February 22, 2019

Beth was 16 when she fell pregnant back in the days of closed adoptions.  She was now in her 60s and not a day had passed where she did not think about the baby that she adopted to a couple she had never met. Beth knew she had given birth to a daughter but she did not get to hold her or have any control over the adoption process. She was expected to move on with her life with little support. It broke her heart. Beth was sent away to an unmarried mothers’ residence until she had her baby.

  • Beth requested counselling because she had been experiencing panic attacks and had suffered from depression throughout the subsequent years following the adoption.
  • Beth hoped to learn strategies to manage the difficult feelings she was experiencing.
  • Her counselling provided ongoing support for the long-term grief she felt at the loss of a baby/child that she never knew.
  • Beth had three more children but continued to feel as though something was missing in her life.
  • Much of her counselling explored the, at times overwhelming sadness she felt.

The outcome

  • Beth felt ready to look for her daughter.
  • Counselling helped prepare her for various possible outcomes such as her daughter having an unhappy life, having passed away, not wanting to have contact with her, also of meeting her daughter for the first time and what that meant in terms of their future relationship.
  • Consideration was given to how the adoptive parents may feel about Beth’s involvement.
  • Adoption is complex and many parts of the adoption triangle (the adopted person, the adoptive parents and the birth parents) must be sensitively managed.
  • Beth found her daughter after three months of searching.
  • The outcome was positive. Her daughter Lisa had wanted to find her biological parents also.
  • Lisa had a happy upbringing and had one other sibling, also adopted.
  • Lisa had been through a difficult time during her teenage years when she was trying to understand her identity. During that time she wanted to find her biological family but didn’t feel comfortable asking her adoptive parents about it.
  • Beth and Lisa have now established regular contact. They live in different parts of NZ but get together when they can.  Beth has got to know Lisa’s adoptive parents also.
  • Both say that connecting with one another has made a significant difference to the long-term sense of loss they had experienced.

If this sounds like you please contact me on 027 488 9236 or email me on I am located in Birkenhead, North Shore Auckland.

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