Blue Healthcare

Calle Alberto Alcocer 5 y 7, 28036 Madrid

email: info@bluehc.es                    Teléfono: 919 991 770

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Fear of abandonment in adopted children

There are frequent cases of families who, after exhausting bureaucratic processes and countless trips abroad, finally reach the end of the process of adopting their new family member, but find themselves facing new obstacles for which no one has prepared them. These obstacles are much less visible than all the problems they have had to overcome in order to achieve a happy ending to their adoption story, but they can at the root of major problems for both the newcomer and the whole family.

Faced with this type of situation, the Blue Healthcare team of psychologists and psychiatrists has created the first unit in Madrid that fully covers all the needs of adopted children and their families; a pioneering unit that, as Dr Marina Díaz Marsá, medical director of the clinic and psychiatrist, explains, “grew from seeing patients in everyday clinical practice, already in adolescence or adulthood, who are adopted and have personality disorders, eating disorders or significant difficulties with interpersonal relationships. Seeing that these patients are already suffering from an illness, we thought that a unit was needed to do more preventive work to try to get ahead of these disorders before adolescence”.

The reasoning behind the new unit for emotional disorders associated with the adoption process is the fact that adopted children, when moving from their biological family to a new family, may develop attachment problems with their parents. “From a psychological and neurobiological point of view there may be damage that makes them afraid of being abandoned again. That is why there are relationship and attachment problems with the parents”, says Dr Díaz Marsá.

This fear can lead to behavioural disorders, hyperactivity disorders or difficulties in school or family life; these problems mean it’s necessary to have tools to know how to act if children arrive in the family with these disorders, and, if the family is already experiencing these difficulties, it’s necessary to offer both the child and the family psychotherapeutic treatment so they can manage daily life.

This clinical unit grew from seeing patients in everyday clinical practice, already in adolescence or adulthood, who are adopted and have personality disorders, eating disorders or significant difficulties with interpersonal relationships. Seeing that these patients are already suffering from an illness, we thought that a unit was needed to do more preventive work to try to get ahead of these disorders before adolescence”, explains Dr Díaz Marsá.

The unit for emotional disorders associated with the adoption process has a dual approach. First, it offers specific programmes for parents who are going to adopt so they can understand, if necessary, what can happen to these children and to have tools for their education. And secondly, it treats children who already have these difficulties when they come to the adoptive family.

As well as Dr Marina Díaz Marsá, this pioneering unit includes leading specialists such as Dr Mar Faya, Dr José Luis Carrasco, and a team of psychologists.