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Ross, J.M. (1986). Meeting of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York. Psychoanal Q., 55:561-562.

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(1986). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 55:561-562

Meeting of the Psychoanalytic Association of New York

John Munder Ross

DISCUSSION Dr. Harold Blum felt that the fantasied natural parents are often safe targets for the aggressions, tensions, and incestuous feelings that the adopted child has toward the adoptive parents. These conflicts are also inherent in the adoptive parents. Dr. Blum has found that adoptive parents will often initiate a search for the natural parents, to help the adoptee with his conflicts, although adding to their own. Adoptees are sometimes afraid that if they find the natural parents, they might be rejected all over again. At termination, much depends on how the adoptive parents are permitting the child to separate, not only from the analyst, but from them and from the abandoning natural parents as well.

Dr. Leonard Barkin emphasized that fantasies of being kidnapped or stolen are part of the family romance. The adoptee fantasizes that if his adoption had not happened, the problems he is presently facing would not be. The analyst must resist the temptation to attribute all oedipal and preoedipal conflicts to the adoption. Also, Dr. Barkin pointed out that there is always a tendency for the adopted child to end analysis prematurely—to antagonize the parents and to behave as a "bad" child.

Mrs. Betty Jean Lifton, who is herself an adoptee and has written three books on adoption, pointed out that it is extremely difficult for analysts and people in general

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