Post-Adoption Depression

Susie McGee
adoption depression

Post adoption depression isn't something we hear too much about, but it exists.

Your precious baby is finally in your arms, and you should be ecstatic! All of your dreams have come true! So, what's the problem? Why are you feeling blue? What aren't you deliriously happy? What is wrong with you?!

Baby Blues

Post-adoption depression isn't as uncommon as others might think. Mothers who have just given birth to a baby often go through a period of "baby blues" or Postpartum Depression. This is normal, and many doctors lay the blame on hormonal imbalances in a woman's body.

What happens, however, if you didn't give birth to your child but adopted her instead, and you are still feeling depressed? You can't blame it on hormones, right? In fact, everyone around you expects you to be very grateful that you've finally gotten your baby! Why then do you feel so blue?

Reasons for Post-Adoption Depression

It really shouldn't be so difficult to understand your depression. You've spent a long time going through the adoption process. You've probably battled infertility, too. In other words, your emotions have been riding a rollercoaster!

  1. You have to adjust to a new person in your life, and that may include sleepless nights and no time for yourself!
  2. People continue to ask you nosy questions about your fertility issues!
  3. You've wished for this moment for so long. You've waited and planned and invested so much of yourself. Now, that your baby is here, what do you invest your time and emotions in? You almost feel let down, like a child the day after Christmas! What do you wish for, now?
  4. Adoption is stressful. You've invested a lot of time, emotions, and money!
  5. Adoptions also bring with them some risks. There could be unresolved legal issues, such as the birth father's rights. There could be unforeseen medical problems with your baby. There may be unexpected adoption expenses, too.

Signs of Post-Adoption Depression

If you think you may be depressed, but you aren't sure, consider the following symptoms.

  1. You cry easily and often.
  2. You notice a significant change in your weight.
  3. You feel an exorbitant amount of guilt.
  4. You experience a feeling of worthlessness.
  5. You are interested in the world around you.
  6. You don't seem to be able to concentrate.

Dealing With Post-Adoption Depression

If you are experiencing post-adoption depression, there are some things you can do to help yourself feel better.

  1. Recognize that what you are feeling is a natural reaction to the emotional and physical changes you have experienced.
  2. Talk to other adoptive parents. Who else will better understand what you are going through?
  3. Ask for help from your friends and family.
  4. Seek out adoptive support groups, such as NACAC and Adopting.org.
  5. Finally, if you don't begin to feel better, seek professional help!
Post-Adoption Depression