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Post-Adoption Depression

posted Oct 6, 2014, 9:23 PM by AndrewandSarah Witzel
While postpartum depression and other perinatal mood disorders are slowly gaining more attention and awareness, many people are still unfamiliar with Post-Adoption Depression. Symptoms of depression are actually just as likely to occur in adoptive mothers as they are in mothers who are raising their biological children. 

While adoptive mothers do not experience all of the same risk factors that birth moms do (ex. hormonal fluctuations, birth trauma, etc), they will likely experience sleep deprivation, the marital relationship transition into parenthood, and other stressors. Caring for a child who does not yet speak English, or who has suffered neglect or abuse, are additional challenges that adoptive parents face.

Some treatments and resources for postpartum depression will be applicable to post-adoption depression as well. For example, post-adoption depression can be treated with counseling, medication, and exercise. Adoptive parents may benefit from social support that is specific to their situation, however, rather than potentially being the only adoptive mom in a group. Online forums may be helpful for parents who  live in areas without in-person adoption support group. A relevant book is The Post-Adoption Blues: Overcoming The Unforeseen Challenges of Adoption by Karen Foli and John Thompson.