What Does ChildWelfare.gov Recommend for Therapy Regarding Adopted Children?

“Adoption-competent therapists, who understand adoption issues and adoptive families, are best suited to provide therapies based on the child’s and family’s needs. Finding the right therapist and managing the right therapy for your child takes effort and commitment. No one knows your child like you do. Successful therapy depends on your active role in engaging the right therapist, committing to the process, and being part of the treatment. “

Experienced therapists who have a working understanding of loss, attachment, trauma, and brain development, as well as knowledge of issues associated with adoption, are best suited to help address the concerns of adoptive parents and effectively treat their children. Adoption-competent therapists understand that the origin of a child’s problems may be embedded in the abuse or neglect experienced before the child was adopted. They believe that children can heal within the context of new family relationships and with parents who have the skills to support children who come from traumatic beginnings. The therapist you choose must recognize the importance of including parents (and possibly other family members) in the treatment process. If you seek treatment from a therapist who attempts to exclude you as a parent, you may want to reconsider whether that professional is appropriate for you and your family. 

Child Welfare Information Gateway

This recommendation clearly indicates the limitations of a mental health professional who cannot accurately assess and treat the adopted child without the parents’ involvement. This means parent notification and consent is needed for interactions between a mental health professional and an adopted child.