Today was our medical course in preparation of adoption. These days due to easy availability of contraception, abortion and the lack of stigma for single motherhood fewer and fewer children are relinquished at birth, children who are looking for adoptive parents are almost always children removed from their birth families due to the care or lack of it they receive. This means that these children could potentially have any number of issues and this is what today's talk/discussion was all about. Firstly we discussed what types of issues could effect the development of our adopted children, then how could those issues manifest in their development and finally were there any definitive tests that could be carried out to see how we could help them overcome these development obstacles.
Examples of the issues potentially start whilest in the womb if birth mum is managing addictions to drugs and or alcohol and then carry on into diet, neglect, abuse or could be due to mental health problems or learning difficulties in birth parents, these concerns can cause withdrawals for newborn babies, foetal alcohol syndrome, attachment disorders, behavioural problems, trust issues, slow academic achievement, attention span concerns and so on. There are very few if no definitive tests that can be carried out on the children to see a clearer picture of what they have or are suffering. Many repercussions of these issues do not show in children until school or the teenage years and its very difficult to ascertain if behaviours are due to specifics such as drug or alcohol use or compounded by abuse and neglect. In fact just the way we are made can impact the effects There was a study in the USA concerning foetal alcohol syndrome, where twins were born one suffering FAS the other completely healthy, one of the twins for some reason was not effected why???
The conclusion is that adoption is a little bit of a lottery, there is no guarantee if you are adopting an under 5, we will not be sure of the genetic and nurturing history of these children, so we will just take a day at a time and if issues arise ask for help. One thing is certain children removed from these environments always achieve much more if they are adopted!!!