For many partnerships it is heartbreaking to learn that they cannot have their own children. With a fertility rate getting lower each year due to lifestyle choices and environmental pollution in the western world but the deep desire to create a family there are more and more affected couples turning towards adoptions. And it seems as it this is not only the solution to their problem, but also a win-win-situation in general: to give an unwanted or parentless child a home seems to be the utmost altruistic motive to do something good too.
But how does an adoption effect the family system? In Bert Hellingers ‘First Order of Love’ we can see who belongs to a family system: these are all the children, parents, grandparents, siblings and partners (and some former partners) in 2-3 generations. The parents of the parents are included in one’s family system up to 7 generations back, plus some who are genetically not related, but have bonded through actions or destiny.
That makes minimum of 240 souls who belong to the same family system, often many many more.
These orders are derived from the phenomenological work of Bert Hellinger within over 40 years and in line with what we perceive when we work with family constellations: when someone is cast out who belongs to the family system, the first Order of Love is disobeyed, and this in turn causes suffering within the whole family over 7 generations.
In many countries, adoption terminates the birth parents rights and responsibilities towards the adopted person. In Japan, for instance, the Civil Code acknowledges that adoption ends existing relationships between the adopted child and their birth parents and blood relatives. And in countries, where the civil code doesn’t provide such a regulation (i.e. France) the parties of the adoption can and often do agree to the termination of all rights of the birth parents, which includes the right of citizenship, name and inheritance.
The question that arrises here is: what impact has it on a child and their family system, when it is giving away for adoption, and cut off from all their rights? And what are the consequences for the family system of this child? And finally, what impact does an adoption have on the Family System which the adopted child comes into?
According to Bert Helllingers ‘Orders of Love’ an adopted child is remaining a full member of the family system they are born into, regardless of the fact that the rights to belong to the birth family have been given up in the physical world by legal agreement or decree. The soul of the child still belongs to the family of origin and will remain there no matter what happens to the body. Therefore, the adoption especially right after giving birth and therefore being held a secret in may cases, leaves a gap in the order of the family systems, which will never be closed until the missing child is acknowledged. This missing child is made visible by the family soul in many ways, to be not forgotten: there will be suffering in the family throughout many generations, either in form of dis-eases, repeated negative pattern, accidents, depression all the way to inexplicable suicides. The family soul has a strong urge to be whole, and to make sure everyone has their rightful place in the system! Therefore suffering will be created until one of the descendants finds it unbearable and seeks help to look at the family entanglements and intergenerational traumas.
In a family constellation these children are made visible with the help of representatives who are resonating with the morphogenetic field of the family system. Through allowing this child a voice and the movement of the souls back to unity, healing is enabled, sometimes all the way to 7 generations back, and future generations are free of this burden as well.
What can one do to prevent this from happening? Bert Hellinger has the answer: if the child still has their own family who can look after it, fostering is preferred to adoption. If the child has no close family members left to look after it, adoption is possible when it is openly communicated to the child and the environment that it still belongs on a soul-level to another family system. And for the family, who has agreed to the adoption, it is crucial that they count the adopted child amongst their own children and give them a name and a space in their lineage.
The family system, in which the child is adopted into, does not belong to the family system of the child, only in rare circumstances will there be a cross-over. The family who is adopting a child has their own entanglements and emotional traumas in their system which let to the adoption. A family constellations in the method of Bert Hellinger brings to light the soul-cause of the wish to adopt a child and allows the souls to move towards healing in this family system.
Here is the adopted child the helper and enabler for this step forward towards healing the family wound of another family system and deserves gratitude and love from the family for the sacrifice of leaving the rightful place in their own family, not the adoption family for ‘rescuing’ a child, as society may perceive it.
To all the adopted children in the world: THANK YOU!