Adoption is complex, and you deserve to work with a professional who can help you understand and support you or the adoptee in your life to the best of your ability. I have a lifetime of experience with adoption as a transcultural reunited adoptee working in the adoption community––as an artist, facilitator, or therapist––for decades.

Why Adoption-Competent?

Life as a birth parent, adoptee, or adoptive parent is complex––relinquishment and adoption add that extra layer.

Core vulnerabilities of loss, grief, identity, rejection, loyalty, guilt, shame, fitting in, and intimacy are common for members of the adoption. It becomes even more painful when adoptees and birth parents feel isolated because they are treated “as if” relinquishment did not happen. Moreover, adoptive families are complicated because adoptive parents often do not know to talk to their children about sensitive topics related to adoption. When adoption triad members are judged by others (community, family members, and mental health professionals) who do not understand, it can compound the hurt.


For some, relinquishment and adoption have been traumatizing. When trauma occurs, it leaves an imprint on an individual’s brain and body causing a person to view their world through the lens of trauma. Furthermore, individuals who have experienced trauma often have a negative sense of self and can be easily triggered which complicates relationships. Understanding the impact of trauma on birth parents, adoptees, and adoptive parents and using trauma-informed techniques is key to helping individuals heal from trauma.


If you are experiencing a difficult time because of relinquishment and adoption issues, then therapy with an adoption-competent therapist could be helpful to you.

*Content based on writing by Marie Dolfi, LCSW

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