Long before I became a therapist, I was adopted. My parents had two biological sons and were unable to have a third child and wanted a girl, so they adopted me. Even before then, though, I was relinquished.
I make the distinction between relinquishment and adoption, because those are two separate events, and I believe the root of many “adoption issues" lies with relinquishment and the experience of having been separated from one’s original parents, especially one’s first mom/birthmom. I was relinquished at birth, placed in foster care and then placed with my adoptive family when I was 10 weeks old. Even those of us who were relinquished at birth, before we developed conscious memory, lived through the experience, and our bodies remember, which often lead us to respond as though it is happening again—a post-traumatic response.
My personal experiences led me to become a therapist who specializes in helping other adoptees, and the people close to them. I work with adult adoptees, adopted children/teens, adoptive parents, first/birth parents, prospective adoptive parents and the partners of adoptees, as well as others who have had similar experiences for other reasons.