For all the adoptees I love, who struggle with addiction.



PAUL SUNDERLAND                               notes from LIFEWORKS LECTURE

Adoption is a word that does not describe what has happened to a child that results in them coming into services at a very high rate.  It is a word that works to cover up, or deny the wound of relinquishment, a wound that is a developmental Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  There cannot be relinquishment and adoption without trauma.  The word adoption also hides another aspect of the trauma of relinquishment.  Adoption usually only happens once, whereas there may be many relinquishments for the separated child.

Adoptees are massively over-represented in therapy.  Adoptees are situated within a duality.  They have divided attention with two sets of families.  They are conflicted over wanting to belong yet fearing belonging.

Adoption is the enormous grief of a child who has been waiting nine months to meet someone they are not going…

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