An adopted child is likely to be raised properly if realistic motives have encouraged adoptive parents to adopt someone else’s child. There are people who adopt a child for some neurotic cause, because of dissatisfaction in marriage and because of disappointment in life. In this case, there is a danger that the adoptive parents will treat the child in the wrong way. They most often pamper it, seeking in the sentimental behavior towards it a certain satisfaction for their unsatisfied emotionality.
Excessive pampering and indulgence towards the adopted child are what married couples are prone to. After many years of waiting for a child, they decided to adopt someone else’s child. Then they bring into their emotional attitude towards it all their sorrow that they do not have their own child. They turn it into a painful sentimentality towards that substitute for a real descendant.
Most adopted children lived in an orphanage before adoption. If a child has spent a long time in an institution, it will come to adoptive parents with a whole range of psychological impairments. Adoptive parents are then given the opportunity to influence the shaping of the young person in a positive way from the beginning.
Adopting parents who expect a child to show great success in life and are resentful towards it because it has limited intellectual abilities is one of the most common causes of childhood neuroticism. In such a case, the child will develop a whole series of emotional difficulties that will lead to its already inferior intelligence being grafted on top of it.
Most adoptive parents who have adopted a child in their earliest childhood deny his or her background. They are constantly postponing the moment when they will tell the child the truth. The older it gets, the harder it becomes for them to reveal the secret of its origins. It is impossible to hide from the environment that the child has been adopted.
If it is an older child or young man, or a young woman in puberty, the knowledge that it has been adopted will shake it deeply. The negative reaction to such knowledge will be the stronger the less intimate the emotional relationship between the child and the adoptive parents. Many children in such a situation begin to fantasize about their origins, get carried away by some fantastic ideas about their parents, imagine them as ideal, and begin to see themselves as unjustly punished wretches, and feel sorry for themselves.
A warm emotional relationship between the child and the adoptive parent can greatly alleviate such emotional reactions of the child to the knowledge that he or she has been adopted. A younger child tolerates such knowledge more easily than an older one. If it has so far built a positive emotional relationship with the adoptive parents, it will not resent them for not being its real parents, but will continue to call them mother and father.