In the United Kingdom, parents of teens who are adopted, face unique pressures. The children they adopted often come with very traumatic experiences and lack the the nurture, safe parenting and relational dependence they needed. Some have been abused, neglected and had various carers. In the UK, most children were pre-schoolers at placement but we have found that even tiny ones can be deeply affected by their traumas. Further, genetic and environmental factors detrimental to development are identified long into adoption which further hinder these young peoples stability. We all have adopted children from the care system. All these things lead to a patchy sense of identity. Identity is a key area of adolescent development and for our teens, its a huge issue underpinning many extreme behaviours. Dr Kim Golding explains it really well. Pyramid of emotional needs and handy information HERE.
Many adoptive parents have unwittingly taken on children with many layers of complex needs and found even if not physically impaired, the numerous emotional, social and developmental difficulties our young people face impacts deeply on us. Parents expectations and hopes for their adoptees has to make way for these complex needs and that can be incredibly hard going. Secondary Trauma is common affecting the relationships, well-being and capacity of parents to deliver specialist therapeutic reparenting. Heather Forbes article explaining some of the feelings faced by parents gives a good overall picture. Parenting adoptive kids
Parents of traumatised adopted teens are often from professions and are experienced adoption practitioners with up to date expertise in the theoretical, practical and legal matters appropriate to our families needs. We cannot fix our children but we can face things together, that’s what the POTATO group is all about.
We are a group of around 350 parents of adopted teenagers and post teens from all over the UK.
Collectively we parent young people who have suffered early, repeated trauma and continue to face difficulties in their teen and young adult years.
Our purpose is to provide a peer based service for families who are host to teenagers who hurt and help them access support, information, resources and friendship from people who are living it and truly understand.
We provide peer lead support for parents and do not work directly with young people.
If you would like further information on our group or would like to join, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org (see membership section on drop down menu).