For many children, the sadness of being given up by their birth parents can be soothed somewhat with their adoption into a secure, loving family. For some children, however, it is a much deeper wound, especially when they are rejected outright. Whether their feelings of rejection stem from being given up initially or from when they try to connect with their parents later in life, it can be tremendously painful and difficult to get over.
There are many reasons a mother may give up her child. In most cases, giving her child to someone who is better equipped to care for him is an unselfish, loving thing to do. Still, even in the best circumstances, children may struggle with the fact that their own mother gave them to other people to be cared for.
Children who feel rejected by their birth parents commonly experience feelings of resentment and anger. Holding onto such feelings can make coping mechanisms such as drinking and drugs seem like the only way to deal with their situations. What these children need are people to show them they matter and that their presence is wanted, even if they don't believe that themselves.
Carl Jung believed in children's resilience to adversity. He felt even in the worst situations, all children really needed was love, understanding and the support of one loving, caring adult to pull them through. He also believed that we all have the power within ourselves to heal. So, what can be done to help these children deal with their feelings of rejection from their birth parents?
Tips for Helping Adopted Children Cope
Whether or not adopted children should know their birth parents is an emotionally charged question. In recent years, the stigma previously attached to adoption has all but vanished.
Adopted children are naturally curious about their birth parents, and some will go to any lengths to meet them. This presents challenges for adoptive parents, who may fear losing their role.