Parents May Have Post-adoption Depression

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., April 1 (UPI) — Adoptive parents may have post-adoption depression that may be due to unmet or unrealistic expectations, U.S. researchers found.

“People often hear about post-partum blues when having a baby, but the emotional well-being of adoptive parents once the child is placed in the home is not really talked about,” Karen J. Foli, an assistant professor of nursing at Purdue University and an adoptive mother, said in a statement.

“In this study, the majority of the adoptive parents who self-reported having experienced depression after the child was placed in their home often described unmet or unrealistic expectations of him or herself, the child, family and friends, or society.”

For example, some parents said they did not anticipate bonding with their child would be a struggle or that family or friends would not offer the same support they have observed that birth parents have gotten, Foli said.

Foli, co-author of the book “The Post-Adoption Blues: Overcoming the Unforeseen Challenges of Adoption,” interviewed 21 adoptive parents as well as 11 adoption experts and professionals.

“Other factors that may contribute to post-adoption depression include the expectations of the child’s attachment to the parents, a lack of peers, the lack of boundaries with birth parents in open adoptive agreements and society’s attitude toward adoptive families as a whole,” Foli said.

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