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Archive for November, 2014

It’s good to hear adoptees voices  after having been away from adoption groups for a while.

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Amid the debate on surrogacy, baby boxes, and adoption, are discussed the rights of women to anonymously abandon their babies, the rights of homosexuals to have babies, the rights of infertile couples to have children,… but the pain of separation is never spoken of.

Pain in babies: history of denial

Pain in children has long been underestimated and even ignored by the medical profession. In the not so distant past surgeons routinely operated on babies without anesthesia; they instead gave them large dose of muscle relaxants to keep them still.  The babies were wide awake with no painkiller, unable to move a finger and unable to scream or cry. The  standard belief was that babies didn’t feel pain and  they  had no memory, so if they could feel pain, they would not remember it and the lack of conscious memory meant lack of long term harm,  in addition surgeons believed that anesthesia could harm babies more than the ordeal of the surgery itself.  

Key medical objections to infant anesthesia (that it was unnessary and dangerous) were resolved by Kanwal Anand and colleagues at Oxford University from 1985-1987. They proved that babies do perceive pain, need and tolerate anesthesia well, and had probably been dying of metabolic and endocrine shock following unanesthetized operations [link and  link]

We know today that infants feel pain and they remember the pain. That memory is not verbally coded and therefore is not conscious. The effect of infant surgery without any anesthesia on those patients in later life can be severe, lifelong, and even life threatening.  Adult survivors of these early traumatic experiences usually cannot recall them verbally while they cannot forget them nonverbally. Many of them suffer of PTSD, anxiety (constant nervousness and spells of terror or panic), hostility (temper outbursts and urges to smash or break things), depression, self-consciousness, distrust of others, and a high vulnerability to stress.  [link]

Pain of separation

Separation anxiety is a normal emotional stage of development during which the child experiences anxiety when separated from the primary caregiver (usually the mother).  [link and link]

It was believed that it begins  when babies begin to understand that things and people exist even when they’re not present, at 6 or 7 months. But new research published in Biological Psychiatry in 2011 provides evidence that separating newborns from their mothers is stressful to the baby. [link]

We know today that infants feel pain and they remember the pain (of separation). That memory is not verbally coded and therefore is not conscious. The effect of infant adoption on the adoptees in later life can be severe, lifelong, and even life threatening.  Adult survivors of these early traumatic experiences usually cannot recall them verbally while they cannot forget them nonverbally. Many of them suffer of PTSD, anxiety (constant nervousness and spells of terror or panic), hostility (temper outbursts and urges to smash or break things), depression, self-consciousness, distrust of others, and a high vulnerability to stress. (**)

Yet the pain of separation in babies/children is still underestimated and even ignored by the society in the adoptionland.

Adoption is barbaric as much as infant surgery without anesthesia. It causes babies/children (and mothers) pain.

(**) Suggested readings

1) Adoption: The Primal Wound.  Effects of Separation from the Birthmother on Adopted Children.

2)   Study finds adoption correlated with mental health problems in children

3) Known consequences of separating mothers and  child at birth

4) Suicide, psychiatric illness, and social maladjustment in intercountry adoptees in Sweden

5) Adoptees 4 times more likely to attempt suicide

6) The newborn senses of taste and smell

7) Mother-Baby bonding during pregnancy

8) The Mother-Baby Bond – Scientific American.

9) Putting baby in cot after birth causes stress levels to double.

10)  The Long Life of Early Pain

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