Adoption and Mental Health

In Australia, persons affected by adoption score significantly lower than the general population on physical, psychological and social well-being. They are twice as likely to suffer from mild and moderate mental disorders and, over time, are more likely to suffer from a severe mental disorder. You can check out the research data here.

Accessible, affordable and adoption-specific pathways are available to get support.

Jigsaw Queensland and our Forced Adoption Support Service offer information and support for anyone affected by adoption. It is provided free of charge. Allied health professionals and volunteers with lived experience of adoption can help you to get adoption information, search for and reach out to relatives and provide emotional support along your journey. Jigsaw also offers support groups for original parents and adopted persons. Information and resources are also available on our website here.

Jigsaw Qld support is available from 9-5, Monday to Friday, via telephone 07 3358 6666 or 1800 21 03 13 (Qld only). You can also email us at support@jigsawqld.org.au

If a mental health problem is affecting your everyday life, your work or your relationships, you will need professional help.

The most common mental health problems experienced by those affected by adoption are depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and complicated grief. You can self-assess and find self-help resources on these common mental health problems at the Beyond Blue website.

Take note of the results and share them with your doctor. Your doctor can do a further assessment and if necessary develop a Mental Health Plan for you. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, this may involve suitable medication, referral to psychological or psychiatric services, or both. Services provided under a mental health plan are subsidised through Medicare.

Other therapies and lifestyle changes can address neglected aspects of your physical well-being. Research indicates that these are more effective when combined with support from mental health professionals.

If you are experiencing a current mental health crisis, 24 hour help is available if you ring Lifeline 13 11 14 Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 or Suicide Callback 1300 659 467.

It is helpful to think of your support needs as a ‘three-legged stool’: Adoption-specific information & support from Jigsaw Qld, professional support for mental health issues from doctors and therapists, and the ongoing support of family and friends.