Although most mental health and behavioral health professionals have encountered adoption triad members—birth parents, adoptive parents, and adopted persons—in their clinical practice, the vast majority have had no formal or informal training on adoption issues. The Handbook of Adoption is the first text designed for mental health practitioners to specifically address the many dimensions of adoption-related issues which can and do affect adoption triad members, specifically in the United States.

Psychoanalytic Understanding and Treatment of theAdoptee

Psychoanalytic understanding and treatment of the adoptee

Historically, the adopted person has always been faced with a lifelong dilemma.The adoptee is the central figure in a triad, enveloped within various socialstrictures, customs, and legal structures that deny a historical andpsychological reality—namely, connection to the biological parent. Socialand legal attempts to sever the connection of adoptee to biological parent haveostensibly striven to ensure that the machinery of adoption is functional;nonetheless, they portend the underlying negative collective attitudes towardthe biological parents and, by extension, the adoptee (Feigelman &Silverman, 1986).

Given the prevailing moralistic sexual attitudes, the institution of adoption hasattempted to “protect” the adoptee from the perceived prurience ofthe biological mother, who is typically unwed. On a deeper level, the practiceof permanently separating ...

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