June 21st, 2007
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Trust is often a huge roadblock for birth parents in relationships after relinquishment. I imagine that for anyone who has felt betrayed, given bad advice or been taken advantage of in some way that trust issues may arise. Nearly everyone has probably had their trust betrayed in some way.

However, few breaches in trust have consequences as significant as losing a child. Not all birth parents develop trust issues as not all feel that they were pressured or given bad advice. Nearly all the birth parents I know feel betrayed or that they placed their trust in the wrong people.

Society, in general, sometimes becomes a target. For some birth parents in my generation, the social dictates of the times greatly affected any decision to relinquishment. Therefore, some birth parents may lose their faith in the wisdom of society’s views in general. Not all birth parents believe that their adoption decision was the wrong one, but many do.

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For those birth parents who take fully responsbility for the adoption, they may lose trust in their own decision making ability. Losing a child to adoption is a life-altering experience and does tend to make you question your own judgment in some cases.

How do you learn to trust again? I think educating yourself is one way to make yourself less needy and in need of relying on others. However, it is human to need others. Choosing wisely who to place your faith in is key as well.

The solution is not to ever trust others ever again, but learning how to place your faith in those who deserve it. As for trusting yourself, educating yourself and therapy can help you to trust your own judgments. Find ways to succeed in small ways to begin with, and each small success can give you the confidence to trust yourself again.

None of this is easy. Building trust in others or yourself can involve a long painful and slow process. However, I believe that you must have faith and trust to succeed. Trust is a challenge for all members of the triad.

Further Reading:

Trust

A Matter of Trust

Poorly Completed Home Studies

How Long Does it Take to Rebuild Trust.

Photo by Jan Baker 2005

2 Responses to “How to Trust Again”

  1. emory77 says:

    Great post, Jan. I enjoy reading your posts and getting your perspective and advice. :)

  2. Faith Allen says:

    I have dealt with many trust issues as a result of childhood abuse. Two things have helped me:

    (1) I have learned that it is myself that I need to learn to trust. As long as I can trust myself to handle whatever life throws my way, then I need not panic about others letting me down. I will always have myself.

    (2) I don’t have to trust any one person with everything. It is okay to trust some people with some things and other people with other things. What matters is that my needs are getting met collectively.

    I hope this is helpful to others. Regardless of why trust is shattered, it is a challenge to learn how to trust again.

    Good post.

    - Faith

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