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On this track, we will discuss Motives for Adoption. These will include Love and a Good Home Alone, the “Savior Complex,” and the “Feelings About Adoption” Technique. As you listen, consider your client’s motives. How do you respond?
Have you found, as I have, that some clients pursue adopting older children purely as a way to help a needy or hurt child? In my experience, adoption professionals tend to warn against choosing a child solely because that child is needy or hurt. The fantasy of a rescued waif will soon become the reality of a flesh-and-blood child complete with personality, having behavioral habits, and emotional issues.
Brett and Nancy were looking into adopting their first child. Brett stated, “We became interested in adopting after reading an article in the paper about how many children worldwide are removed from their parents for reasons of abuse and neglect. That isn’t even to mention the poverty in which many of these children live!” Nancy stated, “We have been looking into adopting Tara, a 5-year-old girl from El Salvador, who was abused. Tara will be so happy to be rescued from that terrible life in poverty and abuse! All she needs is love and a good home!”
2 Motives for Adoption
Motive #1 - Love and a Good Home Alone
Motive #2 - The “Savior Complex”
I stated, “It can be hard to believe that children who have endured abuse, famine, abandonment or institutionalization will ever be ungrateful. However, for Tara, these conditions are probably familiar. Even children who live in abusive or neglectful homes consider them home, and few would ever choose to leave. To Tara, adoption might look more like change than rescue, and change can be scary.”
I explained to Brett and Nancy that many children who live in orphanages come to view those orphanages as home too. Tara will not be grateful all the time simply because Brett and Nancy had met some of her needs. I gave Brett and Nancy an example. I stated, “Let’s say you became ill and your neighbor took care of you and brought you food. Would you be willing to graciously turn your lives over to that neighbor’s control, simply out of gratitude?” I explained that altruism by itself might not be a good reason to adopt.
Instead, I felt Brett and Nancy might strive for a balance in their parenting. I explained, “Balance can help you meet your personal goals, help Tara, and at the same time allow Tara to express her feelings and independence in an accepting and realistic environment.” I explained that balance could help Brett and Nancy to impart their values and ideas to Tara and watch her achieve her full potential, whatever that potential might be.
Technique for Social Work CEUs, Psychology CEUs, Psychologist CEUs, Counselor CEUs, Addiction Counselor CEUs, and MFT CEUs
Technique: Feelings About Adoption
Do you have a Brett or a Nancy who may be adopting out of idealism? Might he or she benefit from hearing this track? On this track, we have discussed Motives for Adoption. These have included Love and a Good Home Alone, the “Savior Complex,” and the “Feelings About Adoption” Technique.
On the next track, we will discuss Four Factors of Parenting. These will include commitment, flexibility, empathy and intuition.
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Counselor CEUs, Psychologist CEUs, Social Worker CEUs, MFT CEUs