Damaged Children, Therapeutic Lives

in Kinship by Design

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780226327594
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226328072 | DOI:
Damaged Children, Therapeutic Lives

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This chapter explores the historical career of one particular idea that gained currency in the early 1960s: that adoption per se placed children at risk for emotional disturbance and psychopathology. In the adoption world, the psychologically damaged adoptee is a stock figure. Many analysts invoke the need for recovery from the severing of “birth bonds,” “primal wounds,” and “adopted child syndromes.” Adoption was not always equated with attachment disorders, developmental disadvantage, or lifelong loss. The claim that adoptees' mental health might be jeopardized by virtue of their kinship arrangement alone was not widespread before the 1960s.

Keywords: adoption; emotional disturbance; psychopathology; mental health

Chapter.  12922 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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