Adopted children’s early experiences mean they can often struggle with relationships and day-to-day life.

Instead of traditional parenting techniques, adopted children require a style of parenting which is more sensitive to their needs and helps them overcome these difficulties.

Although this can present certain challenges, being an adoptive parent is hugely rewarding and provides the stable, understanding and loving homes these children need.

A difficult start to life

During our early years, we rely on our parents to meet our physical and emotional needs.

How these needs are met impacts on how we grow up, our sense of self and our understanding of the world around us.

Well-cared-for children will grow up feeling comfortable, safe, valued and loved - to use the analogy of a ‘wall’ made of development-need ‘bricks’, their walls would be well built and strong.

But adopted children’s early needs have often gone unmet and all have experienced some form of loss or trauma.

Many have suffered abuse or neglect, all have been separated from their birth families and all have spent time in the care system.

Many will have grown up feeling unsafe, uncared for and alone – their ‘walls’ will be incomplete and fragile.

Find out more about The Wall
The Wall is a graphic illustration of how unmet physical and emotional needs early in life affect children’s later development, requiring different parenting techniques and support for adoptive parents.

Filling in the gaps and healing the trauma

Adopted children’s early experiences often cause deep-set confusion, fear and anger and so they can struggle with relationships and day-to-day life.

This can lead to behaviour which is, initially, difficult to understand.

Love alone can not always heal the hurt.

Traditional parenting techniques are often unsuitable for adopted children - imagine how frightening ‘time out’ would be for a child who had experienced neglect.

Adoptive parenting works to restore unmet development needs and heal trauma.

Adopted children need love, understanding and patience to help them overcome their difficulties and go on to lead confident, happy lives –something often referred to as ‘therapeutic parenting’.

Transforming lives

Although adoptive parenting can present unique challenges at times, it is hugely rewarding and transforms the lives, and futures of our most vulnerable children.

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