PART ONE: Social Morays, Community Cultures, and Stockholm Syndrome in the Adoptee and Foster Child

8ef2b-575380_10200472448946201_773575893_nBy Cully Ray

It has always made we wonder how, out of one side of their mouths the adoption industry promotes their merchandise (children) as “blank slates” and then, when things go wrong, out of the other side of their mouths they say the child is defective… This is an opinion/theory piece and comments are welcome…

Stockholm Syndrome is a subconscious coping mechanism that can manifest because of trauma suffered “at the hands” of other humans. It’s a mental/emotional tool used by child victims of physical, mental and sexual abuse as well as adult victims of ritual abuse, mind control, and battery. Victims have indicated that they felt they needed to side with their tormentors to not be physically harmed, to stay alive, and even to keep their sanity. Basically the syndrome results from the victim feeling that the situation is a matter of life or death, and in an effort to make sense of it.

According to ( ) an FBI Bulletin from July 2007, these four conditions are necessary for Stockholm syndrome to manifest:

-Hostages who develop Stockholm syndrome often view the perpetrator as giving life by simply not taking it. In this sense, the captor becomes the person in control of the captive’s basic needs for survival and the victim’s life itself.

– The hostage endures isolation from other people and has only the captor’s perspective available. Perpetrators routinely keep information about the outside world’s response to their actions from captives to keep them totally dependent.

-The hostage taker threatens to kill the victim and gives the perception of having the capability to do so. The captive judges it safer to align with the perpetrator, endure the hardship of captivity, and comply with the captor than to resist and face murder.

– The captive sees the perpetrator as showing some degree of kindness. Kindness serves as the cornerstone of Stockholm syndrome; the condition will not develop unless the captor exhibits it in some form toward the hostage. However, captives often misinterpret a lack of abuse as kindness and may develop feelings of appreciation for this perceived benevolence. If the captor is purely evil and abusive, the hostage will respond with hatred. But, if perpetrators show some kindness, victims will submerge the anger they feel in response to the terror and concentrate on the captors’ “good side” to protect themselves.

Stockholm Syndrome can transform from a coping skill to a maladaptive behavior and suppressed anger. In adoption, the adoptee will focus on the birth-parent(s) rather than the adoptive parent(s). The adoptee feels hopeless (confused and lost) and then sad (hurt and alone), and then he/she finds that when they accept what they are being told – both about themselves and their adoptive parents – they begin to have worth. This “worth” buys them respite from the hopelessness and pain, and they feel like they belong.

Even today, adoption is thought of as an act of charity more often than the forming of family. The adoptee, whether infant or older child, is “alone in the world” and without “Mommy” and “Daddy” they would perish. In a short time, like all children – adopted or not, the adoptee learns what they must do to gain or be rewarded with what they need. “Mommy” and “Daddy” are in complete control – they are “gods” and this is reinforced by an ever present form of story telling. People tell the child how “lucky” they are, how their “Mommy” and “Daddy” are “special” and somehow “saved” the child when no one else wanted them.

For these types of parents (adoptive or blood), and in this setting, the child becomes adornment and thus a possession rather than a member of the family. As time goes on and the child ages they show great sympathy for the “sacrifices” their parents have made and continue to make, and will praise them for things that other parents do naturally out of love. In adoption or foster care, the child that is perceived as a possession is also at risk of becoming a type of indentured servant and/or being a victim of sexual abuse.

In a society or community that views children that are available for adoption as the result of sin or sinful behavior by one or both of the birth parents (usually the mother), the children have very little worth and are often treated as disposable or expendable (as are their mothers). This attitude feeds into the Stockholm Syndrome in that, if they are kept, fed, spoken to or treated with any kind of common decency they feel they are loved – undeserving as they may be. The child, like the kidnap victim, is only worth what his or her abductor wants (and only for as long as that “something” is wanted/useful). Much like their mothers, many of whom we are learning are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to their pregnancy and subsequent relinquishment of their child, these children become the scapegoats for poor parenting and/or religious bigotry. And I must say here, that it is my belief that these types of parents and communities would treat their own blood the same way, as evidenced by child abuse/neglect statistics and how unwed mothers are dealt with.  (to be continued tomorrow)


I will share your comments with Cully… thank you for reading…Lara/Trace


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