Uri Sanhedrai
Uri Sanhedrai, MA, RCC
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Helping Individuals Whose Lives Are Affected by Adoption

Who are the people I see?

Adopted persons
Adopting parents

What are the main issues often facing adopted persons?

The core issues facing distressed adopted individuals tend to be attachment, abandonment and loss of identity. Other overburdening issues are abuse and neglect. Subsequent problems arising from these issues are those of insecure attachment behavior and post-traumatic stress symptoms that detrimentally affect the adopted person’s life and relationships. 

An adoption trauma may affect the adopted person’s memory, attention, concentration, and social responses.  She or he may develop dysfunctional self-defeating, self-harming, oppositional and aggressive behaviors, impulsivity, hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, poor self-image and low self-esteem.

The affected adoptee often experiences fear of rejection; trust/distrust issues; a deep sense of loss; grief; guilt and shame; struggles with power and control; loyalty issues; difficulties in bonding, in establishing intimate relationships and in forming social connections; struggle with parenthood and parenting; and identity issues.

What are some issues often facing adopting parents?

Common concerns to adopting parents are bonding and attachment, a sense of belonging, compatibility, loyalty and entitlement, parenting issues, coping, and lack of support from family members.

As their little child grows older and becomes more and more independent, adoptive parents often dread loosing her/him. Some become increasingly concerned about their child's interest in finding her or his birth parent and possible complications of a reunion. They may develop conflicting feelings of fear, anger, sorrow, jealousy, betrayal, guilt, and a sense of failure – feelings which often co-exist with feelings of sympathy, interest, relief, and a sense of achievement. They may also be suffering from anxiety, depression, poor self-image and low self-esteem, which complicates matters.

What are some issues often facing birthgivers (biological parents)?

Many birth givers whose child has been adopted by others, are often tormented by a deep sense of loss – of their child, a part of themselves, their autonomy and their control. They often live with guilt, shame and the burden of secrecy. They may experience difficulty in intimacy and in forming social relationships. Many are suffering from anger, high level of anxiety, depression, poor self-image and low self esteem.

What do I do to help?

I provide support, counselling and therapy to help the adopted child, the adoptive parents and the birthgiver – each from their own personal perspective, gain new insights into their unique personal experience and modify dysfunctional thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Working together with the often life-long troubled person, I help alleviate anxiety, stress and over-burdening moods, face shattered expectations, enhance coping ability and provide consultation on parenting issues.