Karen J. Foli, assistant professor of nursing at Purdue University,
ran a research study that looked into the causes of a condition called
She interviewed newly adoptive parents as well as adoption
experts and found some common themes amongst those new parents that had
experienced a period of depression in the initial period post adoption.
She says that this depression seems most commonly caused by a
parenting experience that doesn’t live up to what may have been unrealistic expectations.
These expectations refer to the bonding and parenting experience and as well to
expectations about how close relations, friends, and larger society will act
after the adoption takes place.
Foli says that bonding can be a lot more challenging than
newly adoptive parents had realized, and that many new adoptive parents are
surprised, and disappointed, when they do not seem to get the same level of
support that new birth parents seem to get.
Foli explained, saying, "Many adoptive parents spend
their time during the adoption process demonstrating they are not only going to
be fit parents, but super parents, and then they struggle with trying to be the
world's best parent when the child is placed in the home. Adoptive parents also
may experience feelings about their legitimacy as a parent, or even surprise if
they don't readily bond with the infant or child."
The full research findings can be read in the Western
Journal of Nursing Research.