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How to Stay Strong as an Adopted Child


How to Stay Strong as an Adopted Child


What is it like to grow up as an adopted child? Is it better or worse than being born and raised in a traditional family? What are the prospects for an adopted child to become happy, strong, and successful? The Child Trends Organization reports that about two percent of the U.S. child population, or 1.8 million children, are adopted, through foster care or private domestic or international adoption. Although most adopted children fare equally well in the general population, they may face some unique issues and concerns as they go through periods of adjustment and development.


Adopted Children Are More Emotionally Challenged

According to the Adoption Services Organization, some studies suggest that school-age adopted children are more likely to have personality and behavior problems compared to their non-adopted counterparts. They were observed to be more fearful, helpless, and antagonistic. Furthermore, as adopted children grow, they must face a number of issues that can be difficult for them to handle:

  • Development of Identity—It can be more complicated for an adopted child to establish his or her identity when questions about genetics, reasons for being placed for adoption, sense of belonging, etc., are not given proper answers.
  • Loss and Grief—An adopted child may grieve not only due to feelings of abandonment, but also for several losses felt, including the loss of their biological family.
  • Self-Esteem—Without a strong sense of identity, an adopted child often scores lower on level of achievement and general feelings of value and purpose.
  • Genetic History—Problems may arise for an adopted child without access to genetic and health information about their biological family. This can be an issue when medical care is given to address psychological and behavioral symptoms.

In many cases, a range of emotional red flags has been observed in adoptees, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), reactive attachment disorder (RAD), etc. It is often beneficial to seek help from an adoption therapist to heal and overcome these issues.


The Bright Side of the Adoption Story

Studies show that most adopted children lead happy and healthy lives similar to those of their peers raised by birth parents. In some instances, they receive more advantages and opportunities than other children. Many adopted children enjoy healthy relationships with both their adoptive and birth parents throughout their lives.

A report prepared by the US Department of Health and Human Services may put to rest the controversy about the impact of adoption on adopted children. It found that 85 percent of adopted children had excellent health, and that they were more likely to be covered by health insurance than other children in the general population. In all likelihood, these children live in well-off households that can afford the cost of adoption and raising an additional family member.

The happiness of adopted children depends on the healthy development of their identity. Secure relationships with the adoptive family are vital in helping them become strong and stable adults. When a family chooses to adopt, a child is given a new life that opens many doors to new possibilities, including a productive future.


Help to Move Forward

However, it is normal for an adopted child to experience negative feelings of loss, abandonment, betrayal, low self-esteem, etc. While being adopted can contribute to emotional instability, not all the issues they experience are due to adoption. An adopted child can experience happiness or unhappiness just like any non-adopted individual. Some adoptees eventually come to terms with the fact that their birth parents were financially or emotionally incapable of raising a child. This is often accompanied by the feeling that there is nothing to gain in seeking or wondering about the birth parents, especially if the adoptive parents are competently filling the void.

If you’re an adopted child or you have adopted a child who wants to work through these issues, getting help from a professional who understands your unique challenges can make a huge difference. You need to believe that you’re doing the right thing for yourself, so you can resolve your issues and move forward to a promising future.

Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC offers help with adoption-related issues, among others. When you make a call, you will be referred to one of our independently contracted counselors with the experience and expertise required to effectively help you heal, feel secure, and lead a well-adjusted life with your new family. Call now to request an appointment.

Confidential / Private Sessions

Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC contracts with Licensed professional counselors/therapists/psychologists who provide a friendly, caring, and relaxed atmosphere in the Southern Pines/Pinehurst/Aberdeen/Raeford area. These independently contracted therapists/counselors assist adult individuals, couples, families, and children with resolving issues and getting back to enjoying their lives. Whether you are non-military or military, the independently contracted therapists with Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC are able and happy to assist you!

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Southern Pines, NC

Counties: Moore county, NC, Lee County, NC, Montgomery County, NC, Richmond County, NC, Randolph County, NC, Chatham County, NC

Cities: Southern Pines NC, Pinehurst NC, Aberdeen NC, Taylortown NC, Pinebluff NC, West End NC, Seven Lakes NC, Eagle Springs NC, Ashley Heights NC, Ashmont NC, Five Points NC, Wind Blow NC, Jackson Springs NC, Whispering Pines NC, Vass NC, Cameron NC, Carthage NC, Eastwood NC, Lakeview NC, Narrow Ridge NC, Robbins NC, Roseland NC, Tramway NC, Troy NC, Zion Grove NC, Biscoe NC

We are located at:

Carolina Counseling Services - Southern Pines, NC
780 NW Broad St. Suite 210
Southern Pines, NC 28387

How Do I Set Up my FIRST Appointment?

  • Call: (910) 585-6745 (Fastest way to schedule)
  • Text: (910) 308-3291 (Reply will be via phone)
  • Click here and use our Contact Form (You must include your phone number, because replies will only be made by telephone to ensure security/privacy)
  • Call or Text for your New Patient Appointment Anytime!
  • Appointment scheduling for NEW clients: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:15pm
  • New client appts may be scheduled when therapists have openings, which may include daytime, evenings and weekends.
  • Established/Standing Appointments are made directly with your therapist!
  • Referrals: MOST beneficiaries do NOT need a Referral!

Choose your Therapist

  • Kristin Vernon, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Children, Adolescents, Couples, Families, Anxiety, Depression, Self-Esteem Issues, Grief and Loss, Communication Skills, Divorce, Adjustment Disorders, Mood Disorders, Coping Skills, Parenting, Family Conflict, Marital Conflict, Relationship Issues
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare, cash
    Location: Southern Pines, NC
  • Gretchen Montesanto, MA, LPC, NCC

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Teens, Individuals, Anxiety, Depression, Self-Esteem Issues, Grief and Loss, Stress, LGBT, Adjustment Disorder, Motivation, Life Transitions, Mood Disorders, Military Spouses

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Southern Pines, NC
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare and Cash
    Location: Southern Pines, NC
  • Jaime J. Fitzpatrick MS, LPCS, LCAS

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Adults, Families and Couples, Anxiety, PTSD, Trauma and Abuse Recovery, Depression, Military Life Issues, Adjustment Disorder, Relationship Issues, Marriage Counseling, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Trauma Focused Therapy, Addictions, Emotional Disturbance, Coping Skills, Impulsivity, Grief and Loss, Self-Esteem
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Southern Pines, NC
  • Kelly ErkenBrack, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 3+) Children, Teens, Adults, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Loss, Mood Disorders, Trauma, Adjustments and Life Transitions, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting, Relationship Concerns, Self Esteem
    Insurance: BCBS, Medicare,  Tricare Prime/Select and Cash

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Pinehurst, NC and Southern Pines, NC
  • Kathryn Wiens, PsyD. HSP-P

    Specializes in: (Ages 18+) Adult, Individuals, Couples and Families.
    Insurance: BCBS, Medicare, Tricare Prime/Select, Cash, HSA and FSA accepted

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Pinehurst, NC and Southern Pines, NC
  • Tracy Goldberg, MSW, LCSW

    Specializes in: (Ages 5+) Individuals, Adolescents, Adults, Couples, Children and Families. Attention Deficit, Oppositional Defiance, Behavioral Issues, Peer Relationships, Family Conflict, Depression, Anxiety, Parenting Anxiety, ADHD, Self-Esteem Issues, Family Conflict/Divorce, Marriage Counseling, Adjustment Disorders, Relationship Issues, Grief and Loss, Communication Skills, Behavioral Issues, Coping Skills, Mood Disorders, Parent Skill Building, Christian Counseling upon request
    Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare, Cash, HRA and FSA accepted

    Credit Cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express

    Location: Southern Pines, NC