Where are the resources for adoptee abuse survivors?

Hello.  Could someone please direct me to the resources for adoptees who were abused by their adoptive parents?  I fit in that category, and I'd like to be able to talk to someone about it.  Most places I've found only list resources for adoptees searching for birthparents, not for adoptees with trauma and abuse issues.

Thank you.



Are you looking for specific names of therapists or support groups?

(Are you willing to share your current location?)

Or are you more interested in the stories other adult and abused adoptee's can offer, when it comes to finding ways to mend and heal? (Sometimes it feels as though some wounds and hurts - and fears - will never go away, doesn't it?)

Anything, really.  I'm in

Anything, really.  I'm in Mississippi.  I have a good therapist who went looking for information, but he couldn't find anything.

(Sometimes it feels as though some wounds and hurts - and fears - will never go away, doesn't it?)

I've never tried to deal specifically with adoptee abuse before.  Before it always hurt to much to address.  Still hurts like hell, but I don't think the genie's going back in the bottle this time.


Hi Lioness,

It is exactly because of a lack of resources for adoptees abused in their adoptive family, that we started this website, seven years ago. There are already few good professionals able to work with adult adoptees, with knowledge about specific adoptee issues. For abused adoptees, however there is to our knowledge little or no help out there. If you feel like talking to members of our website in private, please add a discussion in our private Adult Aftermath group. Maybe it is helpful to talk with others who have had similar experiences you had.

Thank you. I've been

Thank you.

I've been writing online for 15 years now.  I've written for email lists, forums, blogs, etc.  I've written bio, fanfic, reviews, meta, politics, how-to, social commentary....  I'm never at a loss for words.

I've had this form open for over an hour, been thinking about it for days, and I don't know what to say.  My voice is gone.  All the years of not being believed have taken a toll.

I have been able to blog about it some.  I recently opened a blog just for it, to separate it from other subjects.  It's here:  http://whosefacestares.blogspot.com/

But ask me what I need right now, and I don't know where to begin.

no disbelief here

Please know that on this website, disbelief about abuse in adoptive families does not exist. Raising awareness about abuse in adoptive families has been one of the key issues we've been focusing on. Whenever you feel up to it, add something to our Adult Aftermath section, and some of us will likely respond.

Self-help: where to begin?

Back when I started my own quest for self-help, (1997), "blogs", and the community that follows them, did not exist. 

I joined forums, and just barely fit-in any/all of them.

I joined forums for:   adoptees, those touched by adoption, survivors of incest, adults with RAD, not to mention support-groups for mothers of multiples, and adoptees-in-search-of-OBCs.

I fit-in within each group, and yet I didn't.  I was the same, but Different.

I had something to say about each thought/post shared, and yet, without a prompt, I had nothing to say.

Looking back, I see my need has always been the same:  "someone, PLEASE respond:  please tell me you have been where I am, and please tell me, after time (and work), it DOES get better".  [I guess in some way, I was in-search of a cyber-mom... the consistent encouraging positive accepting voice I never got, growing-up.]

If you read some of my own posts in our Adult Aftermath section, you will see, there are times I don't know if I'm at the beginning or the end.... and in many cases, I find I don't know where to begin.  But I write, because writing for me IS my therapy.

All I can say is, starting SOMEWHERE, is a start.  I have found, as long as I get a response, there is always good reason to take a deep-breath, and re-begin.

survivor of incest

This is a long process of inteneral self awareness. You are the only person who can take what happened to you and find some way to deal with your feelings and hurt that was done to you. Know first that it wasnt your fault you did nothing to cause this. You where a child who was taken advantaged of. You need to find some way to find your self worth again and that what happened to you does not deservre to determine who you are today. I know words are easy but it can be done. It takes time but you are worth it. Do Not Ever Give Up On YOU!!! Do not let what this person did take one more minute from your life and all that is ahead of you. Journaling helps you to get all your feelings and emotions out it really helps and you will see it can help you work threw it so you can move forward. Later you will be able to see how far you can really come away from this and become the person you where meant to be before this happened to you. Just keep working on it and never never give up hope.You can survive this and have a happy life again. I"LL BE Praying for you Good Luck.


As one who has learned just how critical it is for a survivor to re-learn how to LIVE, (and rise-above the many forms of pain, anger, and fear -- insecurities caused by trauma), I'd like to take a moment to address the term "self-worth", as it is often referred to by many therapists during a struggling victim's recovery period.

I know for myself, my self-worth was lost when my mother gave me away.

My self-worth was lost when neither first-parent came back for me.

My self-worth was lost when I looked at the "family" around me, and saw no one liked me because I was "different" (I was not from their blood)

My self-worth was taken when my sex was taken and used and abused.

My self-worth was taken when no one would listen to me, or stick-up for me.

By the time I reached my teens:  I had no self-worth; it was all lost and taken away from me.

By the time I went to seek help, through a paid professional, whatever self-worth I was able to create for myself was beaten-down because of yet another toxic family relationship.  But I did not know I had this absence.  All I knew was this:  I was scared and I was angry... and I didn't want to feel that way anymore.  I wanted... no, I needed... someone to help me make things better; help teach me how to become human again.... help me feel happiness and see there are good reasons to be alive... that life was more than just making it through another day, again.  (Give me reasons why dying isn't the perfect end.)  I wanted and needed to know I DID have worth, and I DID deserve much more than what I was given and what I was accepting for myself.  The problem is, I lacked the language-skills to communicate my wants and needs.  Because I was silent about so many things, for so many years, I lacked the ability to put my thoughts and feelings into words so another person could understand my POV.  To make matters worse,  as a well-trained Pleaser, (one who would do, and never complain), I would do whatever I had to do to please my therapists, (and those who told me to get help), but I would do all of those things for other people -- not for myself.   Formal traditional therapy was useless for me because I was simply repeating the same behavior I was always doing, since I was very small:  I will do what I am told to do, (or am expected to do), and I will do it with no questions asked, and with no complaint (because complaints would not be heard or tolerated.)

How does one develop a sense of self-worth if that person is not allowed to voice an opinion, or say no because what's being done really hurts?

For some adoptees, their voice and their opinion was NEVER given any value.  These type of children make excellent targets for those who are looking for someone to hurt and abuse.  This type of child is the perfect child for the abusive/negligent - yet highly regarded - child-care provider.

"Self-worth" (and phrases like "you are worth it"), can be helpful later-on in-recovery, but when one is on the early paths of re-building one-self, telling that person to find (and use) their self-worth is like telling a paraplegic to use their legs and run a marathon.   [Another infamous phrase "helpful" people like to use is:  "if you want to find love, you have to first love yourself".  That phrase, used in a therapy-session would have me ranting for the full 45 minutes.  That rant, of course, would earn me a nice solid increase in an ever-growing list of meds!]

Recovery from abuse is hard.

Recovery from adoption is hard.

I think it's fair and ok to say recovery from an abusive adoption is more than twice the work than those two hardships put together.   I think it's ok to admit something like, it feels as if the work an abused adoptee has to do is made twice as hard, because with all the issues that go with abuse, there are the issues that go with adoption/abandonment, too.  However, angry victim-survivors of a bad adoption need to understand (and accept), yes, the work is very hard, and it may take many many YEARS before real improvement is seen, felt, and experienced on a steady basis, but the reward for hard self-work is HUGE... real huge, in ways some of us would have never thought of or imagined for ourselves.

I'll be blunt -- I like to think I am one of the better examples of a self-repairing abused adoptee.  I have dedicated decades to a commitment that is very simple: a willingness to change scripts and my own behaviors, so I may one-day experience a much greater good, on a more regular basis.  In fact, those who know me the best and longest know I am in many ways the same-ol Kerry, and yet I am NOTHING like the cold-angry Kerry I used to be.  I have developed a sense of self-worth and even earned a measure of "I deserve better for myself".  I have developed a softness, an ability to love, and an ability to recognize when my behavior could hurt or offend someone.  I have even learned how to apologize, and really mean it.   But as much I did the work myself, I did not do the work by myself.  I had someone with me.... not a paid therapist, but a person who acted like a loving patient parent would; an adult who showed love, acceptance, and  forgiveness.  But most importantly, this adult not only did not have to be paid to help me through my darkest-times -- this person STAYED, and did not leave, no matter how horrible and awful I would get.

Through that very positive forgiving loving adult example, I was able to emulate more healthy actions and behaviors, myself. 

Most essentially, I found myself lovable, (even tolerable), through the eyes of someone else.

No other adult in my life was able to give me that gift, paid or not.

With that, I completely agree, it IS possible to recover from a variety of abuses, including incest in adoption.  It IS possible to re-begin, (after a complete personal over-haul and changed mind-set), but based on my own experience, until that self-worth, love, and acceptance is found (through and supported by someone else), all the writing or talking in the world won't change the person who was reduced to a big unwanted nothing.


Yes, if my mother thought no more of her own self-worth than to think some random person could rear her child, and she thought even less of my self-worth, then logically where do I get the idea that I have any self-worth?  That thought bedeviled my early years and still shows up like a bad penny.

Pound Pup Legacy