Adoptees and Birthparents Connected by Design: Surprising Synchronicities in Histories of Union/Loss/Reunion
Publication Date:May 1993
The recently burgeoning phenomenon of search and reunion by adult adoptees and their birth families has uncovered fascinating information. During the author's doctoral research, reunited parents and children related uncanny coincidences that occurred during the years of their separation (e.g., dreaming of one's child in specific danger, naming a later child by the unknown name of the firstborn, knowing the day of a mother's death, vacationing in the same location, making identical purchases, and beginning to search at the same time). In this inquiry, synchronicity as an acausal principle of the unconscious organizing of archetypes (Jung) or as a unifying correlation by affinity (Kammerer) may be balanced with causality: the psychology of separation and loss reactions; prenatal memory; identity and the loss of self; a system in need of information; the architecture of developmental behavioral genetics; and cognitive meaning-making from numinous experience.
1. Adelberg, R. (1986). A comparison study of searching and non-searching adult adoptees (Doctoral dissertation, Boston University). Dissertation Abstracts International, 4612B. (University Microfilms No. 86-02754)
2. Andersen, R.S. (1989). The nature of adoptee search: Adventure, cure, or growth? Child Welfare, 68(6), 623-632.
3. Anderson, C. (1987). The birthparents' perspective on adoption. Des Moines: Concerned United Birthparents.
4. Bateson, G. (1988). Mind and nature: A necessary unity. New York: Bantam.
5. Bouchard, T.J., Jr. (1984). Twins reared together and apart: What they tell us about human diversity. In S.W. Fox (Ed.), The chemical and biological bases of individuality (pp. 147-178). New York: Plenum.
6. Bouchard, T. J., Jr., Lykken, D.T., McGue, M., Segal, N.L., & Tellegen, A. (1990, Oct. 12). Sources of human psychological differences: The Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart. Science, 250, 223-228.
7. Brodzinsky, D.M. (1987). Adjustment to adoption: A psychosocial perspective. Clinical Psychology Review, 7, 25-47.
8. Brodzinsky, D.M. (1990). A stress and coping model of adoption adjustment. In D.M. Brodzinsky & M.D. Schechter (Eds.), The psychology of adoption. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.
9. Brodzinsky, D.M., & Schechter, M.D. (Eds.). (1990). The psychology of adoption. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.
10. Buchheimer, A. (1987). Memory: Preverbal and verbal. In T.R. Verny (Ed.), Pré- and perinatal psychology: An introduction. New York: Human Sciences Press.
11. Chamberlain, D. (1988). Babies remember their birth: Extraordinary discoveries about the mind and personality of the newborn. Los Angeles: Tarcher.
12. DeCasper, A.J. (1985, Feb. 4). Human fetuses perceive maternal speech. Behavior Today Newsletter, 165(5), 1-7.
13. DeCasper, A. J., & Fifer, W.P. (1980, June 6). Of human bonding: Newborns prefer their mothers' voices. Science, 208, 1174-1176.
14. Diaconis, P., & Hosteller, F. (1989). Methods for studying coincidences. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 84(408), 853-861.
15. Dudrear, B.U. (1991). The female hero's journey toward wholeness: Psychospiritual aspects of birthmothers who searched and reunited with children relinquished for adoption. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University for Humanistic Studies, Del Mar, CA.
16. Earnshaw, A. (1987). Temporal transmission of parental life events to children. In T.R. Verny (Ed.), Pré- and perinatal psychology: An introduction (pp. 219-233). New York: Human Sciences Press.
17. Eliot, T.S. (1963). Collected poems 1909-1962. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World.
18. Farrant, G. (1987). Cellular consciousness. Aesthema, 7, 28-39. Keynote address at the 14th International Primal Association Convention, 1986, with interview by A. Buchheimer, 40-45.
19. Gediman, J.S., & Brown, L.P. (1989). BirthBond: Reunions between birthparents and adoptees-what happens after. Far Hills, NJ: New Horizon Press.
20. Gribbin, J. (1984). In search ofSchrodinger's cat: Quantum physics and reality. New York: Bantam.
21. James, W. (1920). A pluralistic universe. New York: Longmans Green.
22. Jung, C.G. (1960). The structure and dynamics of the psyche. Collected works (Vol. 8). London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
23. Kammerer, P. (1919). Das gesetz der série: Eine lehre von den wiederholungen im lebens-und im weltgeschehen [The law of seriality: A doctrine of repetitions in events in life and society]. Stuttgart and Berlin: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt.
24. Kirschner, D., & Nagel, L.S. (1988). Antisocial behavior in adoptees: Patterns and dynamics. Child and Adolescent Social Work, 5(4), 300-314.
25. Koestler, A. (1971). The case of the midwife toad. New York: Random House.
26. Koestler, A. (1972). The roots of coincidence. New York: Random House.
27. Millen, L., & Roll, S. (1985, July). Solomon's mothers: A special case of pathological bereavement. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 55(3), 411-418.
28. Miller-Havens, S. (1990). Connections and disconnections: Birth origin fantasies of adopted women who search (Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University). Dissertation Abstracts International, 51-3B. (University Microfilms No. 90-21130)
29. Panneton, R.K. (1985). Prenatal auditory experience with melodies: Effects on postnatal auditory preferences in human newborns (Doctoral dissertation, University of North Carolina, Greensboro). Dissertation Abstracts International, 4709B. (University Microfilms No. 87-01335)
30. Pascal, B. (1958). Pascal's pensées. New York: E.P. Dutton. (Original work published 1660)
31. Piaget, J. (1930). The child's conception of physical causality. London: Kegan Paul.
32. Rillera, M.J. (1991). The reunion book: VoL 1. Westminster, CA: Triadoption Publications.
33. Schopenhauer, A. (1891). Parerga und paralipomena. E. Griesbach (Ed.), Samtliche Werke, Vol. 4. Leipzig: Philipp Reclam.
34. Shallis, M. (1983). On time: An investigation into scientific knowledge and human experience. New York: Schocken.
35. Silverman, P.R., Campbell, L., Patti, P., & Style, C.B. (1988). Reunions between adoptees and birth parents: The birth parents' experience. Social Work, 33(6), 523528.
36. Sorosky, A., Baran, A., & Pannor, R. (1989). The adoption triangle: Sealed or open records: How they affect adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive parents. San Antonio, TX: Corona.
37. Stiffler, L.H. (1991). Parent-child synchronicities during years of separation by adoption: Anomalous connecting information in histories of union/loss/reunion. Doctoral dissertation, Oxford Graduate School (USA), Dayton, TN. (University Microfilms No. LD-02254)
38. Stiffler, L.H. (1992). Synchronicity and reunion: The genetic connection of adoptees and birthparents. Hobe Sound, FL: FEA Publishing.
39. Verny, T.R. (1982). The secret life of the unborn child. New York: Dell.
40. Verny, T.R. (Ed.). (1987). Pré- and perinatal psychology: An introduction. New York: Human Sciences Press.
41. Verrier, N. (1987). The primal wound: A preliminary investigation into the effects of separation from the birth mother on adopted children. Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Journal, 2(2), 75-86.
La Vonne H. Stiffler, D.Phil.
La Vonne Harper Stiffler, D.Phil., is a counselor in private practice who emphasizes women's issues and the integration of religion and society. Her latest (1991) article, "Adoption's Impact on Birthmothers: 'Can a Mother Forget Her Child?'", was published in the Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 10(3), 249-259. She is researching the perception of parent-child coincidences during separation by adoption. Address correspondence to P.O. Box 1144, Hobe Sound, Florida 33475.