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Blank, H.R. (1983). The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, XXXV. 1980: Some Potential Effects of Adoption on Self and Object Representations. Paul M. Brinich. Pp. 107-133.. Psychoanal Q., 52:311.
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, XXXV. 1980: Some Potential Effects of Adoption on Self and Object Representations. Paul M. Brinich. Pp. 107-133.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 52:311

The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, XXXV. 1980: Some Potential Effects of Adoption on Self and Object Representations. Paul M. Brinich. Pp. 107-133.

H. Robert Blank

Brinich outlines how some adopted children have organized their representational worlds and discusses the ways in which their representations of themselves and their objects have affected their object relationships. There appears to be a consistent trend in the symptomatology of the adopted children referred for treatment, namely, behavior described as impulsive, provocative, aggressive, and antisocial. One of the major problems is the adoptive mother's difficulty in cathecting the child with narcissistic libido, especially insofar as the adopted child emphasizes her own infertility. Several authors have noted that some adoptive parents appear to feel as if they had stolen their adopted children. Such feelings can create special problems in the separation-individuation phase of the adoptive child. These parents have difficulty allowing the child normal separation experiences. The child frequently has difficulty fusing the intrapsychic good and bad parent images and must include two separate sets of parents within her or his representational world. The split in parental images creates problems at each developmental phase. Since the children do not know the identity of their blood relatives, they are thrust precisely into the position of Oedipus. This genealogical ignorance can produce powerful family romance fantasies and may be responsible for the frequency of sexual promiscuity in the symptomatology of adopted children. These and other considerations are exemplified in three case presentations.

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Article Citation

Blank, H.R. (1983). The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, XXXV. 1980. Psychoanal. Q., 52:311

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