Need help with Adopted son


New Member
Hi, I just joined this forum out of final desperation and am really happy to find it and hope it helps. Here is our story...

My husband and I adopted a 4 year old (now 7). 2 months after he was placed in our home we got pregnant (he is now 22mo). When we chose to adopt we knew he had problems but thought we could make a difference or help him in some way. Fast forward 3 years and things are crazily the same. It seems. He has been diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder, ADHD, ODD and possibly bipolar. We have done outpatient behavior schools through our psychiatrist twice now. He is incredibly smart, manipulative (to the point I feel crazy like I make up some of the things that are wrong in my head). He is somewhat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in my opinion and incredibly argumentative to the point he would fight with you over the color of the sky. He does not have friendships and has poor social skills. I am not sure if he has attached to us at all and sometimes I question if we have attached to him. All of this we have learned to deal with. What we can not deal with is what has continued off and on for 3 years but seems to have started to get worse lately is peeing and pooping in his pants intentionally. His therapist says for control. He has smeared poop everywhere, slept in it, he sits in it all day and will not tell us it is there (until found). We have tried several techniques to eliminate the problem and nothing seems to faze him. He doesn't seem to care. Just recently it seems like this is a daily problem. Well things are about at the worst I can mentally, emotionally, and physically handle. My baby got Hand foot mouth which I have come to the conclusion had to be from home bc he hasn't really been anywhere else when it was contracted. The realization hit me that our AS will put his clothes in his hamper (8 out of 10 times usually soiled) and before taking his shower will pick up the baby toys from tub (which spreads you know what). We have officially put him in pull ups in order for things to be clean! He still poops! He has no humility in it. My husband wants to do an inpatient care facility. I am not sure what to do. Sorry this is so long. We need help!


Active Member
What a terrible situation. I'm so sorry! I have no experience this type of behaviour, but wanted you to know that I read your post and send my concern and sympathy. I know that others with experience and advice will post soon.

Wiped Out

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Welcome Mamablues,

First off, welcome to our little corner of the world. I'm sorry things are so very hard right now. My difficult child used to play with his poop (not to the extent that it sounds as though your son does). We would find it hidden in his dresser drawers, smeared all over his bedroom furniture. I remember being horrified about it. We had him in therapy two times a week at that age (not specifically for that purpose) and I am sure they addressed it with him as did we. Eventually (about a year, I would guess), he stopped.

Over the years we did have to do several hospitalizations due to violence. They would help for awhile and then not so much. His last hospitalization was about 4 years ago and he is doing so well now. It took years to find the right medication combo but we did.

However, our difficult child is not diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder. There were times when we thought he would be (adopted at birth but sometimes it can occur before birth). Others will be here who have more experience with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD).

Sending hugs your way.


Well-Known Member
As the mom of adopted kids, I always tell anyone who is adopting to adopt an infant. I made the mistake of adopting a few older kids myself and reactive attachment disorder is very hardwired into the heads of children who got no love in the early years. They do tend to do things like poop and pee in their pants, set fires, are often cruel to animals and often feel they have no reason to trust you since they never had anyone who cared for them properly as an infant as they lay cold and hungry in their bed, waiting for that nurturing. Often, too, kids from foster care or in orphanages abroad have been sexually abused. One social worker we had said in foster care the older sexual abuse rate in their children is 99%. Sometimes they do not remember it happening.

You are going to have quite a ride with your son and I'd watch him around your younger one. Rather than just taking your son to a therapist, I strongly recommend you find one who has EXTREME experience with older adoptees. And, yes, four is old. Two is old. My adopted kids who attached well were the ones who came as infants and one who came at two who had had a great foster home and never had to live with his crazed biological mother who did drugs. Two other adopted children, ages six and eleven when they came, never did attach and none was outright dangerous. medications did not help him. We had to make him leave when he sexually abused our two youngest, killed a dog and set fires. Get attachment therapy for him. Do it now before it's too late.
Last edited: