Adoption is a transformational process bringing parenthood to those who long for but cannot bear children and giving stranded children home, family, and their place in the world. But every adoption is preceded and followed by its story and when these stories are told in the offices of psychotherapists we begin to understand the impact of adoption in all its complexity. We learn from parents how their quest to have and raise a child has played out in real life, and what shadows might have fallen between the dream and the reality. And we learn from the children the many ways that being adopted shaped their development, their sense of identity; what went wrong along the way and how we may help. Clinical work with parents and children as well as with adults who were adopted is the focus of Understanding Adoption. Because adoption has become widely practiced, accepted, and accessible, and because it has greatly changed the composition of families, it is a timely subject for study. The authors of this book undertake exploration of this important terrain of loss and connection, and of the fragility and resilience of human bonds.
Diana Siskind, a practicing psychotherapist, psychoanalyst, supervisor and teacher is on the staff of the New York School for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and is a former senior staff member of the Child Development Center and a former teacher at Smith School for Social work. In addition to writing journal articles and book chapters she has written 3 books: The Child Patient and The Therapeutic Process (1992), Working with Parents (1997) and A Primer for Child Therapists (1999) all published by Jason Aronson Publishers. Dr. Siskind is on the editorial board of Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy and the book review editor of the National Membership Committee on Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work Newsletter. She was named Distinguished Practitioner by the National Academy of Practice. Susan Sherman is a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist with a practice of adults, adolescents, and children. She is on the faculty of the Advanced Training Program, Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services and the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Center. She previously taught at the Columbia University School of Social Work and the Adelphi University School of Social Work. She has published articles in clinical journals. Dr. Sherman was named Distinguished Practitioner by the National Academy of Practice. Kathleen Hushion is a psychotherapist and psychoanalyst working with children, adolescents and adults. She is a member of the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR) and the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA). She is also faculty member and supervisor for IPTAR's Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Training Program.
Part 1 Clinical Issues Chapter 2 The World of Adoption: An Introduction Chapter 3 Unconscious Communication and the Transmission of Loss Chapter 4 International Adoption: Projection and Externalization in the Treatment of a 4 Year Old Child and her Parents Chapter 5 Working with Parents of Adopted Infants and Toddlers Chapter 6 Gay and Lesbian Parents in the World of Adoption Chapter 7 Losing Each Other in the Wake of Loss: Failed Dialogues in Adoptive Families Chapter 8 The Adoption of Foster Children Who Suffered Early Trauma and Object Loss: Implications for Practice Chapter 9 Secrecy in the Psychotherapy of a Severely Traumatized Adopted Child Chapter 10 Adoption Fantasy in the Treatment of Two Adolescent Girls Chapter 11 Identity and Identification: Being Different and the Quest to Belong in an Adopted Young Adult Chapter 12 The Plight of the Adoptee in Adult Life: A Case of Kinship Adoption Chapter 13 Loss and the Dynamics of an Adoptee's Identification with Her Birth Mother Part 14 Special Issues Chapter 15 Child Custody Disputes in Adoption Cases: Safeguarding the Relationship with the Psychological Parent Chapter 16 Consultation during the Adoption Process: Working with Families Adopting Older Russian Children Chapter 17 Birth Parents and Adoptive Parents: Who are the 'Real' Parents?