Adoptees and children who are fostered are over-represented in the prison system, addiction clinics and are 4 times more likely than their peers to attempt suicide. This talk will consider why that would be and what, if anything we can do about it.
For many, when we talk about adoption, we talk about placing children in need, into loving homes to parents that want them. The assumption behind these conversations is that love will overcome all challenges and obstacles. What we don’t talk about, or rarely, is that the adoption in the new home comes about because another home has ended, or perhaps not even begun. We forget that all adoption is formed from loss. Love is essential but it is not enough.
Gabor Maté and Zara Phillips will discuss what it means to carry the trauma of being relinquished. How adoption is not a one-time event but has a lifelong impact. They will consider how unresolved trauma can lead to addiction and suicidal thinking and what if anything an adoptee (and those that support them) can do to heal and recover.
This talk will also help inform best practice for those working in adoption and fostering and those who offer mental health services for adoptees to help inform best practice.