Bonding & Attachment
Bonding and attachment are two very different but very important processes every new parent should know something about.
- Bonding is “falling in love” with your child and your child with you. Bonding problems are rare and those that do not resolve themselves within a few weeks are rarer still. With infants, bonding can be instantaneous. With older children and teens, it will take time. You must get to know each other and build on friendship and commitment. Once this process is complete, the bond is just as strong, no matter the age of the child.
- Attachment is much more complicated than bonding. Attachment is a process of trust. Children who were abused and neglected, or had multiple caregivers in the first year of life, may be incapable of trust and have some degree of an attachment disorder. Since attachment problems are not uncommon, before adopting any child over 2 years of age, you should request a copy of the child’s most recent “comprehensive psychological evaluation.” This document should include at a minimum:
- An IQ.
- An attachment potential evaluation.
- Psychological, medical, and learning test results.
- A social history.
- Recommendations for any therapies the child might need, i.e. speech therapy, physical therapy, or psychiatric therapy.