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Adoption and its' link to ongoing anxiety and depression

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi, I'm Meg. New here, so please be kind. I guess I'm seeking out others experiences of adoption. There is so little research and the research done seems to focus on forced adoptions and I'm thirsty to hear the lived experiences of people like me. I was adopted in 1975, on the tail end of the forced adoption period (thanks, Whitlam). I was 5. I had lived with a fiercly Catholic family in the year I was in foster care, and then was adopted into an amazing, intelligent and refined family a few months after my fifth Birthday. I went from a family with drug addiction to intensely Catholic adherents to (kind of) atheist intellectuals. I'm sure you can imagine that travelling between these three diverse families was confusing and disorienting. All the rules and norms were so very different and it seemed like I was always doing the wrong thing. My new parents shock at hearing me cry, "the devil made me do it" was a bit of culture shock.

I have two siblings, both adopted, both very different, both deeply loved. They were both adopted at 3 and had backgrounds that I have no doubt scared them, deeply. I guess I'm asking for them too, and perhaps especially. In our own ways which have often been different, yet incredibly similar, I feel that adoption has touched each of us, in negative ways. I feel that the underlying core belief, for me, is that I'm unloveable. I suspect this is true, particularly of my brother. I would like to know if others feel this too. Thanks for your responses.

Kind regards,



5 Replies 5

Community Champion
Community Champion

Welcome Megshell,

Thanks so for sharing your story. Everyone is kind here. This a safe, supportive, kind, friendly and non judgmental place.

I am not adopted but I have a brother who is and my partner who is as well.

As for a link between adoption and anxiety and depression that would be hard to prove as there are people who have anxiety and depression who are not adopted and people who are adopted who do not have anxiety and depression.

I think it must depend on the individual and circumstances.

My brother was happy with our family and never wanted to find his birth family and has had not have anxiety or depression.

My partner was unhappy with his adopted family always feeling he never fitted in. In his 50s he started looking for his birth mother. She had died but he found 2 half brothers and neices . His birthfamily means a lot to him and he now has little contact wiht his birth family. He has no anxiety or depression but he has abandonment and control issues.

Have you been in contact with your birth family at all, and found any siblings?

That is sad that you feel unloveable .I am glad you write you were adopted by an amazing family. My partner is angry that he was not told about the culture of his birth parents.

My brother has no issues relating to his adoption so I think it depends on the individual.

I think adoption is very complex with many issues .

These are just my thoughts and I am sure people who have been adopted will be able to share their thoughts.

I wanted to welcome you to the forum.


Community Member

Hi Meg.

I'd luke to share with you that I am a relinquishing mother and why. Hope it might help you understand a mothers perspective. My son was born in 1993. So not quite under the circumstances that your adoption happened, nor in the culture of adoptions back in the 1970s. Also my parents were 15 and 17 in the 1970s when they got pregnant with my brother. They married as it was unacceptable to have a child out of wedlock then.

From my reasoning, my actions had nothing to do with not loving or caring about the child I was having. It was because I loved and cared. It has affected me ever since. I have felt sad happy jealousy regret glad, a whole range of emotions. Not once did I ever forget him. Birthdays and Christmas were worst knowing he was enjoying these moments within a family who cared while I was lonely and sad. I knew I couldn't offer him the stability and childhood he deserved. He grew up in a family who could offer him the things I never had and thought I couldn't give.

It's upsetting that you think you are unloveable. Which family that you grew up with gave you this idea *if you dont mind me asking.

Are your adopted siblings from the same birth mother or adoptive family.


Community Member

Hi megshell

Im new just signed up as there are some amazing posts on here. I'm adopted..i was adopted from Taiwan when I was 18mths old. Do i have anxiety issues and abandonment issues - absolutely. I'v known I was adopted since i was 6 private school education, university happy childhood. Due to being adopted from overseas I've no interest in locating my birth parents. I'm a mum to a 3.5yo and my anxiety with her when she goes to daycare out with her dad etc skyrockets. I am currently seeking professional help as its impacting her - she is clingy to me all the time, cries when i leave etc. I believe my anxiety stems from being adopted - not being needed, rejection etc. Had i not been adopted I know i wouldnt have the life I have and I'm incredibly grateful but I also want my daughter to be independent, autonomous etc. Because i had no control over being adopted, i am quite a control freak, over thinker and plan everything. I know where my issues originate from but have major difficulty keeping them in the past and not letting them get the better of me...i don't believe i am unlovable but I do hold on to friendships quite strongly - even work friendships. I also hear a lot of self demeaning thoughts in my head of not being good enough, being a parent also i have self doubt and fear that my anxiety is being reflected on to my daughter. I have a lot going on in my head but I'm working towards silencing the voices that don't bring me positivity and benefits. Sorry this reply is rambled....but my point is i know nothing health wise about my birth parents so maybe they did suffer from it maybe they didn't - one of the many things I'll never know i guess but its not about them its about me and that's who is here now.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello everyone,


welcome to the forum it is a caring and friendly place. You did not ramble at all but explained yourself clearly.

you have communicated well the issues you faced in being adopted from overseas and while you are grateful of the life you were given you have abandonment and anxiety issues. I am glad you are getting help. You have insight to see how your feelings may affect your child.

The fact you have posted here and are getting help offline means you are moving forward.

I am I am interested in how you are going so feel free to post when you want.


Thank you for the reply and welcome! This forum is amazing and I'm so thankful that I have found it! It helps so much!

I have been to two sessions with my psychologist and she has commenced Acceptance and Commitment therapy and I am currently reading The Happiness Trap. Things make sense slowly, i also try and do some nightly meditation and relaxation. Tne other night I even wrote a letter to the people who gave birth to me - with nowhere to send it, it was still carthic and also helped me. Its a slow process but I'm working on myself and trying to silence the voices. Any helpful tips and advice is always welcome