“Adoption and Parental Alienation Syndrome”

Are you a victim of parental alienation? Parental alienation syndrome is a pathological alignment dynamic that is most common when competing adults indoctrinate children by jealously denigrating other targeted parents and grandparents. When a divorce occurs, child custody, and the dividing of property is assigned by the court based on accusations by competing parents angrily assigning blame and jealously claiming fault of their partner. Adoption creates a similar social dynamic when adoptees are pressured to chose between competing parents.

When I was a child, my adopted mother Rosella maliciously stated her opinions about my birth mother with the morally corrupt intent of disgracing and demeaning her to make her own authority and disposition seem more worthy. “Your poor attitude and impulsive nature is psychologically and genetically inherited from your biological parents. You are predestined to fail because you are a self-fulfilling prophecy emulating your birth parents’ original sins and bad behavior.” Her spiteful, angry words were powerfully toxic and continued burning into my consciousness long after they had been said.

Judith Land | Adoption Detective | Xenophopia Parentis

Parental alienation is damaging to children’s mental and emotional well-being, and can interfere with a relationship of a child and either parent and their associated relatives. These behaviors most often accompany high conflict marriages, divorce, adoption, and child-custody disputes when one parent alienates a child against the other parent by harping on faults that are real and provable. Reference: Dr. Douglas Darnall, Ph.D. PsyCare, Inc.

Parental alienation syndrome is a social dynamic and disorder in which an indoctrinated child, on an ongoing basis, belittles and insults one parent, or set of parents, without justification. The estranged child unreasonably rejects, and expresses an unjustified hatred and unreasonably strong dislike of non-custodial parents, that makes access by the rejected parents impossible. The child appears rude, ungrateful, spiteful, and cold toward the targeted parents, and impervious to feelings of guilt about their harsh treatment. They attempt to get whatever they can from the alienated parents, declaring that it is owed to them. Gratitude for gifts and favors provided by the targeted parents is nonexistent. Children with parental alienation syndrome are consumed with hatred and preoccupied with a campaign of denigration.

Alienated children perceive the estranged parents as wholly flawed and have no interest in hearing the targeted parent’s point of view. Nothing the targeted parent could do or say makes any difference to them. When they are questioned about the reasons for their intense hostility they make wild accusations that are weak, frivolous, or absurd based on rationalizations that could not possibly be true. Children with this condition deny that their feelings about the targeted parents or grandparents are in any way influenced by the alienating parents, and invoke the concept of free will to describe their actions. If they are asked to identify just one negative aspect of the alienating parent, he or she will probably draw a complete blank. This is in contrast to normal children who can talk about each parent as having both good and bad qualities.

Even in adulthood, children with parental alienation syndrome deny any positive past experiences, reject all contact and communication, and steadfastly refuse to visit the targeted parents. Parents who were once loved and valued become hated and feared. Finally, the hatred of the targeted parents spreads to extended family members. Not only is the targeted parent denigrated, despised, and avoided, but so are formerly beloved grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who are also completely avoided and rejected.

Judith Land


Reference: Xenophobia Parentis is the fear of birth parents

Judith Land | Adoption FAQ’s | Adoption Detective Book


Books>Parenting & Relationships>Adoption>Adoption Detective


Livre | Détective Adoption: Mémoire d’un enfant adopté

Adoption Story | Adoption Search | Adoption Blogs | Xenophobia Parentis



About Judith Land

Judith Land lives in Colorado and Arizona with husband and coauthor Martin Land. Judith is a former nurse, retail shop owner, college instructor and avid outdoor person. Her book "Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child" is a true story detailing the journey of Judith Romano, foster child and adoptee, as she discovers fragments of her background, and then sets out to solve the mystery as an adult. She has reached readers in 192 countries. "Mothers and fathers everywhere in the world need to understand that children are forever and always." --Judith Land
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15 Responses to “Adoption and Parental Alienation Syndrome”

  1. Ad Verdiesen says:

    divorce-separation is child abuse and child/parent-family alienation to begin with, the sic&selfish divorcing parent is unfit ..

  2. Judith Land says:

    The topic of “Parental Alienation” has generated comments from many individuals. Please reference my latest blog “Troubled by circumstances or the behavior of others” for some additional thoughts.

  3. Janice says:

    I finally found some extra time and enjoyed the read thanks for the post Judith. I love learning from adult adoptees on what adoptive parents can do better and shouldn’t say/should say, and im definitely adding your book to my collection!

    • Judith Land says:

      I hope my book opens new horizons for you. Behind every adoption story there is a memoir or mystery novel waiting to be written. Adoption stories are popular because over 60% of Americans know someone associated with an adoption. When a memoir imperatively requires the reader to experience a shift in understanding of life’s trajectory for children who are orphaned, fostered and adopted by altering the public consciousness, the topic resonates globally, and makes for a lively discussion.

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  5. It is sad that your adoptive mother was so insecure that she had to lash out at your birth mother. Clearly, you were damaged by the adults in your life. I hope you are not advocating, however, that all adoptees feel as you do? I have traced my birth mother and it is good that I know my roots. But I had wonderful adoptive parents as well. I love all of them. Not everyone who was adopted is broken or carrying her “primal wound” around like a gigantic cross.

    • Judith Land says:

      Hi Kate. That is wonderful. I am happy for you because life is a joy when we are close to the ones we love. I was frustrated at times but never sad. I learned from “A Course in Miracles” that the way to a happy life is through forgiveness and never holding onto the bad things that give us stress. The most important thing I learned from my adoption search is, if a parent can love more than one child, then a child can love more than one parent. I think you had the same experience. Judith https://judithland.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/five-mothers-judith-land/

  6. missouriflower says:

    Normally, I’d agree with you. But what if the non-custodial parent abused and molested the child, and the child wanted by his/her own choice? Sometimes, there is a good reason to things work out as they do, and not because the custodial parent is filled with hate and spite!

    BTW, I don’t enjoy saying it, but it sounds like apar mother should never have adopted if that was how she felt! Its so sad someone should voice that kind of toxic attitude to an innocent child! :>(

    • Judith Land says:

      Hi Missouri Flower. We all get by somehow and eventually grow into fully mature adults. We all suffer occasional setbacks, pain, and emotional harm in life but those who learn to overcome, forgive others, and cast aside the negative eventually find happiness in life. I suffered my share of egregious verbal abuse that wounded my ego at times but everything worked out in the end. With age and experience comes wisdom and an ever increasing sense of forgiveness. Perhaps, the upbringing I had made me emotionally stronger. Fortunately, I was surrounded by neighbors of good moral character who acted as surrogate parents by helping to ease some of the distress. Knowing that I was adopted was somewhat of a mental advantage and a convenient excuse I gave to others when they became aware of my parents anger toward each other and me. Thanks for commenting. Judith

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