Nearly every time I talk to an adoptive parent, I become saddened, disgusted, angry or each in turn. It recently happened again.

The parent in question is the mother of a preteen boy who was adopted in early toddlerhood — at least a year before the ability to remember past events develops.

Research has established that no matter the intensity of an event occurring before 36 months on average and very rarely before 24 months, a child will not have recall of it. When “memories” of infancy and early toddlerhood are subjected to verification, they seldom pass the test.

The parents of this young fellow have been told by their assigned adoption specialists that adopted children retain subconscious memory of their “real” parents, separation from whom induced trauma, even if the separation occurred early on. Mind you, those claims cannot be proven.

According to said specialists, the trauma in question requires that adoptive parents never say or do certain things lest a subconscious traumatic memory surface and begin wreaking havoc on the child’s psyche. Examples of said “memory outbreaks” include just about any dumb, antisocial, self-destructive thing human children are prone to doing whether adopted or not.

A tantrum, for example, is not simply an expression of a child’s natural self-centeredness, requiring a firm disciplinary response. It is an expression of the adopted child’s ongoing grieving, requiring that his parents cuddle and rock him to help him fill in the emotional gaps in his earlier childhood. I did not make that up. It is precisely what adoption specialists told the above mother. Another specialist told a mother that her 5-month-old adoptee knew, from Mom’s heartbeat, that Mom wasn’t really Mom. That borders on criminal. Sadly, it is not a one-off.

I have long concluded that adoption specialists primarily specialize in infecting adoptive parents with “adoption bogeymen.”

Adoption is a compassion. There is nothing inherently risky about it. The risk seems to be the consequence of getting involved with certain adoption specialists.

Visit family psychologist John Rosemond’s website at; readers may send him email at; due to the volume of mail, not every question will be answered.

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