Sexual abuse



Trauma matters

Focus on Adoption magazine

Advice from a counsellor on how to recognize and help wounded children and youth.

Trauma: adoption’s shadow

Many children and youth who are adopted have been exposed to highly stressful situations and traumatic events; however, the resulting special needs these children can experience aren’t always recognized or supported. It’s vital for caregivers and professionals to learn the signs and symptoms of trauma as they present in children and youth, and to know how to find and access age-appropriate trauma-informed care.

Helping children make sense of a painful birth history

Focus on Adoption magazine

1. Be proactive—use the "A" word from the moment your child comes home, even if he or she is pre-verbal. Seek opportunities to talk about adoption—movies, books, other families connected to adoption, and your child’s own adoption story at an age-appropriate level.

2. Connect the positive qualities in your child with their birth parents—even if you know nothing about them; for example, "I wonder if your birthmom/birthdad has your beautiful voice."

The Basics on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Special Needs Database

All children and adolescents experience stressful events which can affect them both emotionally and physically. Their reactions to stress are usually brief, and they recover without further problems. A child or adolescent who experiences a catastrophic event, or events that cause intense fear, helplessness, or horror, may develop ongoing difficulties known as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The stressful or traumatic event involves a situation in which someone’s life has been threatened or severe injury has occurred.

Grandmother struggles with parenting second time around

Focus on Adoption magazine

Five years ago Sophie Perkins* was an empty nester in her fifites with a busy career. She had no idea that she was soon to become a full-time mother again.

Though Sophie knew that her daughter-in-law and son weren’t parenting their children adequately, as she lived some distance from the family, she didn’t have a full grasp of the situation. Her son and daughter-in-law made great efforts to appear as though they lived relatively "normal" lives.

Beyond sexual abuse: Families can promote healing

Beyond Sexual Abuse: The Healing Power of Adoptive Families

Even if sexual abuse is not disclosed in a child’s history, foster and adoptive parents must be prepared to deal with issues of sexuality and sexual abuse.

Was My Child Abused?
If your child’s worker does not mention sexual abuse, and records say nothing, did your child escape this form of abuse? Maybe. Maybe not. Sexual abuse often goes unnoticed, and unrecorded, and often children are reluctant to talk about abuse, and few abusers confess to their crimes.

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