Research suggests a link between adoption and depression, but not all adopted individuals experience it. Adoption-related challenges can contribute to depression, but so do other factors. Genetic, family, and coping skills also affect mental health. Unfortunately adoptees usually lack access to genetic and family histories. Seek guidance from a mental health professional who specializes in helping adoptees gain insight and develop coping skills.

How does adoption cause depression?

Several factors contribute to higher depression rates in adoptees:

  1. Adoption-related stress and identity formation: Questions about origins and identity lead to depressive symptoms.
  2. Early-life adversity and trauma: Separation and additional adversity increase depression risk.
  3. Genetic and biological factors: Unknown genetic predispositions may play a role.
  4. Attachment disruption: Changing caregivers affects emotional well-being and increases depression risk.
  5. Stigma and discrimination: Adoptees often face exclusion and discrimination, leading to depressive symptoms.

Adoptee Alliance assists with adoptee depression.

Overcoming adoptee depression is possible through psychotherapy. It offers a safe space to explore adoption-related emotions, experiences, and challenges. Specialized therapy focuses on:

  1. Validating and normalizing emotions.
  2. Processing grief and loss.
  3. Exploring identity.
  4. Developing coping skills.
  5. Strengthening relationships.
  6. Addressing trauma.

Our skilled therapists are experienced in adoptee issues and we tailor support to the needs of each unique individual.

Adoptee Alliance helps reduce adoptee depression.

 At Adoptee Alliance, we work only with adoptees. Although we have experience with many effective therapeutic models, like Somatic Experiencing (SE), Internal Family Systems (IFS), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and more, our primary lens is the NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM). This therapeutic approach focuses on the mind-body connection to help you better understand and manage your emotions. We find it particularly helpful for adoptees struggling with depression as it helps them to develop a better understanding of their emotions, behaviours, and thought patterns.

NARM therapy works by helping adoptees identify and process the unresolved experiences from their past, including those related to relinquishment and adoption. This is done through various techniques that include mindfulness, somatic awareness, and exploring the relationship between body sensations and emotions. The goal of therapy is to help the adoptee become more aware of their emotions and find ways to regulate them in a healthy way.

NARM therapy provides a safe and supportive space for you to explore and process your experiences related to adoption, and how those experiences impact the way you live today. This helps to you to address and manage your depressive symptoms. Additionally, NARM therapy can help adoptees develop better coping skills to manage stress and anxiety, improve your relationships with others, and strengthen your sense of identity and belonging. For more information aon NARM therapy visit our FAQs.