Adoption triggers 7 life long core issues for all triad members, regardless of the circumstances of the adoption.  Throughout your lifetime these issues will come up in your daily life.

  • Loss
  • Grief
  • Rejection
  • Guilt and Shame
  • Identity
  • Intimacy
  • Mastery/Control

Loss: Can manifest itself in sadness and depression, a feeling of incompleteness.

A loss called the “Primal Wound” A wound which is physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual. A loss, a wound which causes pain so profound.

Grief: This can wash over you during your life particularly at times of subsequent loss or developmental transitions.

Rejection: Sensitive to the slightest hint of rejection so will either avoid situations where you might be rejected or provoke rejection in order to validate earlier negative self-perception

Guilt and Shame: Feeling guilty for what one has done or caused.  Shame is connected to the belief that he/she is unlovable, ashamed of who he is.  Ashamed of the very core of your being.

Identity: Confused identity, identity crises. Feelings of incompleteness. Who am I?

Intimacy: Avoid closeness and commitment.  Hold back part of your relationship.  Don’t feel close to people generally.

Mastery/Control: May lack internalized self-control, or are controlling.

Do you recognize any of these core issues in your life?


Identifying these core issues can assist you into an open dialogue and alleviating some of the pain and isolation which is so often characteristic of adoption.

You may need professional assistance in recognizing that you may have become trapped in the negative feelings generated by the adoption experience. So often we do not realize that what we are feeling and thinking is linked to adoption.

To validate the entire experience and to mourn your loss will be very healing.

You will benefit from identifying, exploring and ultimately accepting the role of these seven core issues in your life. Armed with this new awareness, you can choose to move forward into growth and strength.

The following questions will help you to explore the role of the seven core issues in your life

  1. List the losses, large and small that you have experienced in adoption.
  2. What experiences in adoption have led to feelings of rejection.
  3. What guilt or shame do you feel about adoption?
  4. Identify your behaviours at each of the five stages of the grief process.
  5. Have you accepted your losses?
  6. How has adoption impacted your sense of identity, who you are?
  7. When have you held back a part of yourself in an intimate relationship?
  8. When are you passive/aggressive in nature in relation to mastery/control?


The Way Forward = Working Together

Working together you’ll find the support, understanding, compassion and tools that can make the difference to you. Grieving your loss is so important .  Step by step and at your pace you begin to find acceptance and peace.


  • Developing a relationship with your self is the key to empowerment.
  • Validating, acknowledging, acceptance
  • Taking responsibility for your choices and actions
  • Establishing and maintaining boundaries, it involves inviting change.
  • Discovering your true self, knowing your values, ideas and opinions and being able to express them
  • Being Assertive and making decisions
  • Understanding how the seven life long core issues of adoption will show up in your life