Every year in the U.S., more than 135,000 children are welcomed into families through adoption. Creating a family through adoption is an amazing journey—one filled with joy—but sometimes also paved with significant, life-altering challenges. While most adoptive families soon begin to settle in with one another, children who have been exposed to neglect, trauma or abuse may have a hard time adjusting to their new home. Genetic disorders or drugs and alcohol consumed by the birth mother may cause developmental or behavioral problems. A child may have trouble learning to trust, love and live without chaos—which some have never experienced.
One family in Phoenix, Arizona discovered how difficult the journey could be after adopting their son. It quickly became evident that their son would need specialized, professional treatment in order to heal. Seeking answers, they found there was a lack of support and few financial resources available for essential care. Prescribed treatments were expensive yet minimally covered by insurance—if at all. Help for hurting families like theirs was hard to find. As a result, they founded Adoptive Families Coalition (AFC) and their quest began to fill a gap in post adoption support.
The effects of childhood trauma can be devastating to the new family. They can present as: explosive behaviors, disruptions in family life, struggles at school, depression, anxiety, emotional dysregulation (ED), Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), and a host of other diagnosable conditions.
Adoptive Families Coalition is passionate about advocating for some of the most vulnerable of our society, helping to prevent childhood trauma, providing a sponsorship program and initiating support groups. AFC believes that every child deserves the opportunity for healing and every family deserves support for their well-being and preservation. AFC offers extensive resources for parents at adoptive.org and one-on-one encouragement through personal communication. Until improvements are made to better assist children living with deep wounds—to help them heal and thrive—AFC services will continue to help fill this unique gap in our culture.
The majority of parents who reach out to Adoptive Families Coalition urgently need financial assistance to provide the appropriate treatment for their hurting child—treatment that is often not covered or only partially covered by insurance. To these families, AFC offers their sponsorship program so money can be raised to help afford healing opportunities. Financial partners make possible the AFC services so that they are offered at no cost to the families.
Stories like Spencer’s compel Adoptive Families Coalition to do everything possible to help families in need: Five-month-old Spencer* (name protected for privacy) was taken to the hospital with a broken arm. There, the doctor also found evidence of earlier breaks—a result of neglect and abuse prior to his adoption. After 10 years, six therapists, psychiatrists and multiple hospitalizations, Spencer’s adoptive family reached out to AFC in desperate need for help for their wounded son. His early childhood trauma had resulted in behavioral challenges, putting the whole family at risk. Out-of-home placement for therapeutic treatment was prescribed but the costs were beyond their means. Through an AFC sponsorship, they now have financial assistance that is giving their son the opportunity for specialized care and healing.
Families are very grateful to find Adoptive Families Coalition:
“Thank you for all you do for families like mine. Really, thank you doesn’t begin to express my appreciation!” —J.H.
“Thanks to this great organization we have been able to pay for my son’s residential treatment this past year.” —R.F.
Adoptive Families Coalition is a non-profit 501(3)(c) organization dedicated to the holistic support of families with adopted children who demonstrate emotional, behavioral or psychological challenges.
Further information for both parents and supporters is available at adoptive.org