d love to have you join us there – it’s full of folks who have been through very similar life experiences and you might really enjoy the camaraderie and support. You can find it here:

  4. Pingback: Post Adoption Depression: The Elusive “Happily Ever After” | Spence-Chapin Blog

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