Adoption Competent Clinical Practice Principles

Last blog post, we discussed the importance of having a therapist who is an adoption competent therapist, but what are the adoption competent clinical practices? There are quite a few, so I am going to summarize them here: Adoption is a lifelong process, it is an experience different from giving birth to a child, adoptive family is permanent, child’s past and current relationships with birth family play a critical role in adjustment and development, kinship networks must be acknowledged, adoptive parents have a critical role in facilitating the child’s adjustment and identity formation, post-adoption services are important, services demonstrate respect and sensitivity to all differences in identity, approaches are family-based and strength-based as well as evidenced based, therapist employs an ecological perspective including biological and psychosocial considerations, therapist avoids pathologizing normal developmental process, services are attachment-focused, therapist promotes appreciation for child’s unique story, approaches acknowledge child’s historical relationship with parents and impacts of birth parents’ psychological and sometimes physical presence, and core issues of adoption are consistently assessed and addressed.  (The core issues of adoption include issues such as loss, rejection, guilt and shame, grief, identity, intimacy, and mastery/control). These were summaries of the original Adoption Competent Clinical Practices Principles taken from TAC Training through C.A.S.E. – For more great information from C.A.S.E, help finding an adoption competent counselor in your state, or about participation in TAC (Training in Adoption Competency), visit:

Continue to follow this blog series as we discuss various issues in adoption.  The next blog will cover mental health needs of adopted individuals and their families.  And as always, please contact me if you would like to find out more information about specific services I provide or with help finding a therapist that may be a good fit for you and/or your family near you.  Thank you!


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