Attachment Issues and Adopted Children

Attachment Issues in Adopted Children

We all strive for a deep connection with our children. When they are adopted, though, that can be difficult. Many adopted children, especially those who have spent time in orphanages, develop attachment disorders, mostly as a result of not having a stable and significant person with whom they could bond during formative periods.

The Causes of Attachment Issues

Attachment disorders typically stem from repeated instances of abandonment, isolation, or neglect. Though children in orphanages may have greater susceptibility to these behaviors, any child can develop attachments issues. Here are some of the common causes:

  • The parent of a child may have mental health issues or substance abuse problems, preventing the parent from being available to the child during the first few months or years of life.
  • A child may be physically abused, leading a child to associate attachment with harm
  • A child may be hungry, wet or cry for any reason, and receive no attention for extended periods of time
  • Parents may be inconsistent in their care of the child, vacillating between periods of neglect and periods of doting
  • The child may have had too many caregivers, making it difficult or impossible to bond to one

The Telltale Signs of Attachment Disorder

In most instances, the sooner you recognize and respond to potential attachment issues, the greater the likelihood of overcoming them. Here are some of the classic symptoms of attachment disorder:

  • Your child continually cries and cannot be consoled
  • Your child does not try to verbalize or make sounds
  • There’s no eye contact, and your child’s attention does not change when you move
  • Your child shows no interest in playing with toys, and does not engage in any play with you
  • Your child does not seek or demand to be picked up or to have contact with you
  • Your child does not smile

Some general behaviors characteristic of attachment disorder include:

  • Lack of care and compassion in play or in interactions with others
  • Absence of remorse, guilt or learning from mistakes
  • Aggressive behavior toward others
  • Attempts to control others and to challenge authority
  • An unwillingness to be touched or to show physical affection

Adoption Attorneys in New Jersey

At the law office of Cofsky & Zeidman, LLC, our lawyers bring more than 25 years of experience to every matter we handle. Attorney Donald C. Cofsky has personally handled more than 1,500 adoption proceedings since joining the bar in 1974. Attorney Bruce D. Zeidman has protected the interests of clients in state and federal courts in New Jersey and Pennsylvania since 1984. We understand the challenges you face, and can help you identify all your options so that you can make good decisions that are in your best long-term interests.

Contact our office online or call us at (856) 429-5005 in Haddonfield, NJ, at (856) 429-5005 in Woodbury, NJ, or in Philadelphia, PA, at (856) 429-5005. We also provide a free initial consultation in personal injury and workers’ compensation matters.


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