Blog// LGBT Adoptive Parents

Coping with the Post-Adoption Blues

Many prospective adoptive parent(s) will see bringing their child home as a time of excitement and job, and can often be blindsided when they find themselves feeling blue, despite having a deeply wanted and long dreamt-of new arrival in their homes. They can feel overwhelmed, tired, or frustrated, just as many new mothers can feel post-birth. For many the adoption process hasn’t prepared them for the possibility of feeling this way, and for some it can make the first wonderful months of adoption difficult instead of as joyous as it should be. 


Post Adoption Blues: A Closer Look

Post adoption blues can occur through adoptive parents self-pressuring, or feeling that they need to be perfect and prove that they are fit parents. This need to prove themselves often clashes with the reality of being a new parent, creating feelings of failure and inadequacy which can lead to feeling blue. 

Other adoptive parents can struggle with feeling attached to their new arrival, which can lead to feelings of guilt or even anxiety surrounding the adoption as a whole, when in reality bonds are rarely made instantly and can take time to form. 


If left unspoken or undealt with, post adoption blues can spiral into depression, which brings with it more symptoms that can put further strain upon a new adoption or new family. 


What are the Signs of Post Adoption Blues?
It is important that post adoption blues are dealt with as they occur and not left to fester or become more severe. Therefore, knowing some of the signs and symptoms is important. The signs of post adoption blues can include:

  • Feeling of powerlessness and feeling worthless

  • Feelings of incompetence or feeling you are unsuited to raising a child

  • Feelings of guilt

  • Poor concentration, particularly surrounding every day tasks

  • Low energy levels and feeling a lack of desire to take part in activities

  • Changing sleeping patterns (those that are outside the norm of raising a newborn/young child)

  • Becoming withdrawn and insular 


Coping with Post Adoption Blues
There are a variety of coping methods when it comes to post adoption blues, and while some may or may not help you, in general, a combination of some of the options on this list can help give you the edge over the negative feelings you are experiencing. 

  1. Understand that you’re not alone, and that your feelings are valid. Don’t try to ignore them, but instead acknowledge them and face them.

  2. If you feel able, join a support group or contact members of an adoption group or forum to give you a place to talk about your feelings with those who understand

  3. Remember that bonds can take time to form, and be patient

  4. Practice self care. This can be difficult with a newborn on your hands, but taking the time to do something that makes you feel good will help you refocus, relax, and improve your overall mood. 

  5. If you’ve been struggling to bond for some time, enroll in a parent-child class

  6. Try to focus on the positives of your day, write a list at the end of each day if it helps.

  7. Don’t keep your feelings locked in. Talk to your partner or spouse or family members or friends.



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