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Old 04-15-2013, 10:52 PM
 
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I don't understand the point of this thread. The first link is to an article that says 1 out of 5 mothers don't bond immediately with their baby, which means that 4 out of 5 (the majority) do. This doesn't make bonding "a myth".

The third link looks to be a blog with someone's opinion. There are many others with the opinion that the opposite is true. There have been so many different theories about what babies think and understand, it would make your head spin. I don't think anyone can say for a fact either way.

I don't see the "myth" that you are referring to?
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:32 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
It's not uncommon to attribute feelings of inadequacy to the adoption itself and even to place it onto the adoptee. So, sometimes it's good to do a 'checks and balance' of the emotions surrounding adoption by comparing the adoptive parents to biological families.

Secret Thoughts of an Adoptive Mother
The problem is that PAPs should be resolving these kind of issues & insecurities prior to adoption. It shouldn't be common & it really is not okay. It's not as if anyone has an unplanned adoption, so there's no excuse.

If anything APs should be attributing feelings of inadequacy to their parenting, not adoption. If they attribute feelings of inadequacy to their child (like some parents might in a moment of frustration), it should not be because they are adopted. Those feelings should have been thoroughly explored & sorted well before they even started the process to adopt.

Her sense of entitlement, even by the time they had their first home study, was very offensive.

TBH I'm not really clear on what myths you are attempting to debunk, either.

Based on her not so secret thoughts it sounds like she didn't bond with the baby for 9 months because she hadn't grieved her fertility issues yet & he was black (so she couldn't forget she never gave birth to him).

Quote:
I wondered whether the baby we would adopt might turn out to be a dud-neither charming nor cute.
But no. Can't say I could ever relate to the thoughts this woman had.

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 04-16-2013 at 05:55 AM..
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
In reality, the bond between baby and parent is not biological but mental. Contrary to the common myths about bonding, the process does not always happen instantaneously for either biological or adoptive parents. More often, bonding occurs over a long period. Some bonding may happen at birth but, for many parents, their profound bond to their child—a bond like no other—develops through a variety of experiences from seeing their child's first smile to watching their son or daughter graduate from high school or college.
This is addressing the mother's ability to bond with her child, which is not the same as the newborn's ability to bond or their attachment to their biological mother. There is a difference between bonding & attachment:

Bonding cannot exist without attachment, but attachment can exist without bonding. This is because bonding is reciprocal, while attachment is never dependent on reciprocation.

If for some reason the mother cannot reciprocate feelings for her baby, then there is no bond (but usually there is attachment). Depression appears to be one of the main reasons mothers have trouble bonding with their babies.

The main reason infants have trouble bonding with caregivers appears to be due mainly to attachment disruptions caused by separations, abuse, &/or neglect. I've read that significant problems can also be caused by the mother psychologically rejecting the baby while still pregnant (sometimes because she feels she has no choice but to relinquish & cannot otherwise cope).

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 04-16-2013 at 08:57 AM..
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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I am an adoptive parent and in all three cases bonding was immediate for me. And as far as I can tell it is for my girls as well. also with their father. It may have helped that we already had a bio son and were not anxious and worried or had any of the inadequacy feelings some adoptive parents may experience.

With our first daughter we got the phone call about the referral only 17 days after the approval of our homestudy. We were not ready but of course immediately knew we had a daughter. I could not wait for the referral photo to come in the mail. When I was at the mail box opening the envelop I was overcome with emotion. I fell to the ground in a sobbing heap and my neighbor came running out to help me. "It's my daughter and she's so far away and she needs me" I managed to get out. Together we sat on the grass, looking at the tiny little picture and crying. There was a lot of anxiety because it was right after the Korean Airliner had been shot down (1983) and i feared something would happen to keep her from coming home to us.

For the other two I was in very uncomfortable circumstances in Vietnam but again the bonding was instant. I was never more sure of anything in my life and I certainly did have enough reasons to be anything but confident. For months family and friends told us we were too old and crazy to start another family. We knew it was right.

I've known women who say it took them many months before they felt anything resembling love for their kids, both bio and adoptive. it is such a personal thing. and there are women who never bond with their children and just go through the motions because they know they should. Sad indeed.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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I always said having kids is a crap shout...either through pregnancy or adoption. You never know what you are going to get and that is the challenge and thrill of parenting.At least through adoption you know you and the child will live through the birth...something you cannot take for granted with pregnancy.
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
I always said having kids is a crap shout...either through pregnancy or adoption. You never know what you are going to get and that is the challenge and thrill of parenting.At least through adoption you know you and the child will live through the birth...something you cannot take for granted with pregnancy.
I feel the same. I actually was a little surprised when I read the story with the adoptive mother, but after thinking about it, when you think of post-adoption depression, it is rooted in similar feelings. Although I have known amothers who did bond instantly such as you. With bio mothers, I knew it wasn't always instant because of stories I've been told and what I've witnessed. But there is a "myth" in society that bonding is instant (for the babies and the mother/parents) and expectations about motherhood are overwhelmingly placed on women to have certain feelings right away. I thought these were good examples of when bonding is delayed.

I honestly think my emotions won't change after our child arrives. Of course, I can't say for certain, but I don't separate parenting between bio kids and adopted kids, it's the same to me. Not the entire experience obviously because there is no pregnancy; however, to me, having children means much more than having a pregnancy.
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
Some other links I found interesting...

From the second paragraph: Loving and Bonding with Your Adopted Baby



Here's a book on the subject: Mother-Infant Bonding: A Scientific Fiction

It appears the research that the bonding myth is based on was animals, not humans. I guess since the myths began to spread like wildfires, that a lot of what is discussed about it often goes unchallenged.
I think working mothers and adoptive mothers are particularly vulnerable to believing the myths and even biological moms who don't have an immediate bond may feel they are not "good" mothers. When in reality, the bond may not happen for some time after birth with any primary caregiver, including the bio mom.
The above quote talks about the bond that parents have. Not the bond that the baby has.
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
I feel the same. I actually was a little surprised when I read the story with the adoptive mother, but after thinking about it, when you think of post-adoption depression, it is rooted in similar feelings.
Post adoption depression is not the same as PPD. It is usually caused by people who have not put enough effort into resolving their fertility issues or adoption insecurities. You will find that responsible PAPs (who have put significant effort into resolving these issues prior to adoption & fully embrace that they were entrusted with raising someone else's child) do not usually suffer with post-adoption depression or struggle with bonding to their child. As the mother from your link said:

Quote:
This kid came with so much emotional baggage for me. Adoption is just as bitter as it is sweet. Maybe more.
As I already said: no one has an unplanned adoption, so there is no excusing the mentality above.

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 04-16-2013 at 10:29 AM..
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
I think there is a clear distinction between a “biological” bond and a “primal” response. A newborn recognizing and preferring his birthmother’s voice and breast milk (once he’s had it – I mean, some newborns get one taste and then it’s all formula) as evidence of a “natural” or “biological” bond is not really what the research is stating.

A newborn recognizes his birthmother’s voice primarily because he’s heard it over 9-months. The breast milk preference is also a very primal response for food and survival. All babies are instinctively wired to seek out a secure base; once they’ve found it (either with the bio mom or other primary caregiver) the baby will begin to bond and attach to that person. If you think about it, babies’ cross-breasfeed and mothers use wet nurses quite often (and the babies don’t reject the breastmilk).

So, the smells and sounds a newborn hears is not evidence of an instinctual bond to his biological mother rather it is a physiological response to his “new world” and what has been known to him up until birth:

Newborns and the Social World

In short, these studies are not measuring the bond or attachment between babies and bio moms, rather they seek to disprove that babies are “blank slates.” Babies aren’t blank slates, which is why they can and do form bonds and attachments with any primary caregiver, regardless of a biological connection.
I felt this beared repeating here. As susankate stated, we may never know what babies feel towards their birth mother after birth. Studies that state babies recognize their birth mother's voice don't prove the baby is attaching or bonding to anyone. It's voice recognition. In order for a baby to bond and attach, a lot more interaction needs to happen - correctly, consistently, and over a period of time. I can't find any source from professionals who work in this area that say otherwise.

I don't believe anyone is disputing the findings of the studies that are mentioned to support a baby's instinctual bond with his birthmother. What I am disputing, and what the researchers are not saying, is that what they are studying has nothing to do with bonding. They are studying how newborns interact with people and their parents/caregivers after birth. Bonding is a completely separate process. Below is a good article about this.

Washington University's Blank Slate Study
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:37 AM
 
1,024 posts, read 984,837 times
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Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
I don't believe anyone is disputing the findings of the studies that are mentioned to support a baby's instinctual bond with his birthmother. What I am disputing, and what the researchers are not saying, is that what they are studying has nothing to do with bonding.
This does not mean the findings are not evidence of attachment & bonding that begin in-utero. It just means no one has correlated the findings to attachment & bonding yet.

Quote:
They are studying how newborns interact with people and their parents/caregivers after birth. Bonding is a completely separate process.
There is zero research to back up the assumption that the way newborns interact with their bio-mother is completely separate from bonding/attachment. Moderator Cut.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
Bonding is a completely separate process. Below is a good article about this.

Washington University's Blank Slate Study
The above article has nothing to do with the studies mentioned, or how they may or may not be separate from bonding/attachment to the biological mother. So no, it is not a good article about that.

Last edited by Jaded; 04-16-2013 at 10:31 PM.. Reason: Personal attack
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