Do I have PAD?

What is Post Adoption Depression?

Post Adoption Depression Syndrome (referred to as P.A.D. or P.A.D.S.) is the onset of depression symptoms in an adoptive mother or father, generally appearing from one month after adoption in 10% to 32% of adoptive parents. 1Kanter, Jonathan W; Busch, Andrew M; Weeks, Cristal E; Landes, Sara J (2008). “The Nature of Clinical Depression: Symptoms, Syndromes, and Behavior Analysis”. The Behavior Analyst. 31 (1): 1–21.

PAD is similar to postpartum depression. New parents go through significant changes regardless of how a child enters their family—birth, foster care, or adoption—and these changes can have significant impacts on mental health. 2Foli, Karen J.; South, Susan C.; Lim, Eunjung; Jarnecke, Amber M. (August 2016). “Post-adoption depression: Parental classes of depressive symptoms across time”. Journal of Affective Disorders. 200: 293–302.

For adoptive families, the impact may be exponentially increased by the effects of abuse, neglect, and other trauma experienced by the child before he or she joined the family as well as the grief and trauma associated with the adoption experience itself.

PAD can also negatively impact the adopted child 3Bernard-Bonnin, A-C (October 2004). “Maternal depression and child development”. Paediatrics & Child Health. 9 (8): 575–583. and other family members.

Symptoms of PAD

The symptoms of post-adoption depression are common to symptoms of depression and include4Kanter, Jonathan W; Busch, Andrew M; Weeks, Cristal E; Landes, Sara J (2008). “The Nature of Clinical Depression: Symptoms, Syndromes, and Behavior Analysis”. The Behavior Analyst. 31 (1): 1–21.:

  • changes in sleeping pattern and appetite
  • feelings of hopelessness
  • fatigue or exhaustion
  • problems with concentration
  • feelings of guilt and/or regret
  • restlessness
  • suicidal thoughts

Also sometimes related to PAD are anxiety and panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), secondary trauma, and more. Contact your doctor or other qualified medical professional to discuss all your symptoms and make a plan for finding health and healing.

You are not alone. You are not a terrible person. You can get better.

Do I have PAD?

Check your symptoms with our quiz.

This quiz was created for informational purposes only. This quiz and its results are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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1 out of 4
I’ve been having a difficult time concentrating and/or making decisions.
I feel tired or weak all the time.
I have difficulty sleeping or an increased need for sleep.
I had a significant weight change recently.
2 out of 4
I have lost interest or enjoyment in activities I used to love.
I feel excessive guilt and/or regret.
I feel powerless, worthless, and/or hopeless.
3 out of 4
I am less patient and/or more irritable than I used to be.
I feel irrational anger or rage.
I think about harming myself or others.
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4 out of 4