The Psychological Benefits of Adoption

Though adoption isn’t given the credit it deserves, it is still important to note how beneficial adoption can be. Adoption gives children in the system the chance to develop healthy attachments and experience a healthy environment. It allows children to thrive and help them in overcoming past traumas and neglect.

In an adoptive household, children are able to experience a healthy environment.  Through devotion and care, they are given the attention needed to develop properly. This is the opposite of what is offered in a group home environment . That is not to say that these are horrible places to grow up in. But in such an environment, the child may not be given the individual care and attention they need. According to an article from The Scientific American, “many children who have not had ample physical and emotional attention are at higher risk for behavioral, emotional, and social problems as they grow up,” (Harmon, 2010). Thus, children who are adopted have more opportunities to experience this necessary closeness that allows them to obtain the emotional attention a child needs.

Additionally, children who are adopted tend to experience identity issues because of their confusion about where they may come from. These children also fear that others may treat them differently when they find out that they are adopted (Wilson, 2004). However, according to Samantha Wilson’s article A Current Review of Adoption Research: Exploring Individual Differences in Adjustment:

With clear dialogue about adoptive status and openness about the child’s life events, families can be facilitators to the child’s exploration of his/her own adoptive status. Integrating life events into their sense of self through discussions with a trusted adult (usually the primary caregiver), children develop a positive self-image and identity in relation to adoption (Wilson, 2004).

Thus, through communication between adoptive families and their adopted children, the child can develop a more secure sense of identity. Through adoption, one would be able to aid the child with any identity issues they may face.

In terms of behavior, adoptive children have experienced past neglect and trauma that may cause them to act out or develop behavioral problems. By being able to experience a healthy environment through adoption, this type of behavior can be combated. In her article Adoption and the Effect on Children’s Development, Dana Johnson states “While not replacing a functional birth family, an adoptive home does provide most children an environment that cultivates normal childhood development and a successful transition through adolescence to adulthood,” (Johnson, 2002). Adoptive families are able to aid adopted children in combating effects of trauma experienced before adoption. This is something they may not see if they are still in an orphanage environment.

In regards to the development of a child, growing up in an adoptive family would be better for the child cognitively and developmentally versus growing up in an orphanage. Adoption allows children to receive the closeness needed to develop secure attachments, they are able to communicate and develop a positive sense of self, and they are able to thrive in an environment that encourages normal development. In several ways, adoption is beneficial for the child and their development, which will have an immense impact on the life of that child. Thus, adoption should justly be given the credit it deserves.


Harmon, K. (2010, May 6). How Important is Physical Contact with your Infant?. In Scientific American. Retrieved May 14, 2017, from   

Johnson, D. E. (2002, June). Adoption and the Effect on Children’s Development [Electronic version]. Early Human Development68(1), 39-54.

Wilson, S. L. (2004, August). A Current Review of Adoption Research: Exploring Individual Differences in Adjustment [Electronic version]. Children and Youth Services Review26(8), 687-696.




Edited by Viveca Shearin

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