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Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self (Anchor Book) Paperback – March 1, 1993


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Being Adopted: The Lifelong Search for Self (Anchor Book) + The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child + Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew
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Product Details

  • Series: Anchor Book
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor; Reprint edition (March 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385414269
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385414265
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Ingeniously integrating psychological and educational theories, the authors construct a model of the normal yet unique stages of adoptee development.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

A rather thin volume that nevertheless will reassure adoptees that it is usual for questions about adoption and birth parents to persist throughout life. Using Erik Erikson's stages of life as a framework, Brodzinsky (Psychology/Rutgers) and Schechter (Psychiatry/Univ. of Pennsylvania), here writing with Henig (Your Premature Baby, 1983, etc.), call upon years of experience as researchers and counselors in the field of adoption to describe the continual adjustments that adoptees make as they grow from infancy to old age. Most moving is the litany of losses that move adoptees to grieve, often unknowingly. Even infants only a few months old show signs of mourning their first caretakers. Later, the authors say, adoptees may confront the loss not only of a birth family but of a personal and genetic history. The latter is particularly painful when it is time for young adults to begin their own families. Such life crises often kick off a search for birth parents. But the book's authority is undermined by what the authors frankly admit is the rapidly changing environment of adoption, where secrecy and shame are now rarely invoked and searches are often unnecessary. Open adoption-- in which the birth mother is known to and is often closely attached to the adoptive family--and increasingly available birth records eliminate the information gap that most often causes stress in adopted families (although open adoption may create its own set of stresses, the authors point out). Replete with anecdotal material, this offers few new insights but does lay out issues of development that only adoptees face over the course of life. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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This makes the title of this book a little misleading for me.
mountainmom
I found it to be very helpful, and if you are a prospective adoptive parent or an adoptee, it will touch on many of the issues that are inherent to this situation.
Mattie Engler
I recommend this book to anyone with an adopted child or who was adopted themselves.
Borg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 69 people found the following review helpful By BILL SAWYER on December 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book was extremely helpful in allowing me to see and feel how other adoptees have experienced the same sense of loss I have coped with since childhood. As an adoptee, adopted as an infant, and finding my birth parents after 30+ years, it was amazing to have a book which so clearly outlines the stages of my life, and allowed me to understand the feelings I have had for so long. The book is a quick read, but has depth in the way it will touch any adoptees soul. This book has motivated me to write my own story, as an adoptee, searching for self, while raising two children as a single dad. This book has allowed me to identify feelings which I felt only I experienced, and will allow me to write a book from the heart. Thank you.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Darlene Spengel on February 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is right on target. It showed me the reasons for why I've felt the way I have for so many years. I'm 55 and was adopted in infancy. My adopted Mother never told me anything and I always felt left out and some how all alone in this world. Now I understand why I feel the way I have all these years. It's natural and normal. This is an excellent book for adoptees to understand why their feelings are mixed, confused, and not totally feeling a part of this world. I'd recommend this book to all adoptees.
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53 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Joseph L. Rockne on January 26, 1998
Format: Paperback
I'll admit that this is the first book of its kind that I have read. However, as a soon-to-be adopting father, I am grateful for this simple to read introduction to some of the psychological issues that my child will go through. What I found most interesting, is the fact that adoptees may wrestle with "their search" for an entire life. They will actually "mourn" for their lost birth mother. (Why don't they ever seem to seek out the birth-father?) Although this book was about adoptee's search for self, it also helped me realize that I am also searching for myself. In fact, everyone spends a lifetime searching for themselves and redefining themselves. Adoptees, however, have a unique set of issues to work out. This was a great introduction to the psychology of adoption.
I would recommend it.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Fruit Loop VINE VOICE on September 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
Thank goodness people are finally admitting that adoption, even if you had a great experience, still brings with it certain issues. Adoptive parents should read books like this to understand that their adopted child has special needs - so many adoptives take it as a personal affront if their child decides to search for birthparents, or even asks about them. For birthparents, it's affirmation of their loss (even if it was the best decision they felt they could make) and understanding of their surrendered child's feelings. Should be required reading for prospective adoptive parents
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Sherrie Eldridge (Fishers, IN) on June 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you want a general idea of what you might expect to experience from the womb to the tomb (as an adoptee), this is the book for you. I always quote Drs. Brodzinsky and Schechter when I speak. One of the most profound things they say is that adoption loss for the child is more profound than death or divorce. Yea for the doctors--if more people would only listen to their wisdom and begin seeing adoption through the eyes of adoptees. A must-have for your adoption library.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By spoiledlondongirl on January 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
I am a Korean adoptee and have struggled with my identity to this day. Reading this book helped me to validate that the unknown source of my sorrow and rage was not a mental imbalance, but instead emotions never dealt with regarding my adoption.

Adoptees in my generation (from what I have learned) were not taught or informed about the LOSS we suffered, being separated from our birth mothers. This book explores this loss, and then some.

It discusses so many points that I would write "YES! YES YES YES!" at random points in the book. It was a book that finally validated my feelings, and helped me to recognize that many of the emotions were normal for adoptees.

Not only was the book insightful for our emotions, but also very informative about different life stages and mentalities at these stages.

A definite must for adoptees. But it does provoke you to dig into that very very dark place inside you - so if you are not ready to explore that place, you might not want to read it yet.

I am sending this book to my adopted mother so that she can hopefully get a better idea of why I was acting out and being a "rebel" most of my life. Thank you to the authors for this wonderful book!! It was a definite tear-jerker!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
I liked this book because it was a balanced view of adoption. I found it validating. It showed that within my peer group - adoptees - I was very normal. This helped. It also showed that although some people react with great desperation to adoption others seem to take it more in stride and that is normal too. Regardless of how you feel, this book is a must read. Enlightening, validating and no whining. Thank you to the authors.
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By space@cableregina.com on July 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book gives a most balanced view of the gains and losses for the child and adult of being adopted rather than being raised by the parents who gave birth to the child. As such, it is an excellent book for prospective adoptive parents, who may be thinking that by simply not knowing the birthparents, their acquired child will not need to know his or her birth heritage. For the birthparents, the book will underline what the child can gain from being adopted, and why the child's genetic heritage will still be a part of them. For adoptees this book is the most valuable, because it will help them to realize that their feelings are shared in many ways by those people who, like them, were raised by parents who did not give them birth.
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