Is Adoption an Option for Women with Bipolar Disorder?
Parents-to-be tell their story of how they tried for years to get pregnant to no avail, and now, finally, they are adopting a child.
This is the story I always hear: A couple cannot have children physically, so they adopt.
Is adoption an option for women with bipolar disorder?
In my research about bipolar disorder and pregnancy, there is much risk involved for both parent and child.
CounselHeal.com reports that 4.4 million American women live with bipolar disorder, many of them at childbearing age.
Many women with bipolar disorder will eventually become pregnant, and the research has increased on this important topic.
A new study concludes that women need a stronger dose of prescription during pregnancy. Regular doses will most likely be ineffective, and with this, the risk of birth defects increases.
Unborn babies are also at risk when women are depressed. Without treatment for depression, a bipolar woman may not take care of herself nutritionally or hygienically. Isolation from family and friends also may occur.
While doctors use these findings to improve care for mother and child during pregnancy, I recognize the risk in having bipolar and being pregnant.
There is also a risk for post-partum depression after birth.
With these risks, women who have bipolar disorder may wonder about adoption.
I immediately anticipate an issue, however: The bipolar diagnosis.
All adoptions are regulated, whether they are completed in a public, private, or non-agency setting.
It is widely agreed upon that International adoption is not an option for a parent with bipolar disorder.
There is literature out there that says that many domestic options are not available, either.
Stigma is alive and well in the adoption arena.
What do you think is the better option for a woman with bipolar disorder?
Surely, women with mental health conditions with a consistent record of accomplishment from their doctors should have the chance to adopt.
However, if this is not a reality, the pregnancy process needs to be carefully considered and monitored with a professional’s help.
Not encouraging news for young women with a bipolar diagnosis.
It is another difficult process in a string of careful considerations women with bipolar disorder need to make.
What do you think about adoption vs. biological birth in terms of bipolar disorder?
Do you have any experience with bipolar disorder and adoption?
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Dawkins, K. (2013). Is Adoption an Option for Women with Bipolar Disorder?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 1, 2016, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/bipolar-life/2013/11/bipolar-disorder-and-adoption/