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Can psychiatric services help an adopted child adjust to a new home?

Victoria L. Dunckley, MD
Adolescent Medicine

The short answer is, yes of course. The reality is, many adopted children do not get referred to mental health services that specialize in adoption issues. I worked at an adoption clinic for 9 years and was floored by how little families knew even several years into the adoption process (about adoption-related conflicts, attachment issues, developmental and social issues, etc), even while receiving services. Psychiatric services would include evaluation for psychotropic medication. Considering the level of anxiety these children go through, the rage they possess, their genetic predispositions, and the traumas they've experienced, medication can be extremely helpful, allow bonding to happen more smoothly, and help the child with self-regulating. 

Do not underestimate the mental health needs of the adopted child. 

Charles J. Sophy, MD
Adolescent Medicine

Yes. Any child transitioning to a new living arrangement will benefit from support given by mental health services. Depending on that child’s specific needs the services can be tailored to meet those needs.

It is always important to consider having mental health services in these situations to lower the risk of placement instability and to make the transition as strength-based as possible for the entire family. This will lead to a more solid state of safety and long-term permanence for this child and family.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.