Every adoptive parent expects that after working so hard to become a parent, they will feel nothing but joy and thankfulness at the gift that is their child. More often these feelings of joy are mixed with feelings of being overwhelmed and worry about not “falling madly in love at first sight”. Throw in the exhaustion of any major life change, and you have the makings for post-adoption depression.
We have seen no research on how many adoptive parents experience post-adoption depression, but anecdotally from members in our online support community, we believe that it occurs more often when:
- Parents have unrealistic expectations of what the transition period will be like.
- Parents do not have people with whom to confide their fears and concerns.
If you are struggling post-adoption, you are not alone. This is not a reflection on you, or your child, or your eventual adjustment. Talk with your adoption social worker. She will not judge, and she can help.
If it is interfering with your ability to parent, seek outside counseling. In the meantime, you absolutely must join an in-person or online support group. One of the best is the Creating a Family Facebook Support Group.
Creating a Family has many resources on post-adoption blues. A few we think you will find particularly helpful are:
- Still Imagine You Might Be Pregnant Even After Adopting? (blog post)
- When Parents Fail to Attach to Their Adopted Child (blog post)
- The Elusive “Happily Ever After”- Post Adoption Depression (blog post)
- Post-Adoption Depression: Causes and Prevention (1 hr. radio show with Dr. Jane Aronson)
- Transitioning Home: The First Months Post Adoption (1 hr. radio show with Karen Foli, author of The Post-Adoption Blues)
Many more Creating a Family radio interviews with experts, videos, blogs, fact sheets, and Q and A’s with Experts on post-adoption depression can be found at the icons below.
Image credit: Chrstopher