The bond between a mother and their child is something that happens naturally. In order for an infant to have a normal growth and development, it is essential for them to have this kind of connection. For instance, when an infant cries or makes noises to get the attention of a caring adult, and the caregiver is consistently responding to the infants needs then trust is formed between the mother (or the caregiver) and the infant (Steinfeld, n.d.
). When a trusting relationship is formed, the growing child will have the opportunity to form healthy relationship with others, as well has having the ability to learn how to become more independent and to figure out what it is that they want to do with their life. Even though a mother to child bond is extremely important for the development of the infant, sometimes not every mother and child has the ability to experience it due to unfortunate situations that they may be presented with during that time (Subhani, Osman, Abrar & Hasan, 2014). When a mother and infant gets separated right after birth, whether it be because the infant is premature and requires professional care in the NICU or because the mother of the child is unable to care for the child, and gives it up for adoption, the bond between them will be affected by this. Emotions, come into play and the mother would feel depressed and lost, which may lead to the mother having postpartum depression (aka post-adoption depression).
Depending on the age of when the child is given up for adoption, it can affect the bond between the child and the mother in numerous ways (Subhani, Osman, Abrar & Hasan, 2014). For example, if a child was already a few years old and they had already experienced being physically, socially and mentally abused or even neglected from their biological parents then their ability to trust, socialize and form relationship with others will be hindered. They may also sometimes have trouble having a positive self-esteem and figuring out who they really are and may always be wondering why they were given up for adoption.
On the other hand, if an infant was given up for adoption then they would feel lost and upset in the beginning because they have been used to the mother’s voice, smell and rhythm (Steinfeld, n.d.). The infant would then cry a little more and sometimes have more trouble with bowel or bladder problems, but this isn’t permanent.
An infant would slowly adjust to the different changes that may be happening around them and start connecting with their adoptive parents. When an infant gets adopted at a younger age they have the ability to adjust, form bonds with the mother and develop normally like everyone else (Understanding adoption: A developmental approach, 2001). Overall, the age of the child of when they are given up for adoption affects the bond between the child and the adoptive mother, as well as how they develop but all changes are temporary.