Parenting Vivian | 02 Apr 2011 04:39 am

Adoptive Parents Abusing Their Children

The recent headlines of children found locked in cages at their home in Wakeman, Ohio by adoptive parents, and the 4-year-old girl in Utah killed by her adoptive parents is shocking. But those of us parents who have lived with children diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), like the victimized children in the headlines, are not surprised by the parents extreme frustration and hopelessness— although their abuse cannot be forgiven.

RAD is a condition that keeps children detached and constantly struggling for control over their caretakers because they do not trust. Parents go insane trying to raise these children who lack values, morality, as well as demonstrate aggressive, disruptive and antisocial behaviors.

It抯 extremely difficult for adoptive parents to find help for RAD children. Traditional therapy does not work for a child who has this condition because therapy is built on trust. RAD children do not trust. Many have been abandoned, and hurt by their biological parents. Their misbehaviors are really survival tactics to protect themselves from getting close to their caretaker and possibly suffering more abuse. Oftentimes they target the adoptive mother, because their own mother hurt them.

It抯 important that we adopt children quickly to prevent them from lingering in the system and developing extreme cases of RAD which left untreated, can develop into anti social behaviors that drive some caretakers to abuse. It抯 just as important that parents are trained how to handle these children before their adoption, as well as how to take care of themselves during these stressful times.

Mindfulness, how to live in the moment, helped me through the most difficult periods when my adoptive son was tearing our family apart. But my husband and I had to go to 21 different therapists before finally finding help for our son. There is hope, but us adoptive parents need support.

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