The Primal Wound: A Preliminary Investigation into the Effects of Separation from the Birth Mother on Adopted Children
Publication Date:December 1987
Although adoption is considered by many people to be the optimal solution to the problem of relinquished children, the growing number of adoptees searching for birth parents and the advent of pre- and peri-natal psychology suggest that it is not so simple a solution as had once been thought. This paper examines several problems adoptees have to face as they adapt to living with people with whom they have no biological connection: a loss of the "ideal self," as a possible result of premature separation from the biological mother; an assuming of the "false self," as a means of dealing with the fear of further rejection and abandonment; and the relationship with the adoptive mother, which is often ambivalent and conflictual.
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Nancy Verrier, M.A.
Mrs. Verrier has a Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology from John F. Kennedy University. She is presently doing a private practice internship toward licensure as a Marriage, Family, and Child Counselor, where she specializes in working with adult and adolescent adoptees.